Best box sets and TV shows on NOW and Sky
James R | On 17, Apr 2022
Looking for something to watch on a lazy weekend? Sky has you covered, with a whole host of TV series old and new, all available through your set top box.
Don’t have Sky? Streaming service NOW gives you access to most of the same channels and shows, all for £9.99 a month, with no contract. We go through and pick out the best of the bunch, from UK drama to Italian crime thrillers and US comedies. Click here to find out more or sign up
From Deadwood and Mare of Easttown to Succession and Yellowjackets, these are the top box sets available to binge watch on Sky and NOW:
John Cena relishes the chance to take centre stage in James Gunn’s darkly entertaining superhero satire. Read our full review
This dark and disturbing ensemble survival thriller is a gripping tale of trauma and consequences. Read our full review
The White Lotus
A group of rich people spend a fatal summer in an upscale resort in Mike White’s scathing dissection of privilege – a deliciously awkward dive into darkness, delusion and just desserts. Read our full review
Succession: Season 1 to 3
The biggest media and entertainment company in the world is controlled by the formidable Logan Family. However, their world changes when their father makes a life changing decision about his role in the company. Created by Jesse Armstrong and starring Brian Cox, this impeccably acted and hilariously painful saga is one of the best TV shows of the past five years. Don’t miss it.
Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s sci-fi horror mockumentary is a frightfully funny treat. Read our full review
The Flight Attendant
This smart, funny, suspenseful murder mystery is a surprising, thrilling ride. Read our full review
This note-perfect girl group comedy doesn’t miss a beat. Read our full review
Raised by Wolves
Ridley Scott’s polished philosophical sci-fi is an impressive, intriguing affair. Read our full review
Saturday Night Live
For the first time in years, Sky Comedy means we can now watch full-length episodes of the long-running weekly comedy showcase. It more than earns its reputation, from guest hosts that include Paul Rudd and Daniel Craig and hilarious turns from Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant to sharp scripts that take us from topical satire to quiz shows that explore how our memories post-Covid aren’t what they used to be.
This charmingly sweet and darkly funny sci-fi comedy follows Harry, an alien on a mission to destroy the human race, who winds up stranded on Earth – and has to pretend to be a doctor to fit in with smalltown life. Alan Tudyk is excellent in the lead role, nailing the balance between sinister and silly.
HBO’s remarkably engaging teen drama is an intense, shocking, uplifting and spellbinding experience. Read our full review
Scenes from a Marriage
The idea of remaking Ingmar Bergman’s classic dissection of a marriage falling apart sounds like a terrible idea, but HBO’s intense, intimate drama serves as a reminder of just how many truthful observations were at the heart of that 1973 series. Hagai Levi brings it bang up to date while still retaining the raw honesty of the portrait, with committed, vulnerable, frayed performances from a sensational Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, whose lived-in chemistry adds potent weight to crumbling, untangling web of ties, expectations, guilt, blame and unspoken problems.
Nick Mohammed and David Schwimmer are a laugh-out-loud double-act in this entertaining, smart spy comedy. Read our full review
Mare of Easttown
Kate Winslet delivers one of the best performances of her career in this gripping detective drama. Read our full review
Samson Kayo and Jane Horrocks are a winning double-act in this energetic, entertaining paramedic comedy. Read our full review
The Night Of
“If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” That’s a lawyer speaking at the trial of Nasir Khan (a sensational Riz Ahmed), a young Pakistani-American, in HBO’s The Night Of. Invited to a party in downtown Manhattan, he borrows his dad’s taxi to get there, but ends up picking up a fare by mistake. Her name’s Andrea. A night of booze, drugs and other naughty things later, he wakes up in the kitchen, finds her dead in the bedroom, and ends up on trial for murder. Sound familiar? That’s because this is a remake of Criminal Justice, the 2008 BBC thriller starring Ben Whishaw. HBO’s new version a magnificent takedown of the modern legal system, one that proves that justice isn’t blind or biased, but simply indifferent – a never-ending, messy machine that turns, not for what’s right or even what’s wrong, but for what’s easy and affordable.
The Good Lord Bird
Is there anything Ethan Hawke can’t do? The versatile actor has brought his earnest brand of charisma to everything from the Before Sunrise trilogy and the intensely disturbing First Reformed to the romantic comedy Maggie’s Plan. But you’ve never seen Ethan Hawke like this – he turns up everything to 11 in The Good Lord Bird, the true tale of John Brown, an abolitionist who may or may not have triggered the American Civil War. A witty, funny, moving and insightful tale of history, civil rights and how to be an ally, this is a contender for one of 2020’s most entertaining and thought-provoking shows. Read our full review
Gangs of London
Gareth Evans’ first TV series serves up dizzyingly brutal action in a grippingly dark underworld.
