7 TV Shows You Might Have Missed in April 2022

Looking for some television to catch up on? Sarah Kennedy rounds up the best TV shows you might have missed from April 2022.

roar apple tv april 2022

Looking for some television to catch up on? Sarah Kennedy rounds up the best TV shows you might have missed from April 2022.

Haven’t got a Netflix subscription anymore? You’re not alone. I’m sure a friend will lend you their password, but don’t delay. Who knows when that money-saving scheme will be scuppered? And it feels like Martin Lewis might be a bit busy to fight that battle for you. Which of the streamers and which of the good-old terrestrial channels are worth your time and/or cash this past month? 

Heartstopper (Netflix)

heartstopper april 2022

Do you ever get that weird self-sabotaging resistance to a cultural offering that’s been praised across the board? I’m sceptical. Heartstopper can’t be that good. How can a thoroughly wholesome story entertain us jaded types? With no sex, no drugs and no swearing, Alice Oseman has kept the TV adaptation of her popular YA graphic novels pure. Euphoria already exists, so why not write the opposite?

Charlie (Joe Locke) and Nick (Kit Connor) develop an unlikely friendship at their all-boys school. Nick is the geeky skinny kid and Charlie is the freckled floppy-haired rugby player. Nick is gay and out; outed last term against his wishes but is trying to make the best of it with the support of his friends. I found it refreshing that this isn’t a coming-out story, at least at the start. Nick being gay is perfectly normal. Charlie and Nick’s friendship is cemented when Charlie protects his new friend from a violent situation with an unpleasant ex. The plot expands out to covering trans and lesbian characters too quite naturally.

The visual style is realistic with little hints of animation. Occasionally coloured leaves dance across the screen, or excitement is shown as fizzy little stars. There are fantasy moments where the lighting softens and changes colour which I adored. As for the cast’s interactions, while the chemistry is there, I hate to sound my age but there’s too much time spent looking at phone screens. A thousand typed out, deleted and retyped messages per day when they can’t find the words for their feelings. This might be realistic but repeated many times per episode doesn’t make for good TV.  

The messages here resonate broadly; the intricacies of working out what’s a relationship and what’s a friendship, the resistance you push up against as you work out your own identity, and who you’re willing to be your authentic self with. Is this a revolutionary new concept in teen storytelling or a fairy tale where love always wins? Maybe it’s both. And maybe gay teens suffering in this brutal world we’ve built for them deserve a warm and sympathetic fantasy. 

Julia (Now, Sky)

julia tv show april 2022

Julia and Paul Child are a successful couple, having lived a life of privileged globetrotting thanks to his career. They’re near retirement age; rich, white and seemingly uptight. That last one couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re sensual fans of art, culture and especially food. I expect to see them swinging from chandeliers covered in chocolate mousse in later episodes. 

Julia is the writer of a very successful cookbook and has devoted her life to French food. She ends up doing promo on a stuffy literature TV show. The host is dismissive and snobby, pronouncing cookbook as two separate words like he can’t imagine they could ever fit together. With bags of enthusiasm and no sense of shame she blindsides him by making an omelette live on air and the idea for the first ever TV cookery show is born. 

Sarah Lancashire embodies this big, tall, slightly ridiculous, and faintly embarrassing woman. How dare she be an average-looking older woman on TV? Her response is to take up space in the most fabulous way. Diving right in, partly to suppress her complicated feelings about the menopause, her mantra is “Nothing to do but to do it”. David Hyde Pierce is wonderful as her loving husband Paul, not a put-upon push-over but a true partner in her schemes. And it’s lovely to see him back on screen with Bebe Neuwirth, who played his sister-in-law in Frasier.

Julia takes place on the same streets as Mad Men and The Marvellous Mrs Maisel. Early 60s America is a rich pallet of big bold colours and styles that look gorgeous. And, like Midge, Julia is a talented upper-class woman who doesn’t fit the restrictive mould of the time. She finds an ally in young black producer Alice, who has the foresight to champion her. They use their skills and tenacity to charm the male producers, as well as Julia’s divine pâté. The resistance from Public Broadcasting Service is so strange to modern eyes, but the education of women did not constitute worthy TV even though Julia’s infectious joy and have-a-go attitude was to alleviate many American family’s culinary misery.

It’s clear to us Julia is going to be a huge success and inspire a whole industry for decades, but it certainly doesn’t feel like it in the first episode. This show oozes charm but also serves up a slice of American history, a Marks and Sparks advert with the most luscious food close-ups. Watch this one with a glass of wine and a box of posh chocs.

Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? (Britbox)



why didnt they ask tv missed april 2022

Fancy some Agatha Christie? Of course you do. Evans is an expensive looking show, set between a Welsh rural idyll and fancy Home Counties mansions with a heck of a cast wearing some lovely hats. So far, so average, but Hugh Laurie as writer/director is more than enough to intrigue me. And, at just 3 hours, it’s not much longer than a recent disappointing big screen outing for Poirot.

Will Poulter is sweetly engaging as Bobby Jones, the vicar’s son, having a ball pottering around the golf course with the inimitable Conleth Hill. While out on the links they find a dying man at the bottom of a cliff, who issues his cryptic question with his last breath. Poulter then becomes one half of the classic pairing of ‘normal bloke and posh totty’ detectives. Lucy Boynton plays the brave and slightly foolhardy heroine looking for her own slice of adventure. There’s a nice bit of sizzle between them; an old friendship that might become something more if they can get over their internalised class prejudice. Bobby’s not keen on this new mission, but Lady Frankie seduces him into the investigation, “We don’t have to know. We can sleuth and deduce and hypothesise”.

Bobby spends a lot of time alternatively looking puzzled and plagued by nightmares. Sinister figures haunt the village and strangers are keeping a close eye on the inquest. There’s some talk of a rich man and a will changed just days before death. And soon someone’s trying to off Bobby with extreme prejudice. My money is on the looming man in the black bowler hat, who looks like one half of the Thompson Twins from Tintin. But who is he working for? 

I like how this village is far more multicultural than mid-century Wales is given credit for. Rich families and military families would have made friends and employed staff from far and wide, from right across the Empire. Historically, it makes sense.

There’s a darkness here that TV adaptations often forget about Christie, not just with the introduction of the sinister sanatorium and the threat of electroshock therapy, but that certainly helps. Really, what did we expect from a book named after a man’s dying words? Over the years this genre has been labelled ‘cosy crime’, but the character motivations are far from cosy, and there’s no big-name hero detective to swoop in and save the day. There’s been mixed reviews on this one, but I found it stylish, witty and satisfying. It’s absolutely worth the BritBox subscription, or better still, a free trial for new customers. What? I don’t have heiress money.

Great British History Hunters (Channel 4)

great british history hunters missed april 2022

Here’s the real-deal dopamine hit that inspired BBC4s incredible Detectorists by Mackenzie Crook on Channel 4, the once and former home to Time Team, and a precious treasure in itself, despite what the current government might think. Show me delight. Show me enthusiasm. Show me positive masculinity and men having the time of their lives. Quotes include “The only time I’ve been this excited is cutting my children’s umbilical cords” and “It makes you feel like a gambler!”

To keep this ardour in check, London’s British Museum have what they call the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Their Finds Liaison Officers hold surgeries out in bucolic countryside and/or on the edge of new housing estates, looking at whatever treasures these detectorists have dug up. This is an occasionally high-stakes game of finders’ keepers, as long as it’s not a horde which belongs to the crown. It’s clear though that money is nice, but people are doing this for their love of history; renown amongst their peers and the experts is the ultimate prize.

Renown enjoyed by men such as Bob who discovered the magnificent Bronze Age Shropshire Sun Pendant. Bob is described perfectly as a “jammy sod”. It’s a male dominated hobby, as you might expect, but the next generation is always encouraged. It feels like young Tia is a fellow Horrible Histories fan when she says “I liked the axe head, the gruesome bit”. This show hops around the country trying to tell as many stories as possible in one episode. These are charming tales of luck and perseverance, unearthing treasure that connects us to our ancient ancestors, putting history within touching distance.

Shining Girls (Apple TV)

why didnt they ask tv missed april 2022

Nine years ago I read an incredible book. All I can remember about it is twin feelings of excitement and dread. This is by no means a criticism of the book but rather my memory. Not connecting the two, the title of this new drama made me think it was some glossy romcom. Reader, it is not.

Elisabeth Moss stars in a revenge filled detective sci-fi time-travel drama set in 1990s Chicago. If that sounds a lot, don’t worry. It’s mysterious but not a mess, better grounded and with a sense of direction often lacking in stories that deal with time travel. Her character Kirby keeps a diary to try to pin down the weird time shifts she’s plagued by ever since she was a victim of a brutal attack. Her cat becoming her dog and her desk suddenly being on the other side of the office are unsettling moments of her reality. She explains to her mother “Everything is like always, then it’s not”. She can’t rely on her own memory or her surroundings, slipping slightly from one reality to the next. These unwelcome changes are naturalistic and work extremely well visually. There’s a lovely motif of refracted light at odd angles through windows, the potential of many possibilities escaping from one ordinary mundane object.

