TV and Culture Guide: What to Watch, Read and Listen to this February
Waiting for the evenings to get lighter? Here's our pick of the best entertainment this month to enjoy until they do
Death in Paradise
Sunday 4th February
BBC and BBC iPlayer
While we’re still waiting for the sun to shine here, let’s escape to the Caribbean. Crime drama Death in Paradise is an all-time favourite and we’re loving Ralf Little as DI Neville Parker (although we’re still appreciating our Humphrey Goodman fix in Beyond Paradise – no one will ever match Kris Marshall). Kicking off the new series of Death in Paradise is the show’s milestone 100th episode, when commissioner Selwyn Patterson is left fighting for his life after a shock shooting!
Thursday 8th February
David Nicholls’s novel One Day is the next to be given the Netflix treatment. Dexter and Emma’ story begins on their final night at university and their changing relationship and own lives are explored on the same day every year for 20 years – so every episode catches up with them on 15th July, as they grow and change. It’s the perfect modern love story for Valentine’s Day.
Sunderland ’Til I Die
Tuesday 13th February
One for the Mackems. The third and final season of Sunderland ’Til I Die comes to Netflix this month. The previous two seasons of this documentary series followed the Black Cats' relegation from the Championship and the first season in League One, but the last season aired in 2020 and many famous faces are expected to make a return.
Dancing On Ice
If you haven’t been tuning into the ‘greatest show on ice’ then you’ve got some catching up to do. Stephen Mulhern and Holly Willoughby present as famous faces try their hand (feet?) at ice dancing. Those donning their skates this year include Love Island winner and theatre star Amber Davies and former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas.
Mr and Mrs Smith
Based on the 2005 film of the same name (which starred Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) this new series follows John and Jane, who have given up their identities to join as partners in both espionage and marriage.
Married for decades, Joe and Joan seem from the outside to be the perfect couple. Joe is a celebrated author, considered by many to be a literary genius, and is about to be awarded a prestigious literary prize. Calm, cool and collected, Joan is on his arm every step of the way, ever the dutiful wife. But Joan has a secret, one that would shatter the life they have built together and ruin Joe’s legacy for good, and she just might let it slip. Wolitzer’s witty and reflective writing wonderfully paints the all-too familiar picture of the dutiful wife who has had enough.
A QUIET CONTAGION
An unspeakable secret unravels in this twisty tale as the reader is pushed back and forth between 1957 and 2017. In 1957, a catastrophe occurs at a pharmaceutical lab in Coventry where 16-year-old Wilf is working for the summer, but what exactly happened? In 2017, Phiney is shocked by the death of her grandfather, who has jumped from a bridge at a Coventry station. There are so many unanswered questions and as usual I enjoyed playing detective to find out how these two events 60 years apart are linked. A classic Jane Jesmond story, A Quiet Contagion keeps you guessing.
WITH YOU EVERY STEP
Rob Burrow, Kevin Sinfield
This wonderfully illustrated book has captured our hearts with its inspiring celebration of friendship from rugby legends and best friends Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield. The book contains simple and affirming messages of friendship, support and compassion between the two friends and has been brought to life by leading UK illustrators. Burrow, originally from Pontefract, and Sinfield played for Leeds Rhinos and became fast friends. Both have since become champions for charitable causes and you can read more about the pair’s work for the Motor Neurone Disease Association here. For every book sold, a donation will be made by Macmillan’s Children’s Books to MNDA and Leeds Hospital Charity.
On Our To-Read List
Ann arrives in New York hoping to spend the summer working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Instead she’s assigned to The Cloisters, a gothic museum and garden where the museum's curator is fixated on tarot and the possibility of predicting the future. When Ann discovers a deck of 15th-century Italian tarot cards she finds herself in a dangerous position. Who can she really trust?
Come and Get It
In 2017 at the University of Arkansas, Millie wants to graduate, get a job and buy a house, and when she’s offered what seems to be an easy opportunity by a visiting professor this should be her moment – but odd new friends and bad behaviour stand in her way. Come and Get It is a tension-filled story from award-winning author Kiley Reid.
Alex and Brian have spent their whole life in the same town. Set across three generations of a South Yorkshire mining family, this debut novel is a celebration of resilience and the possibility for change.
Three Heartwarming Podcasts
Hosted by actress and television host Jameela Jamil, this podcast invites guests to tell us about their very worst dates. We recommend getting stuck in with Episode 31: Absolute Seagull Behaviour with Ellie Kemper from the US Office.
Based on the popular weekly New York Times column of the same name, this touching and personal podcast explores the love lives of real people. Each week the podcast tells new tales of love in all its forms, from friendships and family, to missed connections and decades-long marriages.
WHERE SHOULD WE BEGIN?
Hosted by famous psychotherapist Esther Perel, each week new people join this podcast to share their take on their relationship and where it may be falling down. Nothing is off the table in this raw and honest look at the highs and lows we all experience in relationships.
New Music You’ll Love
New L Devine music? Yes please! Digital Heartifacts is the debut studio album of independent, local pop artist L Devine, following on from the successful release of four singles from the album including Slippin’ Away and Laundry Day. Want to hear it live? Catch L Devine on tour across the North East and Yorkshire throughout April.
Prelude to Ecstasy
The Last Dinner Party
Get ready for the debut studio album from the British indie rock band taking the Internet by storm. The band won the Rising Star Brit Award and have previously been compared to music icons like Florence and the Machine and Kate Bush.
Fresh for 2024 from Scottish indie rock band The Snuts is their third studio album Millennials. The band have steadily grown in popularity since their powerful debut single Glasgow was released in 2016 and have referenced Arctic Monkeys and The Libertines as early influences on their sound.