The limited series is a continuation of the 1976 film starring David Bowie, with an ace supporting cast that includes Bill Nighy as the character played by Bowie, Thomas Jerome Newton; Naomie Harris is a traumatized former scientist who helps Faraday, with other roles filled by similarly excellent performers like Rob Delaney, Jimmi Simpson, Clarke Peters and Martha Plimpton. Early on, we see Faraday as a smooth-talking tech mogul, but the juice of the series comes from seeing flashbacks of the character's journey—from his arrival as a naked oddball struggling with English to his ascendance as a master of commerce ready to revolutionize two worlds.
Under the Banner of Heaven, on FX and Hulu
This limited series based on Jon Krakauer's controversial 2003 nonfiction book gives star Andrew Garfield lots of room to shine as a devout Mormon police detective in 1984 pressed into investigating the murder of a young mother and her baby daughter. The hitch: the killing may be connected to an influential family in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Garfield's Jeb Pyre finds his faith shaken as it becomes increasingly apparent that a group of men with fundamentalist views of Mormonism may be involved in the slayings. Along the way, viewers get a close look at important tenets of the faith and their connection to American history.
The series can sometimes get lost in these depictions, leaving the viewer struggling a bit to understand how the distant past connects to murder in their present. But the program also asks powerful questions on maintaining religious piety in the face of disappointing facts, exploring issues of polygamy, toxic masculinity and the concept of "blood atonement." Ultimately, Pyre's journey highlights how a religion which provides comfort and a compass to some, can also help create a stifling prison filled with dangerous men for others.
I Love That for You, on Showtime
Saturday Night Live alum Vanessa Bayer co-created and stars in this series about an ambitious home shopping host who winds up lying to her co-workers and audience, telling them her childhood leukemia has returned in order to keep her job. Bayer gets a long overdue showcase as Joanna Gold, a plucky, socially awkward woman who spent much of her childhood in hospitals watching home shopping channels. When Gold lucks into her dream job as a host, only to see it nearly yanked away after a terrible on-camera flub, she tells the lie which propels the series and forces her into increasingly ridiculous efforts to compensate.