Welcome to Chippendales
Limited series – Disney+
Every dream has a dark side...
Created by Robert Siegel, Welcome to Chippendales is a biographical drama miniseries that tells the tale of the infamous male strip club's founding and the shocking events that followed its rise to fame.
Inspired by the book Deadly Dance: The Chippendales Murders by K. Scot Macdonald and Patrick MontesDeOca, the series stars Kumail Nanjiani as Somen 'Steve' Banerjee, the founder of Chippendales, and Murray Bartlett as ambitious choreographer Nick De Noia.
Steve Banerjee, an Indian immigrant seeking to live the American Dream, piles his hard-earned savings into the entertainment industry.
While his vision of an LA backgammon club fails to generate the heat he hoped for, his joint is about to become the home of an act that will change the world.
Rebranding his establishment as a strip club for women, Banerjee is soon the proprietor of one of the most popular venues in town. And when award-winning choreographer Nick De Noia lends his services to the cause, the Chippendales show soon goes stratospheric.
But who is the true genius behind its success? With tensions between the two men turning to bitter rivalry, actions with life-changing consequences soon turn this American Dream into a bona fide nightmare.
With fantastic performances from Nanjiani and Bartlett, as well as stunning supporting work from Annaleigh Ashford and Juliette Lewis, this Disney+ treat is sure to keep fans of Pam & Tommy well-appeased.
The Witcher: Blood Origin
Limited series – Netflix
As far as literature goes, there's nothing like the fantasy genre for delivering rich world-depth, with writers since Tolkien having been inspired for nearly 70 years to bring us something close to Middle-earth's majesty.
When it comes to TV and film adaptations, fans want to see as much of the detail of these intricate worlds as possible, hungry for the back stories and supporting material that truly brings the story to life. Cue a decent prequel/spin-off – the appetite for such amongst fantasy fans will never disappear.
Created by Declan de Barra and Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, The Witcher: Blood Origin gave us exactly this for the acclaimed Henry Cavill TV series based on the books by Andrzej Sapkowski.
Set 1,200 years before the events of The Witcher, Blood Origin depicts the creation of the very first titular monster-hunting mutant, as well as the events leading to the 'Conjunction of the Spheres' – an integral plot point to the parent series that hardcore fans will be more than familiar with.
With shades of Tolkien's fabled Fellowship, Blood Origin also follows a mismatched mini-band of heroes on a quest against an all-powerful enemy – a tried and tested trope that you just can't go wrong with.
Having premiered on Netflix on Christmas Day, this four-part miniseries was a festive fantasy treat that went down perfectly with a mince pie or two. And with great turns from Sophia Brown, Laurence O'Fuarain, and lady-of-the-moment Michelle Yeoh, this one is definitely for life, not just for Christmas. Toss a coin to your witcher...
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Seasons 1-6 – BBC iPlayer
Now this is a story all about how...
Showcasing one of the most iconic sitcom theme tunes of all time and launching the acting career of one of the world’s biggest movie stars, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is a 90s classic of no mistaking.
Created by Andy and Susan Borowitz, the series starred a young Will Smith as a fictionalised version of himself – a street-smart teenager born in Philadelphia who is sent to move in with his wealthy relatives in their mansion in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, after getting into a fight back at home.
Will’s working class background ends up clashing in various humorous ways with the upper class world of his relatives, the Banks family – Will’s Uncle Phil (James Avery) and Aunt Vivian (Janet Hubert, later played by Daphne Maxwell Reid) and their children Hilary (Karyn Parsons), Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro), and Ashley (Tatyana M. Ali).
Street-wise Will is often at comical contrast with the typically pompous Carlton, and superb performances from both Smith and Ribeiro ensure hilarity throughout.
And with a fantastic turn from the late James Avery, a constantly funny yet often brilliantly hard-hitting father and son dynamic is created between Will and Uncle Phil, and was much of the glue that held this iconic series together. A brilliant sitcom which assured the rise of Will Smith, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is timelessly entertaining and perfect for a binge.
-Got any streaming recommendations for our readers? Tweet me @DMorris_Star