We don’t learn much about the murderous drifter Harper Curtis (played by Jamie Bell) in the first episode, but I remember his Terminator single-mindedness in tracking down victims. With his sinister precognition, of course he’s always right. He’s seen all these moments happen before. “I don’t want the horse” says the little girl on her front steps in the 1960s, refusing to be manipulated by this menacing stranger. He simply says, “You always take it” and she does.

Kirby is not lying down. She goes to confront the police’s sole suspect armed with a flick knife. We feel her crushing disappointment as she realises that’ it’s not him. She and fragile investigative reporter Dan (Wagner Moura) set out to hunt down the killer stalking the city. Kirby is brave and determined. We see it again in the horror of having to lie on an autopsy table as the medical examiner interrogates her and her scars in forensic detail. Episode one makes me firmly believe the show will be as satisfying as the book.

Roar (Apple TV)

roar apple tv missed april 2022


This anthology series is what the GLOW team did next. As with anthologies it’s a little hit and miss, but no doubt there’s at least one episode, probably more, that you’ll really love. In some places the feminist themes are crystal clear (the trophy wife is literally on a shelf!) and sometimes a bit opaquer. It’s a beautiful series and there’s plenty of money on the screen, not least paying for some terrific casting.

Nicole Kidman is Robin, an Aussie mum who eats photographs at a moment of crisis to taste the memories and travel back to childhood innocence. The theme of memory and nostalgia is juxtaposed with her mother’s dementia diagnosis. Robin’s fear of the future is explained with heart-breaking sincerity; who is she if she’s not a daughter, forgotten by a woman she doesn’t even like very much, and is she really a mother if her son is leaving for college? Consuming these images is her way to become the keeper of family memories. This is the longest episode at 40 minutes and tells a satisfying story that reaches a profound conclusion. 

The Woman Who Was Kept on a Shelf is magical realism. BeautifulBetty Gilpin marries her perfect man, who literally displays her on a shelf as a trophy wife. “You’re too extraordinary to live an ordinary life” is quite a heady thing for a woman to hear, and suddenly she’s trapped in a gilded cage. Girls, negotiate your stepladder before you end up in a precarious position. For me, logic gets in the way. Is she there permanently? Does she eat? How does she go to the toilet? Her joyful escape culminates in a beachside musical number straight off Broadway, but her prospects seem limited.

Less magical, more nightmarish is Merrit Weaver in The Woman who was Fed by a Duck. An unfulfilled woman isn’t what she wants from her life and, in a moment of madness, brings a talking duck home from the park. He’s seemingly a kind and thoughtful feminist duck, and great boyfriend material despite his being 100% a mallard. She turns her life upside down for him, only for him to show his true colours. “You know I’m a jerk and you love it” is just one of the many red flags. This is an outstanding performance from MerritWeaver and I learned a lot about relationships, including exactly how ducks have sex.

Richard Hammond’s Crazy Contraptions (Channel4)

richard hammond tv missed april 2022

When I saw this advertised, I was immediately sold. A show about teams of engineers competing to build the best chain reaction machines out of household objects? Real life Wallace and Gromit contraptions? Cartoonish uses of candle flames, mousetraps, toy cars and dominos? Sign me up immediately.

The set-up is pointless; Richard Hammond as an eccentric country squire employing the teams to solve his everyday problems. The first challenge is making the bed while in the bath, which I don’t think is a common concern. Just… do it later? This unfortunately means gratuitous shots of the littlest ex-Top Gear presenter in the bathtub. Maybe he insisted?

Zach Umperovitch, king of the viral video, and a chain reaction machine record holder, is the judge the teams must impress. He says “It might work, I hope it works” an awful lot for an expert, but as we quickly learn, giving everyday objects a life of their own is no small matter. 

If you enjoyed Is it Cake, Lego Masters or Scrapheap Challenge back in the day, you’ll like this. As one contestant says it’s “Chaos with engineering undertones”. It’s less satisfying, but fairer, when in the final run (that takes up three whole rooms!) they are allowed to intervene when things go wrong. Everyone is willing them to succeed and watching a marble do something weird is much more tense than you’d expect.

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