Among the best TV to watch in August is a return to Pearl Bay, a Jim Henson prequel and roll call of Australian A-listers (Rebel! Asher! Roxburgh! Wenham) taking a small screen spin.
The Righteous Gemstones (Fox Showcase, Aug 20)
Danny McBride, the creative force behind comedy cult favourites Vice Principals and Eastbound & Down sets his sights on skewering the world of a celebrity televangelist family who run a money-churning megachurch – complete with private planes named ‘The Father, ‘The Son’ and ‘The Holy Spirit’. McBride stars alongside John Goodman, Adam Devine and Edi Patterson.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Netflix, Aug 30)
The Jim Henson Company is side-stepping CGI and relying on state-of-the-art puppets and animatronics for the prequel series to 1982 Jim Henson classic The Dark Crystal. Mark Hamill, Taron Egerton, Helena Bonham Carter, Alicia Vikander and Sigourney Weaver are among the A-listers lending their voice talents in the 10-part series telling tales of Geflings and Skesis on the desolate planet of Thra.
Seachange (Nine, Aug 6)
Returning to screens for the first time since 2000 when it wrapped up after 39 episodes on ABC, the reboot picks up two decades after viewers last peeped Pearl Bay and (most of) the gang’s all here: Sigrid Thornton returns in her role of Laura Gibson, John Howard reprises Bob Jelly, and Kerry Armstrong is back as his estranged wife, Heather. Brooke Satchwell and Dan Wylie join the cast.
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted (National Geographic, Aug 5)
The tantrum-prone chef ventures out – way out – of Hell’s Kitchen in a six-part series drawing connections between exploration, adventure and food. Rising star chefs in Peru, New Zealand, Morocco, Hawaii, Laos and Alaska educate Ramsay on their region’s cuisine before putting him to the test by cooking a feast for local experts.
Diary of an Uber Driver (ABC, Aug 14)
Please Like Me co-writer and co-star Thomas Ward writes this dramedy series based on the popular observational blog and bestselling e-book by Ben Phillips. The six-part story follows the on-road adventures of uber-likeable Uber driver Ben (Sam Cotton) who, at a crossroads in his life, helps his paying passenger navigate their daily dramas.
Les Norton (ABC and ABC iView, Aug 4)
The colourful 10-part crime caper is adapted from a series of fiction books written by Australian butcher–turned–author Robert G. Barrett. Alexander Bertrand (Australian Gangster, Hyde & Seek) stars as the titular well-loved larrikin navigating the illicit intrigue of underground Sydney in 1985 alongside co-stars David Wenham and Rebel Wilson.
This is Football (Amazon Prime, Aug 2)
A six-part documentary exploring the emotions, stories, passions and triumphs at the heart of the world’s most popular sport. Episodes will look at the round ball game’s uplifting role in Rwanda after the genocide, the rise of the women’s league, and the back story of Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi.
The Hunting (SBS, Aug 1)
Asher Keddie and Richard Roxburgh star in this provocative and thoroughly modern four-part drama series exploring concepts of technology, misogyny and consent through the prism of an Adelaide high school sexting incident. The story follows four teenagers, their teachers and families through the lead up, revelation and far-reaching aftermath of a nude teen photo scandal.
Otherhood (Netflix, Aug 2)
Pushed back from its original April release date following a guilty plea by actor Felicity Huffman in the US college entrance exam cheating scandal, the comedy flick directed by Sex & The City’s Cindy Chupack is about overbearing mothers who feel neglected on Mother’s Day and decide to surprise their Manhattan-dwelling adult sons with a week-long visit. Angela Bassett and Patricia Arquette co-star.