Screen Babble podcast: The Power, Our Friends in the North, Blue Lights, and Rye Lane – episode 19

In this week's episode of Screen Babble, Alex reviews The Power, Steven takes a closer look at Our Friends in the North, and Kelly shares her thoughts on Blue Lights and Yellowjackets
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Screen Babble is your essential guide to everything on television, from the mainstream to the marginal. NationalWorld’s podcast producer Kelly Crichton, our much-missed news and trends expert Steven Ross, and critic Alex Moreland discuss what is – and what isn’t – worth watching.

As ever, we kick things off by discussing what we’ve seen recently. Alex tells us about the much-improved Shrinking, explains how 30 Rock compares to the rest of its era of US sitcoms, and raves about the new romcom Rye Lane. Steven, meanwhile, checked out BBC One’s new Northern Irish policing drama Blue Lights – something he was planning on watching piece by piece, but ended up blitzing through in just a few days. Kelly has also started watching Blue Lights, and has a few thoughts on that, as well as Succession, Rise and Fall, and last week’s highly recommended Yellowjackets.

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Next, Alex takes a closer look at The Power, a new adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s 2016 novel. It’s a piece of speculative science fiction that asks how the world might change if every teenage girl in the world had the ability to shoot electricity from their fingertips. How does the television series compare to the book? How effective is its metaphor for patriarchy? And what will fans of Toni Collette make of her role in the series?

Finally, Steven offers us a glimpse of the past with our earliest Back to the Future segment so far – dating all the way back to the good old days of 1996, before he was even born – talking all about Our Friends in the North. Has any other drama launched as many star careers? How convincing is its history of the North? And how does it feel watching the series – which itself spans three decades in the lives of its characters – nearly 30 years after it began?

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for Steven’s Weekend Watch Mini-Babble, previewing all the best TV to watch over the next few days.

Listen to Screen Babble #19 here…

Where can we watch this week’s shows?

  • 30 Rock is available to stream for free on Amazon Freevee

  • Shrinking is available to stream on Apple TV+

  • Rye Lane is in cinemas now, and will be on Disney+ from Wednesday 3 May

  • Blue Lights is available to stream now on BBC iPlayer

  • Succession airs every Monday on Sky Atlantic, and can be streamed on NOW TV

  • Rise and Fall is available on Channel 4

  • Yellowjackets Series 1 is available on Sky, with the second series exclusive to Paramount+

  • The Power will begin on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 31 March

  • Our Friends in the North is available to stream on Britbox

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