From a bolshy new talent show to the latest subtitled crime saga, here’s our pick of the 10 most eye-grabbing televisual glories awaiting you over the coming week…
The Rap Game
Monday 23rd May at 10pm on Lifetime (CH 208)
Why you should watch: Because we can’t believe it’s taken this long for a rap-related talent show to hit our screens.
Cringe factor: Low. The contestants are proper hip hop people, including a kid who’s not only performed with Puff Daddy, but has an equally rapperish name (Lil Poopy).
No human beatboxes then? Well, we wouldn’t entirely rule that out.
Cowell equivalent: A certain producer named Jermaine Dupri, who is far too cool for most of us to have heard of.
Is a Thing Alert: A “momager”, which means a mom who is a manager, is officially now a thing.
Tuesday 24th May at 9pm on Sky1 (CH 110)
Why you should watch: It’s a sitcom about football. Which is way overdue for a country that claims to be more than a little interested in the game.
What’s the actual gist? It’s the touching tale of an underdog team and their devoted, hapless fans.
Who’s in it: Two comedy royals. Or should that be Royles? It’s Craig Cash and Sue Johnston, is what we’re saying.
Rising comedy superstar alert: The cast also features Diane Morgan, aka the deliciously dim-witted Philomena Cunk.
Is it by Hat Trick Productions?: No, and what a missed opportunity that is.
Secret Life Of The Human Pups
Wednesday 25th May at 10pm on Channel 4 (CH 104)
Why you should watch: It’s about people who lead double lives as dogs. Of course you should watch.
Well I’ll be doggone: Indeed. They take it seriously, spending thousands on costumes and even eating dog treats and playing with squeaky toys.
Token incredible statistic: There are apparently around 10,000 human pups in the UK alone.
What to say: “A quirky and strangely delightful reminder that eccentricity is alive and well in the UK.”
What not to say: “The most insightful documentary about dogging I’ve ever seen.”
Thursday 26th May at 10pm on Sky Living (CH 112)
Why you should watch: It’s a fun crime caper about a gutsy female private eye on the trail of a villainous fraudster – who also happens to be her ex.
Unlikely collaboration of the week: It’s brought to us by Kate Atkinson (highbrow English novelist), and Shonda Rhimes (big cheese behind glossy US dramas).
Watch this if you like: Shonda’s other shows: Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder.
Facial recognition analysis: If you recognise the chap playing the bad guy, it’s because he’s the main guy from Six Feet Under.
Watch this when: You want shiny, good-looking, fun American things to happen to your eyes.
Neil Gaiman’s Likely Stories
Thursday 26th May at 9pm on Sky Arts (CH 122)
Why you should watch: Tales of macabre magnificence from our leading purveyor of such twisted tales? Sign us up with our own blood, please.
What it actually is: Short dramas adapted from Gaiman short stories, featuring a doctor changing from the feet up, and someone who needs raw meat to survive.
Veteran star-spot: It stars Rita Tushingham, from iconic 60s Brit-flick A Taste Of Honey.
Best cast member name: Montserrat Lombard. She sounds like she should be a type of very expensive fountain pen.
Watch this when: You fancy a change from pretty much every other kind of show on television.
Saturday 28th May at 9.30pm on BBC One (CH 101)
Why you should watch: The most swashbuckling series on telly is back, and this time with added Rupert Everett.
Is he a goodie or a baddie? Come on. It’s Rupert Everett. Of course he’s playing the baddie.
War, what is it good for? Entertaining television. D’Artagnan and co will be going into battle with the Spanish.
What to say: “All for one, and one for all!”
What not to say: “It’s not as good as Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds.”
Saturday 28th May at 9pm on BBC Four (CH 107)
Why you should watch: The latest moody, long-form European crime drama is here, so bid farewell to your Saturday nights.
Is it Nordic Noir? Nope, it’s set in France. It’s about a missing girl though, so there’s definitely a touch of The Killing to this one.
Unnecessary factoid: This is actually a French remake of a Spanish series called Desaparecida.
What to say: “Boasting an ensemble cast of dubious characters, this one’s a must for Euro-crime junkies.”
What not to say: “The only thing ‘disappearing’ is my patience for yet more subtitled whodunits…”
The British Soap Awards 2016
Sunday 29th May at 8pm on ITV (CH 103)
Why you should watch: You’ll get to see people from EastEnders, Corrie, Hollyoaks and the like all sat together in the same studio. Like they INHABIT THE SAME ACTUAL UNIVERSE. Always tickles us, that.
Who definitely deserves a gong: Danny Dyer. For all possible categories.
Most memorably named nominee: For Best Storyline we have “Stacey’s Postpartum Psychosis”, which would be a fine name for a punk band.
What to say: “Danny Dyer is our greatest actor since Olivier.”
What not to say: “Literally the only person I recognise is the bloke who plays Phil Mitchell.”
Sunday 29th May at 8pm on BBC Two (CH 102)
Why you should watch: This is the single most eagerly anticipated event since the birth of the Antichrist. And only marginally less controversial.
Sexy cars of the week: The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and the Dodge Viper ACR. As if you’re EVEN watching Top Gear for the cars, though.
Matt LeBlanc surrealness check: Yes, it’s still slightly surreal that Matt LeBlanc is now presenting Top Gear.
A-list attendees: Jesse Eisenberg and Gordon Ramsay will be acting like kids on Christmas Eve, as is the wont of celebs on Top Gear.
Will things explode? If they don’t, we want part of our license fee back.
Yeti: Man, Myth Or Beast?
Sunday 29th May at 8pm on Channel 4 (CH 104)
Why you should watch: Because “man, myth or beast?” is the most pertinent question of our times, after “daddy or chips?”
The controversy: This documentary weighs up whether the Yeti is a type of human, or actually an undiscovered bear.
Awesome scientist of the week: One of the experts is Professor Rasmus Neilsen. Incredibly, he’s a real person and not the alter-ego of a DC supervillain.
What to say: “At last, a serious scientific analysis of the Yeti phenomenon.”
What not to say: “Pah, the Yeti is a robot creature which works for the Great Intelligence. Every Doctor Who fan knows that.”
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