Full disclosure; while this column will mostly focus on streaming's best offerings, I also feel obligated to highlight things that don't quite live up to the hype... The trailer for White Lines is rife with zippy editing, slick stunts, plus a cracking premise. Then, you watch two episodes and wonder what happened. Laura Haddock is Zoe, a librarian mum who heads to Almería to see if recently discovered remains are that of sibling, Axl, who moved to Ibiza in 1996.
Zoe's suffered abandonment issues since DJ Axl's mate, Marcus (Daniel Mays; you know him), said her beloved brother legged it to India. In actuality, Axl's been buried on his girlfriend's family's land for 20 years. Embarking on an impromptu killer quest, Zoe says bye to her hubby (our very own Barry Ward) in the Spanish desert and hitches a lift to Ibiza with a random Gypsy Kings enthusiast.
As someone who spent the 1990s bouncing between The Ormonde and The Temple, I yearned so bad for this to be good. Sadly, nostalgia can't stop it from falling between all the stools.
In the absence of space to bemoan its flaws fully (the Calafat Family casting for starters), I'll simply say the production values - in essence - are superb. Shame the end result is more El Dorado than Narcos, more Human Traffic than Trainspotting... If the emphasis was put on 1990s Manchester/Ibiza and less on Angela Griffin's orgies, and needless narratives involving the local priest, this could've been a riotous romp through rave culture.
Netflix, streaming now
With a winning combination of jazz, Paris, peril, plus more jazz, there's a lot to love about this new Netflix series. Add some burly debt collectors, and a daughter who clearly isn't happy with her current set-up, and it's DRAMA central. Playing overtures to 2010's Treme, this eight-part series - while not quite as gritty - is peppered with the expected jazz solos, backstreet brawls, and one André Holland (Moonlight) as an NYC pianist simply trying to fulfil his dream of running a Parisian jazz club. Damien Chazelle (La La Land) is among the many, many directors.
Little Fires Everywhere
Amazon Prime, May 22
Based on Celeste Ng's best seller, and co-produced by Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington and ABC, this follows the twin fates of the (seemingly) flawless Richardson family, and a mysterious mother and daughter. The story centres around endless secrets, the struggles of being a mum, estate agents - and, ultimately, on the notion that "presumption is the mother of all f**k-ups". Witherspoon and Washington star alongside Joshua 'Pacey' Jackson.
Homecoming, Season 2
Amazon Prime, May 22
Janelle Monáe - she of Prince protégé fame - returns as the elusive 'Jackie'. Obviously, season 1 ended on a cliffhanger; season 2 opens with Jackie jolting awake in a drifting boat, with zero recollection of she is. Her ensuing identity search leads her into the heart of the Geist Group - the 'wellness company' behind the Homecoming Initiative.
Disney+, streaming now
Mary Poppins, Tron, Pirates of The Caribbean, Nightmare Before Christmas... some of the movies getting their props fondled by host/professional collector Dan Lanigan. As well as ferreting around Disney's Burbank archive warehouse, Dan also enjoys global jaunts in a bid to track down elusive movie memorabilia. Expect delightful levels of schmaltz.
Gangs of London
NOW TV, streaming now
Sick of sorts banging on about Sky Atlantic's latest starring Colm Meaney? NOW TV was devised for those who can't commit - 14-day free trial, yo!