Wednesday, streaming on Netflix
Full disclosure: when I heard they were remaking iconic Nineties TV series Heartbreak High, I winced. How to recreate the chef’s-kiss perfection of the original? The baggy raver jeans! The “Rack off Miss” dialogue! Drazic’s eyebrow ring! It was a moment — and a moment we don’t spend enough time celebrating.
Thankfully, I needn’t have fretted. The worry they’d make it “performatively woke” (and yes, that is a term I just came up with) — it was needless.
This retains the spirit of the original (it helps that the fashion has come full circle and those baggy raver jeans are now very much on trend), while being wholly its own “of-the-moment” series. Yes, it’s shocking at times and, yes, you’ll be worried sick about what your own teens are getting up to, but it’s also really, really funny. And sweet. And full of heart.
The young, mostly unknown cast who play Hartley High students are terrific to a fault. There’s also a fabulous supporting cast of teachers and parents — keep an eye out for some original Heartbreak alumni (we won’t spoil it by telling you who pops up) — and the plots, while risque and pretty out there for this pearl-clutching 40-something, will keep viewers entertained.
This will no doubt be dubbed “Australia’s Euphoria”, or compared with Netflix’s Sex Education, but it’s neither of those things. Put simply: it’s Heartbreak High. And gosh it’s good to have it back.
The Serpent Queen
Sunday, streaming on Stan
Stan is really making a name for itself as the home of excellent, tongue-in-cheek, sumptuously styled, period comedy/dramas. The Serpent Queen, starring Samantha Morton as Catherine de Medici, feels similar to The Great. Both are about feisty Catherines, both have clever, pithy dialogue, and both speak to just how awful it must have been to be a clever woman living in a royal court. Don’t miss this one — it’s heaps of fun.
The Control Room
Sunday, 6.30pm, streaming on BBC/Foxtel/Binge
This BBC drama, about an emergency services call centre worker who becomes entwined in a murder, was a surprise summer hit in the UK. If you liked The Bodyguard, you’ll love this.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Thursday, streaming on SBS on Demand
Producers have their work cut out for them — how to move beyond the shocking events of last season’s finale? Eps one and two drop at once, and they’re sensational. Things get dark — you have been warned.
Friday, streaming SBS on Demand
Donald Glover’s award-winning series drops its fourth and final season this week, with episodes fast-tracked on Fridays from 6pm, (9.20pm on SBS Viceland). It launches with a double ep — you best believe I’m tuning in.