Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV+: 10 of the best new shows to watch in April

Including Andrew Scott in Ripley, Colin Farrell in Sugar and Michael Douglas in Franklin

Vanderpump Villa

Streaming from April 1st, Disney+

You already know and love Lisa Vanderpump, the blingtastic star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and a myriad other spin-off reality TV series based on her various ventures in the world of luxury hospitality. Now the English rose with the gilt edge is back with a new series, following her and the elite staff of her fabulous French villa as they cater for their well-heeled clientele. “It’s not a hotel – it’s a fantasy,” insists Lisa as she prepares her staff to deliver service with a lot more than a smile. But these high-end workers are also high maintenance, and it’s not long before the goings-on at the back of the house threaten to spill over into front of house.


Streaming from April 3rd, Apple TV+

So, you’ve divorced your billionaire tech husband, and walked away with such a large settlement, you’re listed as the world’s third-wealthiest woman. What would you do? Party hard or become a good Samaritan? Maya Rudolph returns as super-rich playgirl Molly Wells, who is gamely trying to keep her very public promise to give away her vast fortune and work tirelessly for charitable causes. In series one, she was a spender on a bender, but in series two, we find Molly on a wellness journey as she tries to wean herself off her excessive lifestyle. This means keeping new suitors at arm’s length and restricting her drinking to kale smoothies – with the odd shot of gin.


Streaming from April 4th, Netflix

Are you ready for another sojourn in Italy among the rich and idle of the 1960s? You’ve seen The Talented Mr Ripley, starring Matt Damon, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow and Cate Blanchett; now here’s the talented Mr Andrew Scott, who takes the role of chancer and con artist Tom Ripley in this series based on the best-selling novels by Patricia Highsmith. Ripley is hired by a rich dad to travel to Italy to persuade his layabout son to come home and stop his aul’ messing. But when he inveigles himself into Dickie’s decadent lifestyle, he gets a taste for La Dolce Vita, and as his web of deceit becomes more convoluted, his mind turns to murder. Johnny Flynn co-stars as errant son Dickie Greenleaf, with Dakota Fanning as Marge Sherwood.


Streaming from April 5th, Apple TV+

Colin Farrell is LA private investigator John Sugar in this new noir series, a modern twist on the hoary old hard-boiled detective story. Sugar is dapper, smooth, a real gent, but ruffle his feathers and you’ll quickly have your wings clipped. He’s got demons, all right, and you don’t want to see them unleashed. When Sugar is hired to solve the disappearance of a young woman, Olivia Siegel, he finds himself thrust into the glitzy world of Tinseltown. Olivia just happens to be the granddaughter of legendary Hollywood producer Jonathan Siegel, so the stakes are pretty high. Needless to say, the deeper Sugar digs into the underbelly of the movie biz, the more secrets he uncovers.


Girls State

Streaming from April 5th, Apple TV+

This is a crucial year for the US as the upcoming election looks like handing the presidency back to Donald Trump. No one seems to have a clear idea about how to prevent the US from sliding into autocracy and toxic nationalism, but here’s a novel idea straight outta left field: hand over the running of the country to a bunch of teenage girls. This documentary follows a unique political experiment, as bright young girls from across the state of Missouri take part in an immersive experiment to set up a government from scratch and make it work. It’s going to take a lot of grit and imagination, and it could all go pear-shaped, but it sure sounds better than the binary choice the American people now face.


Streaming from April 11th, Prime Video

Following the huge success of The Last of Us, it’s no surprise that TV producers are scrambling to create the next hit series based on a popular video game. Fallout is set in a post-apocalyptic world (where else?) where the rich live comfortably in luxury underground shelters, leaving the rest of us paupers to fend for ourselves in the toxic hellscape on the surface. But soon the vault-dwellers will have to venture overground, and they’re not prepared for the crazy and violent world up top – like going into Dublin city centre on a Friday night. Ella Purnell is Lucy, a young and idealistic vault-dweller setting off to rescue her dad; Aaron Moten is ambitious young soldier Maximus, who is determined to tame the badlands, and Walton Goggins is bounty hunter The Ghoul. You’ll spot him easily – he’s the scary one with a big hole where his nose used to be.


Streaming from April 12th, Apple TV+

Michael Douglas stars as Benjamin Franklin in this epic series based on a thrilling episode in the life of the scientist, inventor, writer, publisher and diplomat. Franklin had found fame and fortune for his electrical experiments and his pioneering publications, but as he turned 70, he was given the role of a lifetime as the first US ambassador to France, whose mission to Europe was crucial to securing American independence. The series is based on Stacy Schiff’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America, and tells the story of his eight-year mission to persuade the French monarchy to back America’s grand democracy project. Douglas certainly has the chops to bring the great man to life, and he has help from a fine supporting cast.

The Big Door Prize

Streaming from April 24th, Apple TV+

The magic-realism series returns for a second round of second chances, as the townspeople of Deerfield get to grips with the life-changing appearance of a mysterious machine that unlocks a whole world of power and potential (no, it’s not an Apple TV+ box). Chris O’Dowd once again leads an ensemble cast in this comedy based on the novel by MO Walsh, and in series two the town has been irrevocably changed by the mysterious Morpho machine, and everyone has been exploring their newly revealed potential – with mixed results. But now the Morpho has moved to the next phase of its unfathomable mission, and the people of Deerfield are about to get a whole new perspective on things.

Dead Boy Detectives

Streaming from April 25th, Netflix

Two entrepreneurial teenagers team up to form a detective agency and are determined to make their new business succeed, despite the fact that both of them happen to be dead. Edwin and Charles are ghosts, born decades apart but brought together by a passion for solving paranormal mysteries. They’re like ghostbusters, but working from the inside, and offering unique services to their clients, including banishing demons, battling evil witches and even taking on Death herself. The series is set in the Sandman universe, and based on the comic series by Neil Gaiman, so you can expect lots of mind-blowing, out-of-this-world concepts.

Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story

Streaming from Friday April 26th, Disney+

This four-part, if you will, rockumentary series tells the story of New Jersey’s second-biggest musical export (Brucie is still the Boss), and the first thing that comes to mind is, why didn’t they call it Livin’ on a Prayer or Wanted Dead or Alive? But it soon becomes apparent that this is no pumped-up, preening PR exercise, but a rare glimpse into the life of lead singer Jon Bon Jovi as he faces the biggest crisis of his career: the loss of his powerful rock voice. The series follows Bon Jovi’s journey as he deals with a vocal injury that may force him to close the curtain on a glittering rock career, and looks back on 40 years of thrills and spills as Bon Jovi went from local bar band to one of the world’s biggest rock behemoths.

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