Choice of the week
In this charming new series, Kamala Khan (the excellent Iman Vellani) is a Marvel star in love with Captain Marvel and the Avengers. What would his dream be? Acquire your own superpowers. But be careful what you wish for… Kamala finds her grandmother’s old bracelets, which allow her to manipulate cosmic energy. Her problems are just beginning: she has to negotiate high school as a Muslim American and, of course, use her powers wisely. It’s as much a show about the pleasures and pitfalls of fantasy and fandom as it is about superheroes – and, as such, anyone who has ever sought refuge from reality in anything from a team football to a favorite pop star, will realize that. Phil Harrison
Disney+, from Wednesday May 8
“We are four ships of uncompromising genius,” says Wickie (Renée Elise Goldsberry). As Meredith Scardino’s comedy returns, the titular comeback queen girl group is in album mode. Their second life continues to pay off but middle age threatens to ruin the party. When Gloria (Paula Pell) injures herself attempting a knee drop, she launches a sweeping raid on the medicine cabinet. Cue an unusually feisty podcast appearance in which she transforms into Liam Gallagher (“We’re the best band in the world and anyone who says otherwise is jealous and senile”). It’s brimming with zipped one-liners and comedic chemistry.
Peacock/Now, from Monday 6 May
Behind the scenes with Katherine Ryan
Equal parts stand-up showcase and glimpse of the feverish egos of the people behind it, Katherine Ryan’s new show oscillates between the glamor of the packed house and the claustrophobia of the cramped dressing room. Or at least that dressing room is cramped, containing in various places Sara Pascoe, Judi Love, Jimmy Carr, Jo Brand, Nish Kumar and virtually everyone in modern British comedy who isn’t Stewart Lee. Ryan questions them all quietly in his usually friendly but sarcastic style.
Amazon Prime Video, starting Thursday, May 9
Nice little farm
Nature is stripped of all semblance of grain and presented as an Instagram twee tableau in this new children’s series. From the creators of Topsy and Tim and Teletubbies, Lovely Little Farm is precisely that – a sepia-tinted farmhouse where a family lives, surrounded by anthropomorphic CGI animals. Jill and Jacky are the kids at the heart of the action, tending the lambs and chickens while mom and dad prepare for a new human arrival. It’s so cute it’s almost spooky. Let the talking goat nightmares begin…
Apple TV+, starting Friday, May 10
At any time, there’s always a window for at least one steamy vampire-themed TV melodrama. This traffics in multiple archetypes: a forbidden biracial and homosexual relationship, but also between a teenage vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook) and the daughter of a vampire hunter Calliope (Imani Lewis). Juliette – whose parents are pointing her towards her first kill, just as we might coax children towards GCSEs – has fallen in love with the girl they had named as a likely victim. Basically, Romeo and Juliet with extra fangs.
Netflix, starting Friday, May 10
The first season of this brash, hearty comedy — in which jaded Vegas comedian Deborah Vance is forced to work with young writer Ava Daniels — was a sleeper hit thanks to the witty writing and obvious chemistry between the protagonists Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder. This time, God helps them, they have to continue on the road. Hilarious culture clashes ensue, on everything from the meaning of comedy to the proper storage of kombucha. And, at the heart of it all, one of the funniest and most compelling odd friendships in recent television history.
Amazon Prime Video, starting Friday, May 10
For all mankind
“Some say that private citizens have no place in space exploration. I emphatically disagree. Two decades after the moon landings, this counterfactual drama of the space race has reached the age of entrepreneurship At the start of the third series, Edi Gathegi joins the cast as Dev Ayesa – a sort of prototype Elon Musk with a very high aim, and so a three-way race to Mars begins. Moore (Battlestar Galactica, Helix) was on Apple’s premier drama slate — though she’s been slightly overshadowed by their output since then, she’s still pretty solid.
Apple TV+, starting Friday, May 10