Among March’s TV highlights are a pair of comedies hitting their strides, the return of Ricky Gervais, a dizzying doco with Oscar credibility and a harrowing takedown of the King of Pop
Queer Eye, season 3 (Netflix, March 15)
The first 16 episodes of the makeover reboot were a heartfelt and hilarious hit and the fab five—Tan France (fashion), Bobby Berk (interior design), Jonathan van Ness (grooming), Antoni Porowski (food and wine) and Karamo Brown (culture)— are back to work their makeover magic. This season, set in Kansas City, Missouri, is set to feature more hapless female subjects. “No offence to men, but we have so much more fun with women,” Berk said.
Turn Up Charlie (Netflix, March 15)
Idris Elba, who co-created this UK-based eight-part comedy with Gary Reich, stars as a struggling DJ who also works as a “manny” to his famous best friend’s problem-child daughter (Frankie Hervey). Fun fact: In real life, Elba, whose stage name is DJ Big Driis, has been DJing since he was 14 and manned the turntables at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding last May.
After Life (Netflix, March 8)
Like an anti-David Brent (The Office character who only cared about what other people thought about him) Ricky Gervais’s latest incarnation is a newly widowed newspaperman who, through his haze of grief, finds the freedom to be brutally honest and caustically cruel. “I do and say whatever the f–k I want, and when it all gets too much, I can always kill myself,” he explains. “It’s like a superpower.” Gervais writes and directs all six episodes of this unexpectedly moving dark comedy.
Leaving Neverland (Ten, March 8 and 9)
The devastating, four-hour, two-part documentary—which Michael Jackson’s estate has denounced in addition to filing a $US100 million lawsuit against HBO— focuses on the accusations of two men: Brisbane-born choreographer Wade Robson and computer programmer James Safechuck, now in their 30s, who powerfully detail how Jackson befriended them when they were children, sexually abused them for years and swore them to secrecy.
Now Apocalypse (Stan, March 10)
Created by iconic indie filmmaker Gregg Araki (The Doom Generation) and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, this trippy, 10-episode hyper-real comedy about beautiful millennials (Avan Jogia and Teen Wolf’s Tyler Posey among them) living in Los Angeles dealing with dating, drug culture — and potentially the end of the world.
Free Solo (National Geographic, March 10)
Having just won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, the intimate portrait of rock climber Alex Honnold and his attempt to ascend the grand heights of the nearly sheer-vertical El Capitan in Yosemite –without ropes – is as thrilling as it is inspirational.
Better Things, season 3 (Fox Showcase, March 18)
The touching and hilariously real comedy about a working actress and single mother is loosely based on the life of star Pamela Adlon, who also writes, directs and executive produces the series. After cutting ties with the show’s co-creator Louis CK, accused in 2017 of sexual misconduct, better things are ahead, including guest roles for Sharon Stone and Matthew Broderick.
Brexit: The Uncivil War (BBC First, March 30)
Timed to air in step with the real-life history-making deadline, this drama focuses on the rival campaigns behind one of the most controversial referendums in modern British history. A bald-capped Benedict Cumberbatch plays Leave campaign director Dominic Cummings.
The Widow (Amazon Prime Video, March 1)
In this eight-part, action-packed thriller, Kate Beckinsale stars as a woman on the hunt for answers after she thinks she sees her husband (played by homegrown Offspring star Matthew Le Nevez) on a TV broadcast from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, three years after he supposedly died in a plane crash.
Australia in Colour (SBS, March 6 and SBS On Demand)
Narrated by Hugo Weaving, this four-part series tells the story of Australia through curated, archival footage restored and colourised with historical accuracy to bring to light a fresh perspective on national chapters including Queen Elizabeth II’s 1954 visit, Donald Bradman in all his glory, the end of World War II and Beatlemania.