The best new TV coming to channels and streaming services this August. From Billions series 7, to an epic inspired by manga.
Weds 2 Aug, Apple TV+
Rose Byrne did some tidy business in the brilliant Platonic earlier this year, and now she box-steps back onto our screens for a third and final season of Physical. This black comedy sees her play Sheila Rubin, an internally-screaming keep-fit master. While her business is starting to flourish, her personal life is crumbling.
Set in a brutally facile 1980s San Diego, it’s as much about the wild hairstyles and achingly cool retro soundtrack as it is the merciless and misanthropic humour. Sheila chases her dreams and finds empowerment, all while fighting inner demons amidst the golden age of home video.
Thurs 3 Aug, Netflix
It’s a n age-old story of two teenagers meeting up and falling in love. We’ve been introduced to the gentle Charlie and rugby-loving Nick, then seen them quickly release their unlikely friendship is blossoming into something more. They’ve been on a journey of self discovery ever since. With a close group of mates, they’ve also found acceptance, support and authenticity.
Season 2 finds the pair still establishing what their relationship means. There are also exams on the horizon, a school trip to Paris and a prom to plan. Unsurprisingly, there’s quite a lot to juggle as the gang venture into the next stages of life, love and friendship.
Thurs 3 Aug, ITVX
A British Regency-era drama, adapted by Andrew Davies from an unfinished manuscript by Jane Austen, this hit show has made the jump over from Britibox in its entirety. Rose Williams, Crystal Clarke, Theo James and Ben Lloyd-Hughes recount the story of a young and naive heroine trying to navigate Sanditon.
A chance accident brings Charlotte Heywood to this sleepy seaside town on the cusp of dramatic change. Spirited and unconventional, she’s initially keen to experience everything it has to offer – but is shocked by the scheming of the ambitious inhabitants and intrigued by the secrets they share. Then comes a pair of rival suitors…
Sat 12 August, Paramount+
From what started as a simple story of a District Attorney trying to take down an unscrupulous billionaire hedge-fund manager has spiralled into a fascinating examination of America’s finance and legal systems. Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers, Homeland, Wolf Hall) plays the extraordinarily-wealthy Bobby Axelrod, while Paul Giamatti (American Splendor, Sideways) is his nemesis, Chuck Rhoades – but nothing is as clear-cut as it appears.
As we enter season 7, we find the stakes are even higher in this pair’s cat and mouse game. Rhoades seems increasingly compromised, and Axelrod’s biggest rival has set his sights on the White House. But, is a there going to be a surprise return for a major character?
Weds 16 Aug, Netflix
Three young doctors head to a remote village intending to vaccinate residents against a new mutation of the Zika virus. But their efforts to administer medical aid are refused, and the trio suddenly find themselves trapped. This isolated community is shrouded in secrets, and devoted to an enigmatic leader who forces them to confront the power of faith over science.
You could draw some comparisons with themes covered in Lost, as this Brazilian thriller returns for a second season – logic and dogma clash head-on in a strange and nightmarish battle for supremacy. It’s a test of beliefs, as our protagonists start to wonder if the jungle may offer some kind of salvation.
Fri 18 Aug, Prime Video
Harlan Coben’s Shelter follows the story of Mickey Bolitar, after the sudden death of his father leads him to restart life in Kasselton, New Jersey. He quickly finds himself unwittingly tangled in the mysterious disappearance of a new student at the school where he works. This snowballs into the uncovering of some unimaginable secrets within their quiet suburban community.
With the help of his friends, the inventive Spoon, and secretive Ema, Mickey pulls back the sleepy facade of Kasselton to reveal a dark underground. This may hold the answers to decades of disappearances, deaths, and legends – and perhaps even untangle Mickey’s own complex family history.
Weds 23 Aug, Apple TV+
Created by Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy Award-nominated producer Simon Kinberg (The Martian, Dark Phoenix) and David Weil (Hunters, Citadel), this is an expansive, character-driven science fiction drama.
We follow the unfolding of a pernicious alien invasion, as seen from a broad range of different perspectives around the world. Starring Shamier Anderson, Golshifteh Farahani, Sam Neill, Firas Nassar and Shioli Kutsuna, the show has been something of a slow burn. That did mean we got to spend more time exploring how different people try to deal with some extraordinary circumstances – and now season 2 implies it’ll cast more light upon the dastardly alien insurgents.
Thurs 31 Aug, Netflix
Based on Eiichiro Oda best-selling manga series (and still the biggest in Japanese history), One Piece is the perfect swashbuckling historical epic. Monkey D. Luffy is a young adventurer who has longed for a life of freedom since he can remember. So he sets off from his small village on a perilous journey to find a legendary fabled treasure and become King of the Pirates.
But to uncover the ultimate prize, Luffy will need to assemble the crew he’s always wanted, before finding a ship to sail, searching every inch of the vast rolling oceans, outpacing the Marines and outwitting dangerous rivals at every turn. Better get crack on then. Tick tock.