5 on the fly: unmissable TV

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by Sarah Halfpenny

The Chair (Netflix)

A highly entertaining, intelligent and well-scripted comedy-drama set on a US university campus, with a back story of family life and relationships. Starring the impeccable Sandra Oh as Professor Ji-Yoon Kim, who is appointed the first female chair of the English department at Pembroke University.

Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

Winner of 7 Emmy Awards in 2021, including Outstanding Comedy Series, this is a heart-warming and hilarious comedy-drama. The storyline centres around an American football coach hired to manage a British soccer team but focuses on the off-field lives of its characters. Chock-full of optimism, it’s one of the best things to hit our screens in years.

Mare of Easttown (Binge)

Kate Winslet won the 2021 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress for her role as Detective Mare Sheehan, who investigates a brutal murder in her small Pennsylvania town while trying to keep her life from falling apart. This ‘whodunnit’ will keep you wondering until the very end. (Bonus: rising star Australian actress Angourie Rice shines as Kate Winslet’s daughter).

Escape to the Farm (9Now)

A documentary series following life at English television presenter Kate Humble’s farm in Monmouthshire (Wales), where for the last 10 years she’s been growing produce, breeding livestock and cooking dishes that showcase local artisans. Educational and entertaining in equal measure.

The Newsreader (ABC iView)

Step back into the 1980s, to the cutthroat world of Australian commercial television news, where ambitious reporter Dale (Sam Reid) and newsreader Helen (Anna Torv) are thrown together with bullying newsroom boss, Lindsay (William McInnes). This compelling, beautifully written drama is full of humour, retro delights and first-rate acting.

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