thu 20/07/2017

The best TV to watch this week | reviews, news & interviews

The best TV to watch this week

The best TV to watch this week

What to watch and where to find it

Peter Wildeblood (Daniel Mays) and Eddie Mcnally (Richard Gadd) in Against the Law, BBC Two, Wednesday 26 JulyBBC/Dean Rogers/Geraint Williams

Too hot outside? Take refuge on the box. We sift the schedules for you.

 

Thursday 20 July

Who Do You Think You Are?, BBC One – this week, it's ubiquitous sports presenter Clare Balding. Did her great-grandfather, Tory MP Sir Malcolm Bullock, have a gay relationship with Rex Whistler?

The Mash Report, BBC Two – Nish Kumar and a team of spurious news correspondents satirise stories from the headlines (in the spirit of website The Daily Mash).

Friday 21 July

It's So Easy and Other Lies, Sky Arts – documentary based on the titular book by Duff McKagan (pictured above), bass player with Guns N' Roses. His alcoholism caused his pancreas to burst, but somehow he survived and became a financial consultant. He's now back on the road with Axl & co.

Dicte: Crime Reporter, More4 – continuing adventures of the Danish reporter-turned-detective.

Sunday 23 July

Storyville: Accidental Anarchist – Life Without Government, BBC Four – the story of Carne Ross, a Foreign Office diplomat in Afghanistan and an Iraq expert at the UN Security Council. He became convinced democracy and capitalism couldn't solve the Middle East's problems, and his pessimism was reinforced by the suspicious death of his friend Dr David Kelly. 

Poldark, BBC One – Demelza is livid when Ross turns down a nomination for parliament, opening up an opportunity for George to step in.

The Handmaid's Tale, Channel 4 – penultimate episode in series, and Offred (Elisabeth Moss) undertakes a mission for the resistance.

Monday 24 July

Diana, Our Mother : Her Life and Legacy, ITV – William and Harry explore the life and legacy of their mother, killed 20 years ago, and talk about how her death affected them.

Ripper Street, BBC Two – the end of series 5, and the end of Ripper Street forever (although of course it has come back from the dead before). Powerful, but there aren't many laughs.

Love Island: The Live Final, ITV2 – the pinnacle of reality TV, or the last rites for broadcasting as we know it?

Tuesday 25 July

Cutting Edge: Excluded at Seven, Channel 4 – documentary about how increasing numbers of children are being excluded from primary schools. Some of them end up in short-term places at the Rosebery School in Kings Lynn, where this was filmed.

Young and Promising, Channel 4 – new Norwegian drama, about three 20-something women in Oslo. Instead of being massacred by a serial killer, they deal with professional and personal issues as they pursue careers as an actor, writer and comedian.

Dictators and Despots: A Timewatch Guide, BBC Four – continuing the cheap-and-cheerful recycling formula, David Olusoga trawls 50 years of BBC archives to look at how dictators have been presented over the years (Gadaffi, Saddam Hussein, Mugabe etc)

Wednesday 26 July

Against the Law, BBC Two – Drama-documentary telling the story of gay journalist Peter Wildeblood, who was jailed for homosexual offences in 1954. The resulting public outcry helped  change attitudes about homosexuality, Daniel Mays stars as Wildeblood (upon whose book Against the Law this is based)

Hyper Evolution: The Rise of the Robots, BBC Four – will the increasing sophistication of robots make everyone's lives better, or wipe out the human race? Evolutionary biologist Dr Ben Garrod and electronics professor Danielle George investigate.

The South Bank Show, Sky Arts – Melvyn Bragg on Karl Ove Knausgard, the Norwegian Proust.

Thursday 27 July

Top of the Lake: China Girl, BBC Two – second coming of Australian detective Robyn Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) and writer/director Jane Campion. Back in Sydney, Griffin gets on the case of a murdered Asian girl, washed up on the beach in a suitcase. Co-starring Gwendoline Christie and Nicole Kidman.

Prejudice and Pride: The People's History of LGBTQ Britain – Part 1 of 2. Stephen K Amos and Susan Calman look at the years 1967-87.

Inside the London Fire Brigade, ITV – this first in a 3-part series zooms in on the firefighters' horrific experiences at Grenfell Tower.

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

newsletter

Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters