Five things to watch this weekend
From Nazi-German hospital drama Charité at War and modern warfare drama The Wolf's Call on Netflix to murder mystery One Dollar on Showmax, the streaming is on
Charité at War — Netflix
A hospital drama with a twist, this German series focuses on the trials and tribulations of the staff at a medical institute in Berlin during the last years of World War 2. There are the usual genre tropes of saving and losing lives but there’s also some spice added by the fact that this is Nazi-era Germany: things like eugenics are on the agenda and serve to test the moral rectitude of many of the good doctors struggling to fulfil the obligations of the Hippocratic oath under the rule of a fascist regime.
The Wolf’s Call — Netflix
Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned submarine drama? This French feature film focuses on a young crew member whose ears are the only thing preventing a major showdown between the French and Iranians off the Syrian coast. It’s not a reinvention of the genre but it offers plenty of thrills, suspense and tension to keep you watching to its nail-biting conclusion.
Counterpart — Showmax
JK Simmons stars in this excellent dystopian series from the Starz channel, which imagines two versions of the world leading parallel existences and striving to keep their existences known from the people living in both. It’s a meaty double-starring role for one of Hollywood’s hardest working character actors that provides plenty of twists and intrigue and more than enough philosophical pondering to get the grey matter working.
High Seas — Netflix
This Spanish series is firmly in Agatha Christie territory as it centres on the intrigue and secrets that come to light among the passengers of a luxury ship travelling to Spain from Brazil in the 1940s. It’s all very murder mystery night and lightly handled but it’s easily enjoyable and delivers on the requirements that fans of this sort of thing expect.
One Dollar — Showmax
It’s not the stuff of French director Robert Bresson’s L’Argent but, like that film, this CBS series centres on the interlocking stories of characters connected by a single dollar bill. When a murder is committed, the stories start coming together, and the question of who is guilty and who is not drives the rest of the show.
It’s set in a fading, unnamed Rust Belt city in the US and examines the reality of blue-collar life in the wake of the 2008 recession and the increasing death of old-school industries like steel production. It’s not quite as emotionally engaging as ABC’s very successful and rightly awarded crime anthology series American Crime but there are plenty of great performances and a number of righteously carved characters here to keep you watching far longer than the gimmick of the show might deserve.