The best summer TV shows to watch out for

Mr Sloane, Playhouse Presents, The Honourable Woman, Silicon Valley, Nick and Marget and Made in Chelsea New York all air this summer

The wintry Nordic Noir season is drawing to a close as we usher in a new selection of summertime TV.

If you’re missing Homeland, Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in The Honourable Woman, a new thriller on BBC Two set in the Middle East about a businesswoman whose handling of contracts sees her scrutinised by the Secret Service.

Britain’s ‘answer to Mad Men’, Mr Sloane, begins on Sky Atlantic this month. Starring Olivia Colman and Nick Frost, the six-part drama follows an accountant in the throes of a mid-life crisis in 1969.

As HBO’s Girls leaves our screen, the broadcaster’s new comedy Silicon Valley debuts on Sky Atlantic, taking a swipe at the socially awkward, overpaid uber-geeks of San Francisco’s tech mecca.

If that all sounds like too much of a commitment, Dawn Porter attempts to ‘cure’ the nation of its addiction to fast-fashion over on Channel 4 this July, while the Made in Chelsea gang swan about in New York.

Mr Sloane
Sky Atlantic, 23 May

What is it? A six-part, bittersweet rom-com about the hapless, hard-on-his-luck Mr Sloane, an accountant in the throes of a mid-life crisis. But it’s 1969, and things might just be about to swing his way…

Why should I be excited? Directed by Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Robert B Weide, it stars Nick Frost. We’re also taken by the support: Olivia Colman is his estranged wife, and Ophelia Lovibond is the wild (if wildly improbable) love interest.

Playhouse Presents
Sky Atlantic, May/June

What is it? Sky’s neat strand of standalone dramas continues to provide a platform for top writing and starry turns. The season is underway, but there are gems coming up over the summer.

Why should I be excited? Polly Stenham makes her TV debut with Foxtrot, a girl-gang heist starring Billie Piper and Ben Whishaw. Space Age has fruity Richard Wilson and Simon Callow as ageing astronauts, while Cara Delevingne tries her acting chops in Timeless.

The Honourable Woman
BBC Two, July

What is it? An eight-part thriller about a businesswoman whose handling of contracts in the Middle East sees her embroiled in the Israel-Palestine conflict – and scrutinised by the Secret Service.

Why should I be excited? It’s got proper Hollywood stardust, in the form of Maggie Gyllenhaal in the main role. An ambitious and unflinching look at a major conflict, written by Hugo Blick – so expect it to twist and turn till you feel positively giddy.

Melvyn Bragg's Radical Lives

BBC Two, July

A quiet book: Melvyn Bragg A quiet book: Melvyn Bragg

What is it? Two-part documentary looking at radical political thinkers John Ball and Thomas Paine. Ball was at the heart of the Peasant’s Revolt in 1381, while Paine was the 18thcentury theorist whose Rights of Man really did change the world.

Why should I be excited? Rebellion! Revolution! Uprising! Intellectual political theory! How much more excitement can you take?!

This Old Thing

Channel 4, July

Dawn O'Porter attempts to 'cure' the nation of its fast-fashion addiction Dawn O'Porter attempts to 'cure' the nation of its fast-fashion addiction

What is it? A series celebrating vintage fashion: perky Dawn O’Porter attempts to “cure” the nation of its addiction to fast-fashion, inducting a “vintage virgin” into the joys of thrift each week, while seamstresses are on hand to restyle old frocks.

Why should I be excited? Might have been exciting about a decade ago, before “vintage” got coopted by the high-street as a way to sell hacked-up manky 1980s dresses for a small fortune.

Silicon Valley

Sky Atlantic, July

What is it? New HBO comedy series takes swipes at the socially awkward, overpaid uber-geeks of San Francisco’s tech mecca. It’s a biting satire of the cultural zeitgeist – but don’t let that put you off…

Why should I be excited? Created by Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead), it’s already had some seriously good reviews in America.

Nick and Margaret: Immigration - Gain or Drain?

BBC1, July


What is it? Former Apprentice stooges present a two-part social “experiment” where immigrants live and work with real-proper- born-n-bred- Britons, to see if they are a “gain or drain”.

Why should I be excited? Why should I be excited? Oh my! What’s that loud noise?! That’s the sound of the Beeb slamming on the accelerator in the race to the bottom…

The Great Instrument Amnesty
Channel 4, August

What is it? A musical revolution: presenter James Rhodes persuades those with unwanted musical instruments to donate them to schools, while he lobbies the Government for greater funds for musical education.

Why should I be excited? Likely to tug more (heart)strings than a pizzicato passage, as youngsters turn their lives around through music.

The Secrets
BBC1, August

Constellations writer Nick Payne has written one of the stand-alone films Constellations writer Nick Payne has written one of the stand-alone films

What is it? Five stand-alone films, showcasing new writing talent, all featuring terse encounters where dark secrets come to light.

Why should I be excited? Dominic Savage directs; writers include playwright Nick Payne (Constellations, above) and Bafta-nominated Him & Her’s Sarah Solemani, who writes and stars in her episode. Also features Sally Hawkins, and Olivia Colman (again).

Made in Chelsea: New York
E4, late summer

Look who's back, back again: Made in Chelsea season 7 starts on E4 on Monday 7 April Are you still excited about MIC? No? Then watching them in New York probably isn't going to help

What is it? A mini-series that sees the Sloanes go West: six parts follow the SW 3 gang as they swan about in New York.

Why should I be excited? Are you still excited about MIC? No? Then watching them gape at Bloomingdale’s probably isn’t going to help. Move along.

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'