Grey's Anatomy
Grey's Anatomy

TV

What to watch this weekend

Grey's Anatomy, a new drama from the creator of Mad Men and a John Le Carré adaption

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By Robyn Wilder on

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Grey’s Anatomy on Sky Witness

Full disclosure: for most of my life, my heart has belonged to a different TV hospital (I won’t say which one, but George Clooney used to work there), so I wasn’t a Grey’s Anatomist until I had a baby. “Here’s some low-effort TV,” I thought. “I’ll just put this on in the background, while I crawl around after my baby, because I won’t get mentally involved at all.” Such hubris. The “baby” is now three years old; I am several seasons deep into my Grey’s Anatomy binge, and fully invested.

Set in a fictional Seattle hospital, Grey’s Anatomy – from Shonda Rhimes, the brainbox behind the hit series Scandal – follows the professional and personal lives of Drs Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Yang (Sandra Oh), Stevens (Katherine Heigl), McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) and others, as they navigate the multiple messy intersections of medicine and life. They seek comfort from one another, and, at times, more than just friendship... It’s hard to sum up 13 years’ worth of drama without spoilers, but the show handles tough, timely topics – such as healthcare for immigrants, sexism in the workplace, gender identity, domestic abuse and police brutality – and mixes them seamlessly with dramatic elements like secret siblings, a musical episode and something that could be interpreted as “hot sex with a ghost patient”.

The long-awaited premiere of season 15 hit our screens this week, but before catching up with that, why not do as I did and binge-watch all 14 seasons on Sky Witness via Now TV? Bonus: if you have a baby, by the time you’re done, they might, like my son, be able to reel off terms like “subdural haematoma” and “vitals are normal”, plus (thanks to an episode as pivotal as the Red Wedding was to Game Of Thrones), the entire lyrics to Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol.

Friday 

The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina on Netflix

Hey, remember Sabrina The Teenage Witch, the beloved sitcom of our youth, starring Melissa Joan Hart and a wisecracking animatronic cat? Yeah, well, this is nothing like that. Based on the comic book, this Netflix original series takes its thematic cues from occult horror classics The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby. Kitsch, it ain’t. Kiernan Shipka (Sally Draper from Mad Men; Kimmy’s sister Kymmi from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) stars as Sabrina – half-human, half-witch – who has to choose between the mortal world and the supernatural one, all while battling the dark forces and dealing with the serious business that is turning 16. Originally developed as a companion to Riverdale (it’s set in the same town), stylistically, TCAS is very dark – Shipka cuts a Red Riding Hood-style figure among the darkness of the trees and pentagrams, velvet and shots of blood-stained broderie anglaise abound. A sassy, spooky must-watch on the run-up to Halloween.

Saturday

The Romanoffs on Amazon Prime

Matthew Weiner’s second show (his first was a little-known entity called Mad Men) is  high concept, right from the get-go. The title alone recreates the Bolsheviks’ murder of Tsar Nicholas II and his family – the original Romanovs – in 1918. Each episode is a standalone drama that concerns one of the Romanov descendants (or, at least, people who believe they’re descended from Tsar Nicholas II), and explores themes of identity, ruin and change. Episode one, The Violet Hour, focuses on the evolving relationship between an elderly racist French woman (a delightfully acidic Marthe Keller) and her patient Muslim care assistant (the vivacious, but possibly slightly underwritten, Inès Melab). The second is about a married couple whose relationship is crumbling, and how each party betrays the other. Mad Men alumni Christina Hendricks and John Slattery both star, further down the line, and the whole thing looks very sumptuous and “prestige”.

Sunday

The Little Drummer Girl on BBC1

If, on a Sunday evening, you’re not curled up in thick socks watching a glossy John le Carré thriller on BBC1, is it even autumn? The team behind The Night Manager, also a le Carré adaptation, are back with another tale of espionage. This one stars Florence Pugh (Lady Macbeth; Outlaw King) and Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies; True Blood), and is set in 1979 – brown nylon, shaggy moustaches, the lot. Pugh plays a young actor on holiday in Greece. Skarsgård is the Israeli spy who lures Pugh into his sticky web of sex, lies and international travel, and soon Pugh has been recruited to infiltrate a bomb-making cell in Palestine. Personally, I have never been to Greece, but I’m assuming this is what will happen to me if I ever choose to visit, Skarsgård and all. But, for now, with my thick socks and my fingers wrapped around a steaming mug of hot chocolate, I’ll just enjoy the ride.

@orbyn

Sky Witness is home to the biggest and latest U.S. drama. It’s where you’ll find all of your favourite dramas plus loads of brand-new hit U.S. series. Feel the pressure of the emergency room, hear a confession in the courtroom and find the truth at the murder scene. Find out more here.

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