Naked people are about to run amok on our screens, and we’re about to see Richard Blackwood go on an awkward date. Welcome to the oncoming TV highlights of the week…
Monday 4th July at 9pm on ITV (CH 103)
Why you should watch: It’s a new comedy drama about a woman desperate to make ends meet, so she decides to become an Anne Summers salesperson.
In other words: It’s basically Breaking Bad, only with sex toys instead of meth. And less cancer and maimings. OK, this is an inexact comparison.
Better comparison: A sort of female-led version of The Full Monty. Maybe.
Bonus reason to watch: It’s set in the 80s so there will be a mega-nostalgic soundtrack.
Chances of hearing Vienna by Ultravox: One zillion per cent.
Life Stripped Bare
Tuesday 5th July at 9pm on Channel 4 (CH 104)
Why you should watch: It’s a documentary about households which have all their possessions taken away. Including their clothes.
So it’s full of naked people?: This is correct.
“Social experiment” or trashy tweet-bait?: It’s full of naked people, so definitely the latter.
Rules summary: The subjects have to carry on their normal routines for 21 days. And they’re allowed one confiscated item back per day.
Watch if you like: Sex Box, Naked and Afraid, and other shows which have no rational reason to exist.
Tuesday 5th July at 10pm on Discovery (CH 250)
Why you should watch: Because never again will you complain about waiting a few minutes for a delayed train in Cheltenham.
What’s the gist?: A docusoap about the workers who keep trains operating in the scorching, epic landscape of the Australian Outback.
Watch if you like: Ice Road Truckers, Axe Men. You know, shows where burly people remain weirdly calm while almost getting killed at work.
What to say: “Full of nail-biting scenes and panoramic shots of the Outback, this is way better than the title makes it sound.”
What not to say: “Where’s Michael Portillo?”
Wednesday 6th July at 8pm on Sky1 (CH 110)
Why you should watch: It’s the touching tale of a New York family which adopted an orphaned baby chimp and raised it like a child.
Cuteness factor: It’s about an orphaned… baby… chimp.
Who are these people?: Hester and Jerry Mundis, who found baby Boris in a run-down pet shop in 1967. Now, all these years later, they tell the whole amazing story.
Should I also adopt a chimpanzee?: No.
Is there more?: Yep, this is the first of three stories. So keep the hankies handy.
Little Women: NY
Wednesday 6th July at 9pm on Lifetime (CH 208)
Why you should watch: It’s the big season two premiere of the reality show about seven little women living in the Big Apple.
So it’s not an modern remake of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women?: It is not that, no.
What to expect: One of the gals is pregnant! The correct response here is “Wooooop.”
Background fact nugget: Two of the women used to tour as wrestlers.
Best watched with: Ice cream. Glossy US reality shows always go better with ice cream.
Thursday 7th July at 10pm on Discovery (CH 250)
Why you should watch: Because it’s like a bizarre mash-up of a Bear Grylls show and DIY SOS.
What actually happens: A grizzled “expert homesteader” called Marty Raney helps families who are struggling to create new lives off-grid in various wilderness areas.
Who is Marty Raney?: A tough guy with a magnificent moustache, is all you need to know.
What to say: “A genuinely eye-opening look at what it takes to make a new life away from the trappings of civilisation.”
What not to say: “I’m British and therefore have no idea what a homestead is.”
Celebrity First Dates
Friday 8th July at 9pm on Channel 4 (CH 104)
Why you should watch: Because civilian First Dates is already brilliant, and this version is pimped up with our nation’s renowned C-listers.
Why it’ll be great: The celebs are being paired up with regular people. So it’s basically like Notting Hill, a bit.
Who’s in it?: Esther Rantzen, who is sincerely looking for love. And Richard Blackwood, who is looking for someone “exotic”.
That all?: There’s also the inevitable person from TOWIE, and a table tennis player. Hey, what did you expect, Tom Hiddleston and Adele?
Best watched with: One eye on Twitter. #ThisIsGoingToBeHilarious
Sid! By Those Who Really Knew Him
Saturday 9th July at 9pm on Sky Arts (C)
Why you should watch: It’s an in-depth look at a genuine music and fashion icon, Sid Vicious.
Sid who?: A member of the Sex Pistols, Sid was a swaggering hero of the punk movement whose dramatic death at a young age enshrined him in rock ‘n’ roll history.
Juiciest sub-plot: The documentary delves into his traumatic and doomed relationship with Nancy Spungen.
Look out for: Gossipy remembrances from stars of the era, including members of Adam and the Ants, and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
What to do afterwards: Find Sid’s version of My Way on YouTube. It’s awesome.
The Wipers Time
Saturday 9th July at 9pm on BBC Two (CH 102)
Why you should watch: Another chance to see this brilliant comedy-drama about WW1 soldiers who created their own satirical newspaper in the midst of carnage.
Who’s in it?: Handsome character actor Ben Chaplin, and jaggedy-faced redhead Julian Rhind-Tutt.
Clever device alert: The drama actually brings to life articles from the paper in the form of surreal sketches.
Trivia tidbit: This celebration of British wit in the face of horror was co-written by Ian Hislop.
Look out for: A cameo from Michael Palin. Which is fitting, because their humour was pretty Python-esque.
MOTD: Euro 2016 Live
Sunday 10th July at 7pm on BBC One (CH 101)
Why you should watch: It’s the Euro 2016 Final!
But I hate football!: Now, now. Just because England got booted out in their most embarrassing defeat ever.
What to expect: No idea, at the time of writing. But we can guarantee copious amounts of Lineker.
Likelihood of several montages set to overly dramatic techno music: Yes.
What not to say: “I’m sure England will do better in the World Cup.”
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