Game of Thrones: Season 1 to 8
HBO’s fantasy epic based on George RR Martin’s saga of novels may have divided fans with its ending but nonetheless remains one of the definitive show of modern TV, setting a standard of scale, budget, action and suspense that most other series now are fighting to live up to.
I Hate Suzie: Season 1
Billie Piper’s bold and bittersweet TV show is sly, sardonic and simply unmissable.
Will & Grace: Season 1 to 8
This award-winning American sitcom following the adventures of New York-based interior decorator Grace Adler and her temperamental best friend Will Truman, who works as a lawyer, has lost none of its charm, humour or heart.
Available until: 30th June 2022
The Third Day
Jude Law and Naomie Harris star in Dennis Kelly’s absorbingly ambiguous and atmospheric drama, told over six episodes and in two distinct, but interconnected halves: Summer, following Sam (Law), after he is drawn to a mysterious island off the British coast inhabited by a group of islanders set on preserving their traditions at any cost; and Winter, following Helen (Harris), who also comes to the island seeking answers, but whose arrival precipitates a fractious battle to decide its fate.
Aaron Sorkin’s portrait of TV news is an overly earnest, well acted and compelling piece of escapism.
Available until 11th November 2022.
The Wire: Season 1 to 5
David Simon’s superb, hard-hitting drama stars Dominic West (The Affair) as Detective Jimmy McNulty, who along with his fellow investigators attempts to infiltrate a West Baltimore drug ring headed by the elusive Avon Barksdale (Wood Harris) and his lieutenant, Stringer Bell (Idris Elba). Still influential, still insightful and still as gripping as when it first aired.
The Knick: Season 1 and 2
Steven Soderbergh has famously hung up his movie hat for TV land several years ago and, while he’s picked up his movie hat since, The Knick was a promising sign of what he could offer on the small screen. The period series, which stars Clive Owen as the head surgeon in the titular hospital and co-stars a brilliant Andre Holland, is a gripping tale of outdated ER practices, racial prejudices and drug addiction. Plus it has a soundtrack by Drive’s Cliff Martinez.
Available until 7th October 2022.
Cobra: Season 1 and 2
Set in the heart of government during a time of national crisis, this high-stakes British drama stars Robert Carlyle as Prime Minister, Robert Sutherland, and Victoria Hamilton as his Chief of Staff, Anna Marshall. Under the name COBRA, a team comprised of Britain’s leading experts, crisis contingency planners and the most senior politicians must now assemble to help bring society back from the brink of collapse, as they deal with an unfolding national emergency after catastrophic events literally throw the nation into darkness.
Created by Armando Iannucci, Avenue 5 is a space tourism comedy set 40 years in the future when the solar system is everyone’s oyster. Wonderfully performed and enjoyably silly, this underrated sitcom is worth a launch.
Parks and Recreation
This flawless sitcom stars Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, whose leadership of the Parks and Recreation department in Pawnee, Indiana is as earnest as it is incompetent. She and her trusty group of office mates are followed around by a documentary crew, offering a quirky look into their everyday lives. When that ensemble includes Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza and a pre-Marvel Chris Pratt – not to mention Rob Lowe and a scene-stealing Nick Offerman as man’s man Ron Swanson – the result is one of the funniest workplace comedies ever made.
Available until 30th June 2022.
This brilliantly grim series chronicles the real-life events of one of the most well-known disasters in history, which is also one of the least discussed; most people don’t know the details of what happened. This six-part thriller clinically hones in on one key fact: nobody there knew what happened either. Written by Craig Mazin, the show thrusts us into a chaotic nightmare where the ground is shifting beneath everyone’s feet, in all senses of the word; while scientists try to diagnose what went wrong and how to fix it, politicians make the contaminated water even muddier than it already is, coming up with false truths, alternative facts and half lies to insist everything is ok. Superbly acted by Mad Men’s Jared Harris and Wild Rose’s Jessie Buckley, this leaves your hands so clammy with dread you can’t grip anything.
