Series to Watch: April 2022
DQ checks out the upcoming schedules to pick out 10 new dramas to watch this April, from a Polish crime thriller and a British courtroom drama to a brooding comedy horror and Hugh Laurie’s take on Agatha Christie.
Odwilż (The Thaw)
Original broadcaster: HBO Max
Starring: Katarzyna Wajda, Bartek Kotschedoff, Juliusz Chrząstowski, Cezary Łukaszewicz, Sebastian Fabijański, Bogusław Linda, Andrzej Grabowski, Małgorzata Gorol, Monika Krzywkowska, Piotr Żurawski, Ewa Skibińska and Marcelina Stepkowska
Air date: April 1
This slice of Baltic noir is set in Szczecin, Poland, where the body of a young woman is discovered under the melting ice. The questions the case raises force detective Katarzyna Zawieja (Wajda) to confront her own circumstances, as a single mother playing the role of a perfect police officer but, in reality, a woman in crisis.
From: US, Japan
Original broadcaster: HBO Max (US), Wowow (Japan)
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Ken Watanabe, Rinko Kikuchi, Rachel Keller, Ella Rumpf, Hideaki Ito, Show Kasamatsu and Tomohisa Yamashita
Air date: April 7 (HBO Max and Wowow online), April 24 (Wowow)
Loosely inspired by American journalist Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat, this crime drama filmed on location in Tokyo captures Adelstein (Elgort)’s daily descent into the neon-soaked underbelly of Tokyo in the late 1990s.
Why Didn’t They Ask Evans?
Original broadcaster: BritBox UK
Starring: Will Poulter, Lucy Boynton, Conlet Hill, Jonathan Jules, Daniel Ings, Miles Jupp, Maeve Dermody, Amy Nuttall, Alistair Petrie, Paul Whitehouse, Patrick Barlow, Morwenna Banks and Joshua James
Air date: April 14
Written and directed by Hugh Laurie, based on the novel by Agatha Christie, Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? begins as a man lies dying at the foot of a cliff, apparently the victim of an accidental fall. With his final breath, he utters the mysterious question of the title and promptly expires. Bobby Jones and his childhood friend, Lady Frances ‘Frankie’ Derwent, resolve to honour the dead man by deciphering, and then answering, his final question, but hit upon a dark conspiracy of deceit, betrayal and murder.
Anatomy of a Scandal
Original broadcaster: Netflix
Starring: Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery, Rupert Friend, Naomi Scott, Josette Simon, Geoffrey Streatfeild and Joshua McGuire
Air date: April 15
Blending psychological thriller and courtroom drama, this six-part series (also pictured top) based on the book by Sarah Vaughan infiltrates Britain’s elite through personal and political scandal. Rising political star James (Friend) and his wife Sophie (Miller) lead a privileged life until a scandalous secret threatens to turn their world – and that of barrister Kate (Dockery) – upside down.
The First Lady
Original broadcaster: Showtime
Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Gillian Anderson, Kiefer Sutherland, Aaron Eckhart, Dakota Fanning, Regina Taylor, Lily Rabe and Jayme Lawson
Air date: April 17
The First Lady explores the personal and political lives of three iconic women who have all lived in the White House, tracing their journeys to Washington, examining their pasts and witnessing the impact they had on some of history’s most impactful and world-changing decisions. Season one weaves together storylines featuring Michelle Obama (Davis), Betty Ford (Pfeiffer) and Eleanor Roosevelt (Anderson).
Original broadcaster: Sky
Starring: Clara Rugaard, Solly McLeod, Nenda Neururer, Matthew McNulty, Emily Taaffe, Alex Lanipekun, Robyn Cara and Cameron Howitt
Air date: April 22
Based on Belgian supernatural thriller Beau Séjour, this eight-part drama introduces Neve Kelly (Rugaard), who is dead. When she discovers she was murdered, she sets out to catch the killer, taking advantage of her new supernatural abilities to go where the living can’t and investigate her own death. In doing so, however, she is forced to re-examine everything about her life and the people she cared about.
Original broadcaster: HBO (US), Sky (UK)
Starring: Michelle De Swarte and Amira Ghazalla
Air date: April 24 (HBO)
Described as a darkly funny, raw examination of motherhood from the perspective of a woman who doesn’t want to be a mother, The Baby stars De Swarte as 38-year-old Natasha, who is furious that her friends are all having babies. When she is unexpected landed with a baby of her own, her life dramatically implodes as the baby – controlling, manipulative but incredibly cute – twists Natasha’s life into a surreal horror show.
We Own This City
Original broadcaster: HBO
Starring: Jon Bernthal, Wunmi Mosaku, Jamie Hector, McKinley Belcher III, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Josh Charles, Dagmara Domińczyk, Rob Brown, Don Harvey, David Corenswet, Larry Mitchell, Ian Duff, Delaney Williams, and Lucas Van Engen
Air date: April 25
The Wire creator David Simon returns to the streets of Baltimore for this crime drama, co-created with frequent collaborator George Pelecanos (The Wire, Treme, The Deuce). Based on the book by Justin Fenton, We Own This City chronicles the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force and the corruption and moral collapse that befell an American city in which the policies of drug prohibition and mass arrest were championed at the expense of actual police work.
Bang Bang Baby
Original broadcaster: Prime Video
Starring: Arianna Becheroni, Adriano Giannini, Antonio Gerardi, Dora Romano, Lucia Mascino and Giuseppe De Domenico
Air date: April 28
The first Italian original series from Amazon’s Prime Video, Bang Bang Baby is set in 1980s Milan and centres on 16-year-old Alice, who discovers the father she thought had been murdered years earlier is actually alive. She then sets off to find him but descends into a world of crime after falling in with the Barones crime clan, led by her ruthless grandmother.
Under the Banner of Heaven
Original broadcaster: FX on Hulu
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Sam Worthington, Denise Gough, Wyatt Russell, Billy Howle, Gil Birmingham, Adelaide Clemens, Rory Culkin, Seth Numrich, Chloe Pirrie and Sandra Seacat
Air date: April 28
Additional broadcasters: Disney+
Written by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black and inspired by the true crime book of the same name, this seven-part series follows the events that led to the 1984 murder of Brenda Wright Lafferty (Edgar-Jones) and her baby daughter in a suburb in Salt Lake Valley, Utah. As Detective Jeb Pyre (Garfield) investigates incidents involving the Lafferty family, he uncovers secrets about the origins of the LDS religion and the violent consequences of unyielding faith, leading Pyre, a Mormon, to question his own faith.