NOW TV may be uncharted territory for some, but Sky’s on-demand service undoubtedly holds the streaming goods. Wary of branching out from Netflix and Amazon Prime? Don’t fear: consider Empire your guide to the best TV shows, films and documentaries on offer each month, and swiftly pop the below dates into your streaming diaries.
The best TV shows on NOW TV
Westworld – 4 October
No one was clamouring for a Westworld remake, though the idea of a show that expanded on Michael Crichton’s world was an intriguing one at the very least. But it was the one-two punch of HBO and the announced cast that sealed the deal. Ben Barnes, Luke Hemsworth, Clifton Collins Jr., Rodrigo Santoro, Jimmi Simpson, Tessa Thompson, (deep breath) Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris as the Gunslinger? Colour us very, very excited.
Yonderland Series 3 – 9 October
If you’re new to Yonderland, there are three easy ways to sell it to you. One: it’s from that lovable bunch behind Horrible Histories. Two: it features a variety of puppets created by Jim Henson collaborators, Baker Coogan. Three: Series 3 sees Stephen Fry play a character named Cuddly Dick. Sold? Good. Splitting its time between Debbie’s (Martha Howe-Douglas) suburban house setting and the titular Yonderland, the show blends innuendo, pop culture references and fantasy with ease. (So yes, this is one you can get away with watching in front of the kids.)
Divorce – 11 October
Hot off her incredibly deserved Emmy-nominated success for Catastrophe, Sharon Horgan’s next project lands on NOW TV this month. But, unlike Catastrophe, this isn’t one she’ll be starring in. Instead, Divorce will focus on Sarah Jessica Parker’s Frances, a woman going through a drawn-out – you guessed it – divorce from husband, Robert (Thomas Haden Church). With Molly Shannon and writers from The Larry Sanders Show and Eastbound & Down onboard, this looks like another strong offering from HBO. Oh, and Jemaine Clement pops up. Which is never a bad thing.
The Young Pope – 27 October
Jude Law’s chances of attending a papal conclave are pretty slim. But Jude Law the actor’s chances? A little rosier. Playing Lenny Belardo, the 10 episode arc will see Law newly elected and struggling with the pressures of his (very fictional) papacy. Director Paolo Sorrentino has assembled an impressive cast for HBO’s religious miniseries, with Diane Keaton, James Cromwell and Ludivine Sagnier amongst the ensemble. Will the first American Pope stick with tradition? Find out on 27 October.
The best movies on NOW TV
Black Mass – 7 October
Johnny Depp swapped funny faces for a pot of ageing make-up in Scott Cooper’s crime thriller. Taking on the role of Whitey Bulger, Depp plays brother to Benedict Cumberbatch’s state-senator-with-a-very-catchy-name, Billy Bulger. Whitey is the toughest man in South Boston, so when a new Mafia family rock up, he turns FBI informant to bring them down. Smart move? You’ll have to watch to find out. But what we will say is that Depp hasn’t been better in years.
The Danish Girl – 21 October
Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander are the pair at the centre of Tom Hooper’s emotional biopic, playing transgender surgery pioneers Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Opening in 1920s Copenhagen, Hooper’s film tracks the artistic duo as they attempt to navigate the unchartered waters of gender reassignment – all while trying to keep their marriage intact. Though Redmayne takes the lead, it’s Alicia Vikander’s stoic, Oscar-winning performance that gives the film its beating heart.
Goosebumps – 29 October
Who knew that Jack Black and a Ventriloquist Dummy would make such a great comedy duo? Rob Letterman’s reimagining of R.L. Stine’s bestselling books (watch out for a cameo from the man himself) was a somewhat unexpected dose of spooky fun. Not too scary for the kids and reminiscent of ‘80s family adventures such as The Goonies, we’re already gunning for the sequel – mainly because we want to see more from Fifi the vampire poodle.