Ms Marvel to Hacks: the seven best shows to stream this week | Television & radio

Pick of the week

Ms Marvel

Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel.
Power of dreams… Iman Vellani as Kamala Khan aka Ms Marvel. Photograph: PA Images / Alamy

In this charming new series, Kamala Khan (the excellent Iman Vellani) is a Marvel stan in love with Captain Marvel and the Avengers. What would be her dream? Acquiring superpowers of her own. But be careful what you wish for … Kamala finds her grandmother’s old bangles, which enable her to manipulate cosmic energy. Her problems are just beginning: she has to negotiate high school as a Muslim American and, of course, use her powers wisely. It’s as much a show about the pleasures and pitfalls of fantasy and fandom as it is about superheroes – and, as such, anyone who has ever sought refuge from reality in anything from a football team to a favorite pop star will relate. Phil Harrison
Disney +, from Wednesday 8 May


From left: Busy Philipps, Paula Pell, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Sara Bareilles in Girls5Eva.
From left: Busy Philipps, Paula Pell, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Sara Bareilles in Girls5Eva. Photograph: Peacock / Heidi Gutman

“We are four uncompromised vessels for genius,” says Wickie (Renée Elise Goldsberry). As Meredith Scardino’s comedy returns, the titular comeback-queen girl band are in album mode. Their second lease of life continues to bear fruit but middle age threatens to spoil the party. When Gloria (Paula Pell) injures herself attempting a knee drop, she launches an extensive raid on the medicine cabinet. Cue an unusually fiery podcast appearance in which she turns into Liam Gallagher (“We’re the best band in the world and whoever says otherwise is jealous and senile”). It overflows with zippy one-liners and comic chemistry.
Peacock / Now, from Monday 6 May

Backstage With Katherine Ryan

Dazzling… Katherine Ryan.
Dazzling… Katherine Ryan. Photograph: Ellis O’Brien / Amazon Prime Video

Equal parts standup showcase and insight into the fevered egos of the people behind it, Katherine Ryan’s new show lurches between the glamor of the full house and the claustrophobia of the cramped dressing room. Or at least, this dressing room is cramped, containing at various points Sara Pascoe, Judi Love, Jimmy Carr, Jo Brand, Nish Kumar and basically everyone in modern British comedy who is not Stewart Lee. Ryan proceeds to gently interrogate them all in her customarily friendly but snarky style.
Amazon Prime Video, from Thursday 9 May

Lovely Little Farm

Bought the Zoo… Lovely Little Farm.
Bought the Zoo… Lovely Little Farm. Photograph: Apple TV +

Nature is shorn of any semblance of grit and presented as a twee Instagram tableau in this new kids’ series. From the makers of Topsy and Tim and Teletubbies, Lovely Little Farm is precisely that – a sepia-tinged homestead in which a family lives, surrounded by anthropomorphic CGI animals. Jill and Jacky are the children at the heart of the action, looking after lambs and chickens as Mum and Dad prepare for a new human arrival. It’s so cutesy it becomes almost sinister. Let the nightmares about talking goats commence…
Apple TV +, from Friday 10 May

First Kill

From left: Imani Lewis as Calliope and Aubin Wise as Talia Burns in First Kill.
From left: Imani Lewis as Calliope and Aubin Wise as Talia Burns in First Kill. Photograph: Brian Douglas / Netflix

At any given time there’s always a window for at least one steamy, vampire-themed TV melodrama. This one trades in multiple archetypes: a forbidden relationship that is biracial and same-sex, but also between a teenage vampire Juliette (Sarah Catherine Hook) and the daughter of a vampire hunter Calliope (Imani Lewis). Juliette – whose parents are steering her towards her first kill, much as we might coax children towards GCSEs – has fallen for the girl they’d earmarked as a likely victim. Basically, Romeo and Juliet with added fangs.
Netflix, from Friday 10 May


From left: Jean Smart and Hannah Eindbinder in Hacks.
From left: Jean Smart and Hannah Eindbinder in Hacks. Photograph: HBO Max

Season one of this brash, warm comedy – in which jaded Vegas comic Deborah Vance is forced to work with young writer Ava Daniels – was a sleeper hit thanks to the witty writing and obvious chemistry between leads Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder. This time, god help them, they have to go on the road. Hilarious culture clashes ensue, over everything from the meaning of comedy to the correct storage of kombucha. And, at the heart of it all, one of the funniest and most convincing odd-couple friendships in recent TV history.
Amazon Prime Video, from Friday 10 May

For All Mankind

Mission to Mars… For All Mankind.
Mission to Mars… For All Mankind. Photograph: Apple TV +

“Some say private citizens have no business in space exploration. I emphatically disagree. ” Two decades on from the moon landings, this counterfactual space-race drama has reached the era of entrepreneurialism. As series three begins, Edi Gathegi joins the cast as Dev Ayesa – a sort of prototype Elon Musk with his sights set very high indeed. And so, a three-way race to Mars begins. Ronald D Moore’s (Battlestar Galactica, Helix) show was among Apple’s first slate of dramas – even if it’s been slightly eclipsed by their output since then, it’s still solid enough fare.
Apple TV +, from Friday 10 May

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