In the blink of an eye, the first quarter of 2021 has come and gone. With thundery showers welcoming what is the Spring season in the Northern Hemisphere, many of us are opting for indoor activities, in other words, more time spent glued to our screens. To tide us through the rainy season, we have a series of binge-worthy shows coming up this month.
From murder mysteries to dystopian-comedy and yakuza househusbands, here is our list of top 10 shows to watch in April:
For Netflix couch-potatoes
The Way of the Househusband
We begin our April watchlist with a lighthearted comedic anime. Based on the bestselling manga series illustrated by Kousuke Oono, The Way of the Househusband follows the journey of Tatsu, a former Yakuza boss, who has retired into a life of domestic bliss with his career-focused wife. Each episode emphasises the unconventional switch in gender roles as Tatsu’s mundane domestic chores put him in awkward clashes with his former Yakuza associates and rivals.
The Way of the Househusband is now available on Netflix.
Shadow and Bone
Based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novel series, Shadow and Bone follows an orphaned mapmaker, Alina Starkov, who grows up in the Russia-inspired land of Ravka. When she inadvertently harnesses a power that could save her war-torn world, Alina is recruited as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as Grisha. But as she struggles to survive, Alina is forced to question everything she was trained for. In this lavish world where nothing is what it seems, who can she truly trust?
Shadow and Bone premieres on Netflix on 23 April.
Love and Monsters
Described as a “post-apocalyptic monster road-trip comedic adventure film”, Love and Monsters promises a fresh, comedic take on the classic dystopian film. Starring Maze Runner heartthrob Dylan O’Brien and Jessica Henwick from Game of Thrones as a lovesick teenage couple, the film is set in the aftermath of a chemical fallout that causes all cold-blooded animals to mutate into large monsters that kill most of humanity. We follow Joel Dawson as he struggles to survive various monster attacks on his tumultuous journey to reunite with his girlfriend.
While the film’s genre-mashing premise is eccentric, the casting of actors well-versed in the science fiction/fantasy genre is what caught our eye on this one. Its Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects also means that we can look forward to an impressive visual experience.
Love and Monsters will be made available on Netflix on 14 April.
For K-drama fans
Beware of the taxi driver! In this futuristic story, our protagonist Kim Do-Gi (played by acclaimed actor Lee Je Hoon) is a former special forces officer whose mother was murdered when he was young. His pursuit of revenge leads him to work as a taxi driver for a company that offers a ‘revenge-call’ service to its clients, putting together a team that delivers vigilante justice under the disguise of being taxi drivers.
Taxi Driver has begun airing on SBS TV and is available for streaming on Viu.
Set in Korea National University, the series tells the story of students and professors in the legal department who come across an unusual murder mystery case. Veteran actor Kim Myung Min plays the role of Yang Jong Hoon, a former prosecutor-turned-professor who teaches criminal law. Known to his students as the harsh and insulting ‘YangCrates’, he is caught in a bind when a fellow professor is found dead in his office.
The show also marks a steady comeback to the small screen for both Ryu Hye Young (Reply 1988) and Kim Bum (Tale of the Nine-Tailed), who join the cast as fellow law students on opposite ends of the class-ranking spectrum. As Yang’s students come together to investigate the mystery, they experience firsthand the impact of truth and justice.
Law School begins airing on JTBC on 14 April and is available on Netflix.
Sell Your Haunted House
This supernatural drama tells the story of Hong Ji-ah (Jang Na-ra), a real estate broker and owner of an agency called Daebak Real Estate, by day. By night, she is an exorcist who clears out buildings haunted by ghosts. Our male lead on the other hand is Oh In Bum, a con artist who does not believe in ghosts but pretends to be an exorcist to earn money. To solve the mystery behind her mother’s death 20 years ago, our duo team up to exorcise ghosts and evil auras from haunted properties.
Sell Your Haunted House premieres on KBS 2 on 14 April.
The Reason I Jump
Based on the best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump is a documentary that explores the experiences of non-verbal autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida’s revelatory insights into autism, written when he was just 13, through the intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. Higashida’s reflections detail how his autism creates a different perception of the world, and why he acts the way he does: the reason he jumps. In this tapestry of rich sensations, he reminds us that not being able to speak does not mean that there is nothing to say.
The Reason I Jump is now showing in theatres.
Starring Tye Sheridan and Lily-Rose Depp, Voyagers is set in the future, chronicling the odyssey of 30 young men and women who are sent deep into space on a multi-generational mission to colonise a distant planet. But when they uncover disturbing secrets about the mission, the crew defy their training and begin to revert to their most primal state. Consumed by lust, fear and an insatiable hunger for power, the mission descends into chaos as the crew are left not knowing if danger lies in where they are going, or in who they are becoming.
Voyagers is now showing in cinemas.
Based on the 2015 memoir Guantanamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi, the film follows Slahi’s true experience of captivity and imprisonment without trial for years at Guantanamo Bay, under accusations that he was a recruiter for Al Qaeda.
Losing hope in his fight for freedom, Slahi (played by Tahar Rahim) aligns himself with defence attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley). Together with fabricated evidence uncovered by formidable military prosecutor Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Couch ( Benedict Cumberbatch), their controversial advocacy eventually reveals a shocking and far-reaching conspiracy.
The Mauritanian is now showing in theatres.
The skinny on upcoming shows
Money Heist (Korean Adaptation)
While no release date has been announced yet, the hype around this remake of the hit Netflix Spanish show makes it well worth a mention on our list. Netflix has unveiled its cast for the South Korean remake of Money Heist!
The high-budget K-drama boasts an exciting selection of A-List actors, from Yoo Ji Tae who stars as the Professor, to Kim Yun Jin and Park Myung Hoon (Parasite), who play inspectors on board the task force. Other notable actors include Park Hae Soo, who played the lead role in the acclaimed 2017 drama Prison Playbook, and Kim Ji-Hun from 2020’s Flower of Evil as Denver.
Set on the Korean Peninsula, the K-drama promises to breathe new life into the familiar storyline, in a span of 12 episodes. While this show may not be released any time soon, with its stellar cast, we predict that many of us will be looking forward to this drama in 2021.