sun 28/05/2017

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

A melancholy Sean Bean in 'Broken', BBC One, Tuesday

So much to view, so little time... theartsdesk sorts the TV-wheat from the telly-chaff.

Saturday 27 May

Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors, BBC Two – Lucy Worsley explores how the houses Austen lived in influenced her writing. This takes her to Warwickshire, Hampshire, Kent and Dorset.

Beside Bowie: The Mick Ronson Story, Sky Arts – profile of Bowie's guitarist who died in 1993, featuring Angie Bowie, Rick Wakeman, Ian Hunter and a voiceover by David Bowie, which suggests this has been gestating for some time. 

Sunday 28 May

The Handmaid's Tale, C4 – Elisabeth Moss stars in new 10-part adaptation of Margaret Atwood's dystopian novel.

Grantchester, ITV – last in series 3. Sidney and Geordie face different kinds of crises, while trying to solve the case of a missing child. 

The Durrells, ITV – cliff-hanging series-ending episode, as Hugh (Daniel Lapaine) tries to persuade Louisa (Keeley Hawes) to come back to England with him.

Arena: American Epic, BBC Four – history of American roots music continues, featuring blues, gospel and Sister Rosetta Tharpe's proto-rock'n'roll.

Netflix pick 1 The Keepers. New true-crime series in the vein of Making a Murderer. The unsolved 1969 murder of Baltimore nun Sister Cathy Cesnik is merely the beginning of a saga of trauma, betrayal, and a probable cover-up by the Catholic church. 

Monday 29 May

May v Corbyn Live: the Battle for Number 10, C4/Sky News – "live" as in each of them is interviewed separately by Jeremy Paxman, while Sky News's Faisal Islam oversees questions from the studio audience. 

Arena: Desert Island Discs, BBC Four – Arena's classic 1982 film about the indestructible radio programme is brushed up with a new introduction by current host Kirsty Young. Featured castaways include Paul McCartney, Arthur Askey, Russell Harty and Frankie Howerd.

Tuesday 30 May

Broken, BBC One – First episode of new Jimmy McGovern drama, which was held over from last week. Sean Bean stars as Father Michael Kerrigan, trying to give a helping hand to struggling single mother Christina (Anna Friel). 

The Chillenden Murders, BBC Two – documentary about the ghastly 1996 murders in rural Kent of Lin Russell and her daughter Megan, who were beaten with a hammer. Local petty criminal Michael Stone was jailed for life for the killings, but insists he's innocent. Here, various legal and forensic experts re-examine the evidence. 

Grayson Perry: Divided Britain, C4 – Perry tackles the great Leave/Remain divide by creating two huge pots and inviting people from each side to help him cover them with their images and ideas. 

Netflix pick 2 – season 5 of House of Cards is launched today. Machiavellian Kevin Spacey and merciless Robin Wright star (right)

Wednesday 31 May

Fargo, C4 – third series of the chilly murder-mystery franchise stars Ewan McGregor as both of the Stussy brothers, wealthy Emmit (the Parking Lot King of Minnesota) and embittered Ray. Their sibling rivalry brings mayhem to their small community.  

Thursday 1 June

The Good Fight, More4 – last in the first series of this excellent Good Wife spinoff. Will Maia go to jail for the sins of her father? And will Chicago be plunged into darkness by a cyber-attack on the electricity grid? 

Frank Skinner on Muhammad Ali, BBC One – Skinner embarks on the inevitable TV "journey" in pursuit of his idol, Ali. He meets his brother and his former wife, and visits his training compound in Pennsylvania, among other things. 

Catching a Killer, C4 – real-life crime is the current TV craze, and here's some more. What led up to the murder of of Natalie Hemming, a 31-year-old mother of three who vanished a year ago? 

Friday 2 June

Question Time: Leaders Special, BBC One – rehash of Monday's C4 programme, this time with David Dimbleby quizzing Corbyn and May, who will also separately take questions from the audience.  

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