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What to watch in May 2022: best TV shows on Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, NOW TV, BBC, and Channel 4

Your guide to the best new television arriving in May 2022, from The Time Traveler’s Wife to Conversations with Friends to Obi-Wan Kenobi

New month, new television: with the start of May comes a whole host of new offerings to look out for.

Here’s your guide to what’s on TV across May 2022, with a look at all the highlights across both terrestrial channels and the major streaming networks.

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We’ve also selected our top picks and the best of the rest to give you an idea of what to watch this month.

BBC

Jemima Kirk as Melissa, Sasha Lane as Bobbi, Alison Oliver as Frances, and Joe Alwyn as Nick in Conversations with Friends (Credit: BBC/Element Pictures/Hulu/Enda Bowe)

Top Picks

Conversations with Friends (BBC Three, May 16)

An adaptation of Sally Rooney’s debut novel, from the same team that made Normal People. Detailing the relationship between friends Bobbi, Frances, and married couple Melissa and Nick, the series stars Sasha Lane and Joe Alwyn alongside newcomer Alison Oliver.

Best of the Rest

Love Life Season 2 (BBC One, May 6)

William Jackson Harper (The Good Place) picks up the baton from Anna Kendrick in the second series of this HBO Max romantic comedy drama. Marcus, his marriage to Emily faltering, strikes up a relationship with Mia; taking place over the span of a few years, Love Life follows Marcus on different dates as he moves from one long-term relationship to what could be the next.

The Terror Season 2 (BBC Two, May 6)

The second series of the US horror-anthology is set in 1940s America, where a spectre is haunting the prisoners of a Japanese internment camp. In his youth, star George Takei (Star Trek) was held in one such camp, established by US President FDR, and acted as a consultant for this historical horror.

ITV

Parminder Nagra as DI Rachita Ray

Top Picks

DI Ray (May 2)

DI Rachita Ray (Parminder Nagra) welcomes her new promotion – but, as she’s asked to solve a “culturally specific homicide”, starts to suspect she’s been chosen for her ethnicity rather than her identity. Maya Sondhi (otherwise best known as Line of Duty’s Maneet Bindra) writes and Jed Mercurio produces, blending a smart character study with an engaging organised crime thriller.

Channel 4

An illustration of Dylan Llewellyn as Jack and Jon Pointing as Danny in Big Boys (Credit: Channel 4)

Top Picks

The Derry Girls finale (May 18)

A forty-minute Derry Girls special will conclude the series as a whole on Wednesday May 18. This very last episode will be set around Erin and Orla’s 18th birthday, which coincides with the referendum on the Good Friday Agreement.

Big Boys (May 26)

Jack Rooke (Good Grief, Love Letters) writes this sitcom about two mismatched university students, based loosely on his own life. Dylan Llewellyn (Derry Girls) stars as Jack, closeted and still grieving his father, while Jon Pointing (Plebs) plays Danny, a laddish and slightly older student sharing unusual accommodation with Jack.

Best of the Rest

The Spy Who Died Twice (May 9)

A hour-long documentary about Labour MP John Stonehouse, who served as part of Wilson’s cabinet – before faking his death and only emerging years later in Australia. It’ll be a good companion piece to the Matthew Macfadyen/Keeley Hawes biopic that’s arriving on ITV later in the year.

Netflix

Bill Skarsgård as Clark Olofsson and Hanna Björn as Maria (Credit: Eric Broms/Netflix)

Top Picks

Clark (May 5)

Clark is a Swedish series directed by Jonas Åkerlund and starring Bill Skarsgård as Clark Olofsson, the notorious Swedish bank robber who gave rise to the expression “Stockholm syndrome”. Olofsson seems like one of those notorious few it actually is worth making a biopic about, and Åkerlund is a reliably stylish director.

Best of the Rest

Stranger Things series 4 (May 29)

The Stephen King inspired 80s horror series returns with a more Lovecraftian vibe this time around. Worth watching to try and work out what they spent the reported $30million-per-episode production budget on, if nothing else (for comparison, the new Game of Thrones spinoff is only spending $20 million per episode, and The Crown usually sits at around £10 million).

Disney+

Obi Wan Kenobi walks across what are presumable the desert dunes of Tatooine in Star Wars spin-off series, Kenobi (Image: Disney)

Top Picks

Pistol (May 31)

Danny Boyle directs this six-part biopic of the iconic band The Sex Pistols. Louis Partridge (Enola Holmes) plays Sid Vicious, Anson Boon (1917) plays Johnny Rotten, and Toby Wallace (Babyteeth) plays Steve Jones. Keep an eye out as well for Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, Derry Girls’ Dylan Lleywellyn, and The Queen’s Gambit’s Thomas Brodie-Sangster too.

Obi-Wan Kenobi (May 27)

Ewan MacGregor returns to Star Wars for the first time since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. Obi-Wan is watching over a young Luke Skywalker, but a clash with Imperial inquisitors draws him offworld – where he confronts Darth Vader, as played by Hayden Christensen.

Best of the Rest

How I Met Your Father (May 13)

Hillary Duff stars as Sophie and Kim Cattrall stars as older Sophie in this sequel to the popular sitcom How I Met Your Father. Keep an eye out for cameos and references to the original series.

Apple TV+

Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston in The Essex Serpent (Credit: Apple TV+)

Top Picks

The Essex Serpent (May 13)

Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and Claire Danes (Homeland) star in this lavish adaptation of Sarah Perry’s novel. Set in 1893, a young woman moves from central London to a small Essex village, enjoying her first taste of freedom after leaving an abusive husband; captivated by the idea that Essex might be haunted by a mythological Sea Serpent, she starts trying to find the creature.

Prehistoric Planet (May 27)

An ambitious dinosaur documentary from David Attenborough, airing in five parts across the week. Jon Favreau (The Lion King, The Mandalorian) produces, involved in bringing to life some of the most accurate CGI dinosaurs ever committed to screen.

Amazon Prime Video & Freevee

Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch and Madison Lintz as Maddie Bosch in Bosch: Legacy (Credit: Tyler Golden/Amazon Freevee)

Top Picks

Night Sky (May 2)

Many years ago, Irene (Sissy Spacek) and Franklin (JK Simmons) discovered a buried chamber in their back garden – a chamber which, inexplicably, leads to a deserted planet. It’s a secret they’ve guarded closely for years, but when increased scrutiny falls on the chamber, their quiet life is upended entirely. All eight episodes will be available at once.

Best of the Rest

Bosch: Legacy

Titus Welliver returns as Harry Bosch – not for an eight series of Amazon’s most popular original, but in a new spinoff that sees the LAPD officer working as a private detective. Bosch: Legacy is an adaptation of 2016’s The Wrong Side of Goodbye, which was the nineteenth Bosch novel to be published.

Sky & NOWTV

Rose Leslie as Clare and Theo James as Henry in The Time Traveler’s Wife (Credit: HBO)

Top Picks

The Time Traveler’s Wife (May 16)

Steven Moffat adapts Audrey Niffenegger’s famous novel, with Rose Leslie (The Good Fight) and Theo James (Divergent) as husband and wife Claire and Henry who’s marriage is disrupted by time travel. Henry has a condition that causes to skip back and forth through time, meaning he meets wife Claire out of order – the novel inspired much of Moffat’s Doctor Who work, from The Girl in the Fireplace to River Song.

Best of the Rest

The Staircase (May 5)

Colin Firth and Toni Collette star in this true crime drama about novelist Michael Peterson and the suspicious death of his wife Kathleen. Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name), Dane DeHaan (ZeroZeroZero), Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones), and Odessa Young (Shirley) also star. The series is a dramatization of the 2004 French documentary The Staircase, which is currently available on Netflix.