Mark Strong is a magnetic lead presence in this thrilling remake of Norwegian series Valkyrien. He plays Daniel, a surgeon who sets up an underground clinic beneath the titular Tube station to try and save his wife from an incurable condition – a clinic that is set up with doomsday prepper Lee (Daniel Mays). But as criminals use their service and their secret threatens to come to the surface, tensions keep rising and the stakes get higher and higher. The plot is as ridiculous as it gets, but the pacing is superbly quick and Strong and Mays ground everything with sincere, convincing performances, supported by Game of Thrones’ Carice van Houten as a former colleague faced with moral boundaries she had never considered crossing. Electric stuff.
The Loudest Voice
Russell Crowe is unrecognisable in Showtime’s drama about the Fox News founder Roger Ailes and how he changed the media world forever. A vital, timely insight into the way events are now report, it sees Ailes hit upon a bleak truth: that news doesn’t need to appeal to everyone, just a core demographic, and that opinions are more popular than facts. It may fail to scratch the surface of Roger’s own motivations, but this is a slickly made drama with strong performances that remains provocatively pertinent.
Brassic: Season 1 to 3
Fresh from stealing scenes in Preacher, Joe Gilgun shines in this comedy about Vinnie and his group of working class mates in the North of England, which manages to be simultaneously hilarious and surprisingly compassionate towards a group of people underrepresented on screens.
Kidding: Season 1 and 2
In his first serialised role for two decades, Jim Carrey stars as a beloved children’s presenter struggling to cope with the real world. Poignant drama from director Michel Gondry, this is heartbreaking and amusing – often at the same time.
Available until 9th September 2022
Get Shorty: Season 1 to 3
Chris O’Dowd stars in a reimagined adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s bestselling novel as Miles Daly – a mob enforcer who’s looking for a new life in Hollywood. Funny, gripping, well acted and stylish, this thrilling crime comedy-drama has the potential to be the next Breaking Bad.
Available until 31st May 2022
Julia Davis’ exquisitely horrible comedy follows Sally (Catherine Shepherd), who falls into an unexpected affair with Emma (Davis), an actress and singer. And a poet. And also an author. Oh, and a songwriter. The result is howlingly funny – and seriously depraved.
Witty, wealthy, and carrying a litany of issues. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Patrick Melrose in this sumptuous, darkly hilarious adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s acclaimed novels.
Billions: Season 1 to 6
Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti. That’s all you need to know about Showtime’s superb thriller, which is set in the ego-driven world of New York high finance. Lewis plays billionaire hedge fund kingpin Bobby Axe Axelrod, alongside Giamatti who plays Chuck Rhoades, the tenacious U.S attorney who tries to take him down. The gripping drama sparks to life as the two actors go head-to-head, setting up a thrilling game of cat and mouse.
Save Me (and Save Me Too)
“I’ve just gone to see me dad.” Those are the last words recorded by Jody, in a video to her mum, Claire (Suranne Jones). So when she disappears, her dad, Nelly (Lennie James), is naturally the first suspect. Estranged from the 13-year-old girl, he’s a loser, a barfly, the kind of man everyone on his South London housing estate knows. He’s also been receiving messages from her, and got a phone call from her just before she went missing. But Nelly, while far from the best guy in the world, is innocent – and so he sets off on his own investigation to find the person who’s abducted, or possibly even killed, his daughter.
It’s a premise that might sound familiar, but Save Me proves wonderfully unique at every turn. A large part of that comes down to the script, which is written by James himself. After impressing repeatedly with his sincere turn as Morgan in The Walking Dead, he brings that same authenticity to his screenplay, which twists and turns with the best detective dramas, but never lets plot get in the way of character. Season 2, Save Me Too, is also available and just as excellent.
Britannia: Season 1 to 3
“History is just one thing after another,” Alan Bennett once wrote. He could well have been talking about Britannia, Sky’s lavish new epic that has about as much to do with history as Breaking Bad does with CBeebies. Set in 43AD, it takes us back to a time when men were men, women were women, giant squids were giant squids and druids were possessing people and chatting to their disembodied heads. The History Channel, this ain’t. Our guide to this strange, sceptred isle is General Aulus (David Morrissey), an armed leader determined to invade and conquer Britain, 100 years after Julius Caesar rocked up on our shores, saw what the locals looked like and promptly ran away again. It doesn’t take long to see why: Britannia imagines the UK as a weird, remote realm, one where nonsense reigns, people believe in age-old traditions and war is just waiting to erupt. It could almost be a glimpse of the country after Brexit.
