What to watch this month: Dear White People, A Very British Scandal and more…

Are you close to finishing your latest TV show binge? Looking for something new to watch at a leisurely place? Here’s my suggestions for the best way to satisfy your TV needs this month with some of the most anticipated shows of the moment.

Dear White People (Season 2) | Netflix | 4 May 2018

The first season of Dear White People launched to success last year, though not the headline grabber as some other Netflix originals such as 13 Reasons Why and Orange Is The New Black, it certainly deserved its recommission it received for a second season. Season 2 continues to explore racial tensions and the struggle for identity in the white and upper class dominated environments of elite universities. Also this season, the show will be exploring the struggle of black people and homosexuality through fan favourite Lionel. Having already started this series, it’s once again laugh out loud funny while addressing serious racial issues and the impact and pressure of social media for many young people today. Dear White People is streaming now in full on Netflix.

Innocent | ITV | from 14 May 2018

Airing over four consecutive nights from 14 May on ITV is their new drama “Innocent”.

David (Lee Ingleby) has spent 7 years in prison for the murder of his wife. However, when he is released on a technicality, a cloud of suspicion stills hang over his head. How is he going to rebuild the life he lost? Who should he trust? And above all – is he truly innocent?

13 Reasons Why | Netflix | 18 May 2018

The Netflix hit drama is back for a second season and will be released in full on 18 May. Many critics have questioned whether it was appropriate for 13 Reasons Why to have a second season as the first very much wrapped up the main plot line of Hannah Baker’s tapes. However, we set into a brave new world this season. The tapes are no more and the story continues. Indications suggest the focus of the new season will be on Jessica’s rape ordeal and bringing justice for both her and Hannah as we delve deeper into how Hannah Baker died. Season 1 was fascinating and sensational. Have Netflix jumped the gun by commissioning a second run? We will find out this month.

A Very British Scandal | BBC One | from 20 May 2018

In 1967, Jeremy becomes the leader of the Liberal Party and the youngest leader of any British political party in a hundred years, but as long as his ex-lover Norman is around, his brilliant career is at risk. Behind the oak-panelled doors of Parliament, Jeremy turns to his friends for decisive action. He can see only one way to silence him for good.

The BBC’s much hyped and awaited dramatisation of the Jeremy Thorpe scandal stars heavyweights Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw in the leading roles. With a stellar supporting cast and well-known political scandal, this is surely going to be a recipe for success at the BBC. The story will be told over three episodes on Sunday nights at 9pm beginning on 20 May. It’s set to be a much needed blockbuster event drama for BBC One this month.

Rita Ora releases new single “Girls” with Cardi B, Bebe Rexha & Charli XCX to online backlash

Rita Ora is back with her latest single “Girls” featuring rapper of the moment, Cardi B and fellow popstars Charli XCX and Bebe Rexha. “Girls” is a fun and carefree pop banger but it’s causing quite a stir amongst the LGBTQ+ community.

After her four consecutive top 10 hits over the past year, anticipation has been high for Rita Ora’s next single. “Girls” is described by Rita Ora as being a celebration of her love for women. On being questioned whether it should be considered as a bisexual anthem, Rita Ora answered “it’s not actually that deep. It really is just about that. It’s a free message, and for me, really fun. It’s just a fun record.” But is it carefree to the point of it being harmful to bisexuality?

The song’s lyrics have come under fire from the likes of Kehlani, Hayley Kiyoko and Katie Gavin from MUNA for being harmful to the perception of bisexuality and reinforcing stereotypes. We only have to look back to 2008 and Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl” to see a pop song that was considered as care free and fun at the time but has since become pretty frowned upon. “Girls” does operate in a similar vein to “I Kissed A Girl”. Both are playing on the idea of the curiosity of women in certain situations, i.e. under the influence of alcohol (playing on the idea of “lesbian until graduation”). However, the key distinction is that “I Kissed A Girl” is very regretful and almost apologetic in tone. It feels like we’re being let in on her dirty secret. Whereas, “Girls” feels more celebratory. It’s a shame the lyrics have been slightly careless – the reference to drugs and alcohol seemingly being the cause was perhaps unnecessary and Rita and the other writers should have foreseen a level of backlash to this.

The upshot is, this is just a pop song that will, like “I Kissed A Girl” be confined to its tiny portion of history whether or not its a huge hit. It’s easy to delve into song meanings and make them feel deeper than they actually are. I think at lot of this debate of whether or not “Girls” is harmful for the LGBTQ+ community is probably just academic in the long term. “Girls” will likely find itself confined to the depths of history before too long and I struggle to see this having a lasting impact on the general public’s perception of that community. I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to see Rita, Charli, Bebe and Cardi in the same position of regret Katy Perry finds herself in today within the next couple of years over some of the lyrical choices.