Suck your bellies in, because Naked Attraction is back for its second series. And if that’s just too silly for you, there’s also a well-classy new drama with Naomi Watts…
Robert Redford’s The West
Tuesday 27th June at 10pm on History (CH 270)
Why you should watch: The Sundance Kid takes us on a ride into the Old West. Who are we to say no?
So it’s a documentary series?: Yes, but one with serious Hollywood gloss and more stars than you can shake a six-shooter at.
Example varmints: James Caan, Kiefer Sutherland, Burt Reynolds, Ed Harris and Robert Redford himself all weigh in on all things Western.
First up: The series opens with an epic episode about Jesse James, Crazy Horse and General Custer.
Best watched with: A big Stetson hat and a bowl of grits. Whatever grits are.
Hokusai: Old Man Crazy To Paint
Tuesday 27th June at 9pm on BBC Four (CH 107)
Why you should watch: It’s a penetrating documentary about an artist you probably know, without knowing you know.
How so?: Hokusai’s image of a big blue, frothy wave is one of the most reproduced images from Japanese art.
Why he’s important: Born centuries ago, Hokusai inspired generations of artists and paved the way for today’s graphic novels.
Most preciousss voice-over of the week: Andy Serkis will be reading the words of Hokusai himself.
Lines to live by: “Until the age of 70, nothing I drew was worthy of notice.” Time enough for all of us, then.
Chaplin In Bali
Wednesday 28th June at 10pm on Sky Arts (CH 122)
Why you should watch: Because who knew Charlie Chaplin basically went on a “gap year” to Bali in the middle of his career?
What’s the story?: In the early 30s, perturbed by the rise of talkies and feeling like he was old hat, Chaplin fled Hollywood for Bali. And that’s what this film is all about.
What to expect: Actual footage Chaplin took of the locals in Bali, while going through his mid-life crisis.
What not to expect: Bowler hats and silly moustaches.
Look out for: Shots of Chaplin dancing and pratfalling about with a tribe who have no idea who he is.
<a href=" http://anywhere.virginmedia.com/show/chaplin-in-bali/transmission/24919-24919-SH027136350000-201706282100">Record Chaplin in Bali now on TV Anywhere</a>
The Week The Landlords Moved In
Wednesday 28th June at 9pm on BBC One (CH 101)
Why you should watch: This almost painfully timely reality series sees wealthy landlords moving into their own properties.
In other words: It’s a bit like Back to the Floor meets The Secret Millionaire meets every news headline about the housing crisis.
First up: Smug rich bloke Marc moves into the rather grotty flat he rents out to struggling Linda. Sounds like an ill-advised rom-com, but isn’t.
Best pompous landlord line of the week: “Let it and forget it.”
Second best pompous landlord line of the week: “Some people are saving up for their first home. I’ve got 40!”
Hell On Earth: The Fall Of Syria And The Rise Of ISIS
Wednesday 28th June at 9pm on National Geographic (CH 266)
Why you should watch: If you’re at a loss to understand the apocalyptic situation in Syria, this big film is a must-watch.
How is it big?: In both size (it’s feature-length) and scope (it lays out the whole story of the Syrian civil war).
Who’s behind the camera?: Sebastian Junger, the man who wrote The Perfect Storm, now delving into an even greater maelstrom of despair.
What to expect: Incredible, on-the-ground footage from Syria, and real people telling their real stories.
Expert analysis: Military leaders and senior politicians like John McCain weigh in, though it’s the ordinary Syrians who know the score the most.
Thursday 29th June at 10pm on Channel 4 (CH 104)
Why you should watch: It’s a brand new series of the dating show seemingly inspired by Apu from The Simpsons (“Everybody get naked!”).
Oh dear: Come on, this is the TV show equivalent of squirting squirty cream straight into your mouth. Wrong, but so right.
What’s the set up?: If you somehow missed the first series, people choose potential mates by judging them on their naked body parts.
What about personalities and stuff?: It’s all about the limbs and dangly bits.
Who’s up first?: Mummy’s boy Dom, and a pan-sexual girl named Izzy who likes feminism, eggs and gin.
Friday 30th June at 9pm on Sky1 (CH 110)
Why you should watch: The charming, cosy, warm-hearted comedy drama gets a big send-off. Hankies at the ready!
What’s the story?: Our main couple, Lisa and Dan, have to decide whether to move away for good.
Look out for: Larry Lamb, Nigel Harman and Samantha Womack. It’s like the EastEnders reunion you never knew you wanted.
Watch if you like: Stella, Trollied and other gently adorable shows about everyday life in Blighty.
Best watched with: A big mug of tea and at least a third of a packet of chocolate digestives.
Friday 30th June on Netflix
Why you should watch: It’s a big new thriller that isn’t a case-of-the-week procedural, and has a troubled liar in the lead role. Intrigued?
What’s the gist: It’s the story of a married therapist who crosses ALL the lines with her patients, getting increasingly embroiled in their personal lives.
In other words: It’s a cutting look at a woman’s secret urges and search for identity, in a rapidly-changing world.
Big star alert: The great Naomi Watts is our very troubled shrink.
Film buff in-joke?: Watts’ character takes on the alias “Diane”, which is the name of a major player in her breakout movie Mulholland Drive, also about shifting identities. Coincidence?
Gypsy is available to watch from Friday 30th June on Netflix
Two Weeks in Hell
Saturday 1st July at 9pm on Discovery (CH 250)
Why you should watch: Because there’s nothing like watching a bunch of people going through an arduously punishing training regime while we sit all comfy on the sofa.
What’s it about?: It’s a documentary following recruits trying to get on the Green Beret training programme.
What to expect: Brutal tests designed to test their strength, agility, mental stamina and sheer bloody-mindedness.
In other words: It’s a bit like the obstacle course round of The Krypton Factor, crossed with Full Metal Jacket.
By the way: 60% of the wannabes won’t make it to the end.
Dunkirk: The New Evidence
Sunday 2nd July at 8pm on Channel 4 (CH 104)
Why you should watch: It’s the story of Dunkirk told with all kinds of extra, unexpected insights.
What most people know: Dunkirk was a great escape, with thousands of stranded soldiers whisked away to safety by a motley armada of boats.
What most people don’t know: The RAF played a key role in the whole operation, suffering huge losses into the bargain.
Secret evidence: The film reveals documents at the Ministry of Defence that were kept secret until very recently.
First flight: Military buffs will relish the bit revealing how the Spitfire took to the skies for the very first time during Dunkirk.