Within an hour, we’ve seen Aulus bully his troops, shout about going to toilet and chickens without heads and seen one of his troops fall foul of dark magic – the trippy opening credits, accompanied by 60s pop track Hurdy Gurdy Man, is only the start of it. The script, meanwhile, trades convincing speech for modern, sweary outbursts at every opportunity – and, after an hour of sipping this insane cocktail, you won’t want it any other way. A swords-and-sandals adventure sporting a hoodie and sneakers, Britannia is gory, scary, and immensely fun. It’s one thing after another. You’ll devour the whole lot.
Gomorrah: Season 1 to 4
Based on the book Gomorrah by Roberto Saviano, this Italian TV series is a gripping, gritty insight into the underworld of Naples. It follows fierce Neapolitan crime organisation the Camorra through the eyes of Ciro (Marco D’Amore), the obedient and self-confident right-hand man of the clan’s godfather, whose loyalty is tested to its limits. The drama is partly directed by acclaimed Italian writer and director Stefano Sollima (Romanzo Criminale, All Cops Are Bastards), who is also responsible for the overall art direction. The programme is shot on location in and around Naples, Barcelona, Milan and Ferrara – and that authenticity runs through the whole production, from locations and language to the realistic violence. A must-see for crime fans.
Available until 10th June 2022
The Sopranos: Season 1 to 6
Every episode of the multi-award-winning mob drama – named the best-written television show in history by the Writers Guild of America – returns to Sky Box Sets. Over the course of six seasons, James Gandolfini and a superb ensemble cast, including Edie Falco, Lorraine Bracco and Michael Imperioli, deal with myriad personal and professional problems, from power struggles and affairs, to violence and the threat of exposure and betrayal. Hailed as a masterpiece by critics, The Sopranos is one not to miss.
Twin Peaks: The Return
An idiosyncratic FBI Agent investigates the murder of a young woman in the small town of Twin Peaks. If that premise sounds familiar, wait until you see David Lynch and Mark Frost’s show in action. Things quickly go from weird to strange, from strange to odd, from odd to disconcerting and from disconcerting to fascinating. Kyle MacLachlan is our window into this world as the FBI’s Dale Cooper, who has a thing for pie and coffee (and dictating things to his secretary, Dianne, who may or may not exist). But as a parade of bizarre characters grace our screen, the story takes a back seat to atmosphere and style, resulting in something that’s inexplicable, scary and downright iconic. Sometimes, it’s even funny too. If you’ve never binge-watched this remarkably unusual programme, do so – if only so you can then catch up with the 2017 revival.
Based in 1970s London, the group of activists go head-to-head with a racist police force who are dedicated to crushing them. Idris Elba plays Kent, a second generation Brit dedicated to achieving equality for Black people in Britain through peaceful and intellectual methods, who finds himself at odds with Frieda Pinto and Babou Ceesay as a young couple who become increasingly active, as the political becomes personal. Examining the nature of a relationship under pressure, it poses the question: what if the original Black Power movement in London had used violence?
The New Pope / The Young Pope
“I do not perform miracles.” Those are the words of Pius XIII (Jude Law), aka. Lenny, the Catholic Church’s first American pope. He swaggered into the Vatican in 2016, crowned The Young Pope by Paulo Sorrentino, and to say he shook things up for the Holy See is an understatement. Sorrentino has always been a filmmaker with a strong belief in the power of the profane as well as the sacred, juxtaposing the two with an unshakeable faith in their unholy union. It’s no surprise, then, that his first TV show was about the Vatican, one of the wealthiest states and organisations on the planet. What was a surprise, though, was how sincere the series was, not only in its plumbing of political depths but in its study of faith too; for all the gratuitous and adult content, it was a serious study of religion, personal and institutional, and forgiveness. The New Pope builds upon that rock with a deceptively subtle meditation on grief and healing, married with an thoughtful exploration of identity and duty.
Bill Hader delivers a career-defining turn in this light-hearted dark comedy, which dazzles in the moral grey areas. Read our full review
Liev Schreiber gets a welcome chance to take centre-stage in this drama about a problem solver to LA’s rich and famous with a past that comes back to haunt him. With a supporting cast that includes Jon Voight as his father and Eddie Marsan as Ray’s older brother, the result is a compelling family drama, a gripping hotbed of scandals and a probing study of modern masculinity. And did we mention Liev Schreiber?
Shondaland’s hospital saga is the longest-running medical drama on television, and its 18th season (the only one available on Sky Witness) sees the show move past a Covid-19-centric season to explore Meredith’s drive to keep going post-pandemic, with the chance to help cure Parkinson’s.