As if television itself is trying to quietly jet off for its summer holidays, June’s roster of shows encompass a real smorgasbord of far-flung, exotic destinations – such as Sheffield. Perhaps you, too, will find somewhere that looks like the holiday of a lifetime, although I must add the caveat up front, for one of them, they’re only pretending they’re on Mars. Here are the biggest new TV shows of June 2023.
New TV In June 2023
1. Deadloch | June 2nd, 2023
For those of a certain age, Tasmania is and will always an island populated primarily by aggressive, hyperactive, raspberry-blowing cartoon creatures. But, doing my research for this, I found out something shocking – there are people there, they live in houses and wear clothes and everything. This opens the door for everything from slice-of-life coffeeshop tales to murder mysteries.
Deadloch, as the title suggests, is the second one, one of those chalk-and-cheddar affairs where the tough local cop has to rub along with the tough out-of-town cop. But thankfully it’s not taking this cliched setup too seriously, approaching it all with a gently parochial humour, that’s also dark-edged enough to make light of a string of murders.
The issue with any sort of jokey antipodean police procedural is that it’ll have to live and breathe in the long shadow of the excellent What We Do In The Shadows spinoff Wellington Paranormal. But there again, if it takes that as a guidepoint, it can’t go very far wrong, and God knows the Aussies won’t want to let the Kiwis outshine them.
2. Stars On Mars | June 5th, 2023
The circlejerk of a gameshow that exclusively stars celebrities would usually be anathema to me, the kind of thing I’d use as an example of something obviously shoddy. But the profoundly silly setup of this one has tickled me – the celebs are competing to survive in a simulated Mars habitat, and it’s hosted by William Shatner, a man I don’t think anyone actually calls ‘the Shat’.
The contestants aren’t all unfunny comedians or no-name actors, either – they’ve got people like Lance Armstrong and Ronda Rousey, serious professional athletes who are a lot closer to the kind of demigods you’d expect to see being sent on a Mars mission. For my money, this will only make it funnier when they end up squabbling and falling over each other.
And as for Shatner – he was, sadly, never actually a commanding officer with Starfleet, that was a work of fiction. But, if he wanted to selectively forget that for the purposes of the programme, I certainly wouldn’t complain.
3. Based On A True Story | June 8th, 2023
The fact that Based On A True Story, a satire of the modern obsession with the crime genre, is actually based on a true story is edging towards the kind of recursiveness that might actually be fatal, or drive you mad if you think about it too much. However, it’s coming from one of the producers of vulgar superhero pastiche The Boys, so the minds behind the camera should at least understand how to mock a media phenomenon.
The synopsis says it involves a realtor, a tennis star, and a plumber, and stars Kaley Cuoco, Chris Messina, and Tom Bateman – in that order. Cuoco and Messina have a scheme to take advantage of the true crime fandom, somehow this ends up with an actual murder involved, which means either things go horribly wrong, or even more horribly right.
4. The Full Monty | June 14th, 2023
Of all the films about the slumped North of England to have a TV remake over twenty years later, The Full Monty perhaps isn’t the most unexpected – Ewan MacGregor is far too box office for another go at Brassed Off, for instance – but this is rather like being a relatively short basketball player, it’s still on the higher end of the spectrum from the get-go.
This TV version of The Full Monty has tempted back all the main lads from the original – Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, Tom Wilkinson, Lesley Sharp, Hugo Speer, Paul Barber, Steve Huison, and William Snape, catching up with them the appropriate two decades later to see what they’ve been up to in the intervening years. Of course, with the youngest of these boys now in their mid-fifties, if they’re still in the striptease game it may be a fairly niche act.
It has, however, got the original screenwriter involved too. This is probably the best go it’s possible to have at recapturing the heart of the original – better, certainly, than the perennial risk of one of the big Hollywood studios getting their hands on it and thinking ‘hmm, Sheffield, steel mills closing – that’s sort of like Santa Monica and the surfing scene, isn’t it?’
5. Hijack | June 28th, 2023
Hijack is about, well, a hijack. Terrorists take over an aeroplane, and the hostage negotiators are stuck on the ground – but hold on, there’s a big-brain business guru among the passengers, and he fancies seeing if his hustle-and-grind corporate tactics can cut it when the stakes are real. Though I fear they’re taking this seriously, rather than embracing the inherent farce of the situation.
This is the kind of show that needs a fair whack of suspension of disbelief from you the audience. Not regarding the random bloke being on a hijacked flight and negotiating with terrorists, that happens every day, but that the terrorists wouldn’t instantly go “Oh no! Idris Elba’s on the case!” and just fall over, or agree to stand down in exchange for an autograph and a photo.
Hijack is also one of those works of fiction that plays out in real time. When 24 did this, it quickly became noticeable how nobody slept or went to the toilet, but that of course was over 24 hours – Hijack’s seven should hopefully be a bit more easily digestible.
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