Five things to watch this weekend
Netflix’s darkly funny Bonding tops the line-up of entertainment that includes Amazon Prime’s Bosch Season 5 and Showmax’s Billions Season 4
Bonding — Netflix
If your idea of the on-screen representation is completely encased within the cold-as-fish Fifty Shades movies then here comes a comic twist on BDSM that will expand your view. A bit of an experiment for Netflix and more like an extended web-series than a full show, episodes run between 15-18 minutes, making it an easy, pleasant and often darkly funny three-hour binge. By day Tiff (Zoe Levin) is a psychology student forced to fend off unwanted advances from her professor and a fellow student. By night she’s one of NYC’s most requested BDSM mistresses. Things can get weird in this world though and so she calls on the help of her gay best friend from high school, Pete (Brendan Scannell), to offer his services as protector, co-actor and sometimes just perplexed observer.
Bosch Season 5 — Amazon Prime
Amazon’s longest-running original show continues to offer up plenty of binge satisfaction with the fifth season of Michael Connelly’s world-weary, determined detective. Played with suitable noirish ambivalence by the always intriguing Titus Welliver and filled with plenty of multi-stranded, twisty criminal plotting and personal intrigue, it’s a show which, in spite of its now seeming old-schoolishness, delivers lots of satisfying thrills and keeps you guessing till the last episode.
Billions Season 4 — Showmax
The tables are turned in the fourth season of the financial-sector show as former enemies district attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and venture capitalist Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) find themselves on the same side and bent on revenge against their betrayers. It’s stylish, well-acted and provides a fascinating and addictive behind-the-scenes look at the world of the mega-rich and high-finance players of Manhattan.
Tokyo Trial — Netflix
The well-known and highly publicised Nuremberg trials of former Nazi officials in the wake of World War 2 have had plenty of screen time thanks to the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg, and Nuremberg, the three-hour miniseries starring Alec Baldwin released in 2000. What has had less publicity are the similar trials held to bring to justice those responsible for the deaths and destruction of the conflict in the Pacific arena. Now, thanks to this four-part Japanese-produced series, the back-room dilemmas, legal wranglings and human rights-law implications of coming to terms with the awful atrocities committed in the other part of World War 2 are brought to light. It’s a solid, historically faithful and earnest but important telling of a lesser-known part of the struggle to come to terms with the after-effects of one of the darkest moments in human history.
Roman Empire Season 3 — Netflix
Netflix’s part dramatic re-enactment/part documentary account of the Roman Empire continues with the dramatic, backstabbing and murderous tale of the rise of Caligula. It’s a bit like watching Gladiator and then being interrupted by know-it-alls who offer commentary, but it does offer a new look at a misunderstood historical figure who didn’t begin his life as the scandalous hedonist we know from popular fiction and movies.