Best new TV this weekend including John Boyega’s Red, White and Blue on the BBC

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From a powerful drama about racism in the police force to a reimagining of a Christmas classic, here’s everything we recommend watching this weekend.       

With the second lockdown in full force we’re relying on our televisions to do a lot of the heavy lifting in keeping us entertained. 

And this week there’s plenty to distract us. As well as another nostalgic return to the 90s on Netflix, there’s a deeply personal exploration of the effects of racism and a retelling of everyone’s favourite Christmas ballet. 

And so, without any further ado, here is everything we recommend watching this week.

Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker
Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker

Since 2009, the legendary Debbie Allen Dance Academy has performed The Hot Chocolate Nutcracker, a modern retelling of the beloved ballet. And this documentary, by Shonda Rhimes’ production company Shondaland, tells the story of the student dancers hustling to get ready for the show as well as showcasing the life of Debbie Allen herself. 

The Emmy award-winning actor and choreographer has worked on Fame, West Side Story and Sweet Charity as well as directing Dolly Parton’s new festive film, Christmas On The Square.

Friday 27 November on Netflix 

Heartbreak High 

One word: Drazic. And if that name doesn’t mean anything to you, I’d suggest you stop reading now. In their ongoing efforts to fill us with 90s nostalgia, with a roster that includes Moesha, Sister Sister, and Dawson’s Creek, you can now indulge in seven series of cult Australian TV show Heartbreak High, starring Callan Mulvey as rebellious heartthrob Drazic. 

Set in the fictional Hartley High School in Sydney, the show tackled drugs, homelessness, teen pregnancy and racism between 1994 and 1999. The return of Blossom next please guys…

Friday 27 November on Netflix 

A Star is Born on Amazon Prime
A Star is Born on Amazon Prime

A Star is Born

Chances are this won’t be your first viewing of A Star Is Born, but the heartbreaking film starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper stands up to (much) repeat watching. 

It centres on Ally, a struggling artist, who becomes a megastar after being discovered by an also struggling – but with addiction – and seasoned musician Jackson. With a soundtrack to roar along to, turn it up loud and let the emotion of 2020 pour out of you. 

Friday November 27, Amazon Prime 

Small Axe on BBC One
Small Axe on BBC One

Small Axe – Red, White and Blue

John Boyega stars in the third installment of Steve McQueen’s seminal Small Axe series. The retelling of the true story sees him play Leroy Logan, who revisits his childhood dreams of joining the police force after seeing his father assaulted by two policemen. But once Leroy has been made a constable, he has to deal with not only institutional racism from within but the disapproval of his dad too.

Sunday 29 November, 9pm, BBC ONE 

Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me on BBC ONE
Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me on BBC ONE

Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me

In 2011 footballer Anton Ferdinand was racially abused by former England captain John Terry. In this documentary, 18 months in the making, Ferdinand speaks about that moment for the first time, the fallout from it - for both him and his family - and how it affected his mental health. 

He also explores the prevalence of racial abuse that permeates through football and what needs to be done to create lasting change.

Monday, 30 November, 9pm, BBC ONE 

Surviving Covid 

Wednesday 2 December is the day the second lockdown ends in England, but with cases of coronavirus still high this is a timely reminder about its effects. 

The documentary centres on four patients in ICU in a south London hospital with the virus, and follows their stories over the following six months. Expect some sobering viewing.

Wednesday 2 December, 9pm, Channel 4

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Recommended by Helen Bownass