- What to Watch
UPDATE: April 15 - We have three brand new show suggestions for you to check out - there's some reality TV, comedy and a documentary, plus all the good stuff that's still on the list from previous updates.
BBC Three has been since its inception a youth-oriented channel. It’s the reason it left the TV to become an online-only presence. But on iPlayer, it’s just as easy to catch up as anything else you’d find on the BBC.
Even if you’re a bit outside the age range of the kind of viewer the BBC was picturing, don’t write off the shows made under the Three banner. It’s often very topical and relevant to the current social climate, and as emotionally expressive as you’d imagine from a generation used to talking about controversial and important topics openly on social networks.
Some parts of it even make it to other BBC channels (like Stacey Dooley’s many documentaries), so you can trust it’s still of a high standard. We’ve collected some of the highlights here, including recent additions and old favourites.
Just One Night
Facing a big decision about the state of their relationship, a couple spend a day apart getting to know someone new. Once they’re done, the pair will decide if they want to continue seeing each other, or if this brief time away has convinced them that splitting up might be for the best.
Life After My Brother’s Murder
Credit: BBCDaniel Wallace was murdered 13 years ago, which means that his killer is now up for parole. Daniel’s younger sister, Chanell, is writing a statement to the parole board to explain the impact the murder had on her family’s life. This documentary follows her learning about her brother’s life and tragic death, having been sheltered from much of the event at the time by her family.
Back to Life
Credit: BBCAfter spending 18 years in prison, Miri is released into a world she was never prepared for and back to friends and family who have moved on in their lives. Her town almost fully rejects her due to whatever crime she committed all those years ago, so finding new friends and a job looks like a formidable challenge for the ex-prisoner.
Credit: BBCThe first series has been a BBC Three staple boxset for a long time, but now there’s a second and final series. Our hero Fleabag (played by the show’s writer, the wonderful Phoebe Waller-Bridge), has a lot of troubles in her life, but she is kind enough to share them with the viewer. With a complicated history with all her family members, and an even worse one with her friends and lovers, this is a dramatic comedy that can make you laugh and cry in quick succession.
Glow Up: Britain's Next Make-Up Star
Credit: Wall to Wall MediaStacey Dooley presents a competition for young make up artists to get the chance to break into the profession. Through a series of creative and skill based challenges, the artists are tested, with each episode climaxing with a one-on-one between the two worst-performers.
Eating with My Ex
Credit: BBCIn each episode of the show, two different couples who have split up are reunited for one last meal. All going to plan, it leads to a frank conversation about how relationships fall apart, and what each person has learnt since they went their separate ways. It can also be a chance to finally extract the truth or make a confession, and hopefully settle still raw wounds. Yes, it’s reality TV with a premise that can easily cause spectacular arguments, but the intimacy and simplicity of the presentation show how the genre isn’t always just for trashy fun.
Credit: BBCIf you want Stacey Dooley, BBC Three is the channel for you. She investigates people shot by their neighbours! She investigates second chance sex offenders! She investigates sex in strange places, such as Turkey (Turkey the place, not turkey the fowl)! If there’s something out there that needs investigated, you can count on Dooley to investigate the ever loving stuff out of it. Don’t let the breezy girl next door persona fool you, though: it enables her to disarm her interviewees, gaining confidences other interviewers might not. She’s one of the Beeb’s most-watched presenters and is well on her way to national treasure status.
Alt-Right: Age of Rage
Credit: BBCCovering political discourse during the first year of Donald Trump’s term as president, this documentary follows the growth of a nationalistic and authoritarian movement encouraged by Trump’s election. The viewer’s led by anti-fascist protesters, who follow the activities of the alt-right closely, and ensure they never demonstrate or try to spread their ideology unopposed. It’s a grimly interesting glimpse into a significant force in modern politics, in particular during the programme’s conclusion, when it examines the particularly aggressive protest held in Charlottesville, North Carolina in August 2017, that resulted in the death of one counter-protester and the injury of several others.