Alias Grace on Netflix
Alias Grace on Netflix

ARTS & CULTURE

What to watch this weekend

Another Margaret Atwood adaption, Louis Theroux on scientology and Jeremy Corbyn on the Gogglebox sofa

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By Emily Baker on

A lot of The Pool members are very excited about this week's biggest release: Netflix's adaption of the Margaret Atwood novel, Alias Grace. If you have no idea what I'm on about, it's about the historical murders of a rich farmer and his housekeeper, for which his servant, Grace Marks, was convicted to life imprisonment. The story is told through a doctor, Simon Jordan, who is investigating criminal behaviour and struggles to connect the murder with Grace's meek personality. Netflix is obviously hoping to emulate the wild success of Hulu's Atwood adaption of The Handmaid's Tale, but as it's a lesser-known story, only time will tell as to whether it will live up to expectations. 

Over in cinema-land, the blockbuster release is another literary classic, this time from Agatha Christie. Murder On The Orient Express has one of the most impressive ensemble casts we've seen in years, not least starting with Dame Judi Dench as Princess Dragomiroff and Kenneth Branagh as Poirot. Unfortunately, early reviews haven't exactly been glowing, but it's well worth a Sunday-afternoon family cinema trip.

Friday

Television is rather light on the ground this weekend, although there is one particularly exciting inclusion: Celebrity Gogglebox. In aid of Stand Up To Cancer, the likes of Jeremy Corbyn, Liam Gallagher, Ed Sheeran and Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne will spend a night commenting on the telly. Liam is likely to be the highlight of the evening, as he's not exactly known for keeping his opinions to himself.  

Saturday

Again, Saturday-night telly is a wasteland but for X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing. Although, if you're lucky enough to have Sky One, there's a new comedy drama to get stuck into. Living The Dream follows a typical Yorkshire family, headed up by Philip Glenister and Lesley Sharp, as they move to Florida with disastrous consequences. The heat, resident alligators and new American neighbours all seem to be a problem, taking the idea of "idiot abroad" to a whole new level. 

Sunday

You'll have to wait until Sunday for telly with a bit of substance, but when it comes, it does so by the bucketful. A one-off drama by Channel 4 (9pm), Unspeakable is a tense and fraughtful watch, as we see Indira Varma play working-mother Jo. One day, after the school run, she gets an anonymous text claiming to have evidence that her 11-year-old daughter is having a "relationship" with her new boyfriend. Of course, this is child abuse, not a relationship, and Jo's mind doesn't deal with the potential crime very well, as paranoia and anxiety begin to take hold.

The network premiere of Louis Theroux's My Scientology Movie is also on Channel 4 tonight, as the documentary maker tries to infiltrate the so-called cult. As he attempts to make a film about Scientologists, he finds they are also trying to make a similar film about him, which eventually becomes the crux of this strange and bewitching documentary. As ever, Theroux is spectacularly inquisitive and, in this particular instance, very brave.

@emilyrbakes

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