Whether you fancy hitting the high seas with real-life pirates, or joining the smegheads and gimboids on Red Dwarf, this promises to be an exceedingly enjoyable week in TV land.
Who’s Afraid of Conceptual Art?
Monday 19th September at 9pm on BBC Four (CH 107)
Why you should watch: As part of the BBC’s big Conceptual Art season, super-suave art critic Dr James Fox ponders this controversial genre.
Who is Dr James Fox?: He’s like the Professor Brian Cox of arts shows. (And like Cox, he shares a name with a famous actor. Weird huh? WEIRD.)
Why this’ll be interesting: Fox is actually a sceptic when it comes to conceptual art, so this won’t just be him gushing over sculptures of poo.
Look out for: Artist Martin Creed, famed for works including a light switching on and off. Quite.
Best watched while: Wearing a fish on your head. Come on, get with the vibe.
Wicked Pirate City
Tuesday 20th September at 8pm on National Geographic (CH 266)
Why you should watch: This flamboyant docudrama tells the story of Port Royal, the sin city of the 17th Century, where they would have eaten Jack Sparrow alive.
Port whatnow?: A buzzing, rum-soaked Caribbean stronghold of pirates and buccaneers, eventually destroyed by an apocalyptic earthquake.
In other words: It’s Pirates of the Caribbean meets the legend of Atlantis, only real.
What to say: “Who knew they knew how to party this hard in the olden days?”
What not to say: Any sentence containing the words “ooo”, “arrrrr” or “me hearties”.
Jodie Marsh Gets Locked Up
Tuesday 20th September at 10pm on TLC (CH 103)
Why you should watch: Because Jodie Marsh is the most unexpectedly brilliant documentary presenter since Ross Kemp. Honestly.
Where she’s at: Jodie will be going into a Dallas women’s jail. And even this bolshy lady will be lost for words.
Highs and lows: Expect a prison-based “twerk-off”, and the aftermath of a woman giving birth behind bars.
What to say: “While her one-time nemesis Katie Price makes programmes about ponies, Jodie continues tackling big issues around the world.”
What not to say: “If Jodie still had her body-building skin tone, orange really would be the new black.”
Thursday 22nd September at 9pm on ITV (CH 103)
Why you should watch: Because this starts off looking like just another crime drama, but will rapidly morph into something far bigger and far weirder.
What’s the gist?: A woman is abruptly stabbed to death in a playground in Cheshire. Police think it’s some lunatic, but is it actually a dark, Europe-wide conspiracy thing? (Hint: yes it is.)
Shout out to Scott & Bailey fans: Lesley Sharp’s in this. Woop.
What to say: “A clever twist on the usual ITV crime formula, which might become a big word-of-mouth sensation.”
What not to say: “So this isn’t that Black Sabbath biopic I’ve been waiting all my life for?”
Thursday 22nd September at 9pm on DAVE (CH 127)
Why you should watch: It’s the brand new series of Red Dwarf, and the Inquisitor will come and delete you from history if you don’t watch it.
What are the smegheads up to?: Going back in time to stop evil cyborgs. That sound you hear is Rimmer weeping in fear.
Clever sci-fi concept of the week: They emerge in an alternative 1920s where science, rather than booze, is banned, and Einstein is a depressed tramp.
Also: There will be a joke involving Kryten’s nipples. Just to warn you.
Brand new Kryten self-description: “I went bobbing for apples in a cement mixer.”
Marooned with Ed Stafford
Thursday 22nd September at 9pm on Discovery Channel (CH 250)
Why you should watch: TV’s foremost glutton for punishment is back. And he’ll be putting himself through hell all over again.
First up: The Andes. The actual ANDES. Expect searing sunlight, freezing evenings and slow madness.
On the menu tonight: Tadpoles and ant eggs.
Why does Ed do this?: Because he is a crazy person.
Watch if you like: Bear Grylls, but wish he was crossed with Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
Thursday 22nd September at 9pm on Channel 4 (CH 104)
Why you should watch: It’s a new series of the breathlessly thrilling show where members of the public have to become literal fugitives across Britain for 28 days.
Dystopian nightmare influence: Stephen King fans may recognise the basic premise of his novel, The Running Man. Only with, you know, less actual death.
Who’s on the run?: A househusband called nick, and amputee veterans Kirk and Jeremy, are among the fugitives dodging our hunters.
What’s at stake: £100,000 in prize money. All the incentive you need for cowering behind bins.
What about, er, the camera crew following them everywhere?: Shush now.
Project Runway All Stars
Thursday 22nd September at 9pm on Lifetime (CH 208)
Why you should watch: The coolest designers from previous seasons of Project Runway have been brought together for a brand new competition.
So it’s like a kind of fashion-version of Suicide Squad?: Er… sure!
What’s up for grabs?: The chance to design a line of jewels for BaubleBar.com, and a fashion spread for Marie Claire, among other things.
Sniping to look forward to: The designers will be getting catty about evil blog entries they write about each other. Grab the popcorn.
Unlikely task of the series: They’ll at one point have to design clothing for naturists. Presumably using the same see-through threads used for the Emperor’s New Clothes?
Thursday 22nd September on Netflix
Why you should watch: This anthology series about attractive Chicago people stumbling through love and life in the 21st century is going to be the single coolest thing on Netflix this autumn.
Who’s in it?: Orlando Bloom is the biggest name, but we’ve also got top comic Hannibal Burgess and James Franco’s brother, Dave.
Who’s the showrunner?: Joe Swanberg, the maestro of mumblecore.
Mumblewhat?: It’s an indie film genre which tends to feature aimless slackers talking about stuff in improvised/naturalistic ways.
So it’s a bit hipster then?: It’s as hipster as a vintage teapot in a cableknit jumper. Prove you’re cool by watching it.
Easy is available to watch on Netflix from Thursday 22nd September
Strictly Come Dancing
Friday 23rd September at 9pm on BBC One (CH 101)
Why you should watch: Time to give those cringe muscles a workout, as this year’s competition properly begins.
Best face forward: Keep an eye on Judge Rinder’s madcap facial expressions as he shows off his moves.
Grindingly inevitable pun of the year: Will Ed balls things up?
Unfair advantage alert: If the likes of Louise Redknapp and Will Young don’t go far, they should hang their heads in shame.
Awesomest contestant thus far: Anastacia, who’ll be donating her whole fee to a breast cancer charity.
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