Five TV shows to watch this week
Ant joins Dec to present I’m a Celebrity. Would You Believe is in search of evil
What’s at the root of Ireland’s “silent epidemic” of sleep deprivation
Thursday, RTÉ Two, 10.35pm
School can be a jungle, especially when Cork comedy collective CCCahoots are let loose in the classroom. The School is an, if you will, mockumentary set in an Irish primary school, and centres on a love triangle between the charming new principal, Mr English, smitten school secretary Briege, and jealous teacher Mr Hegarty. With the school nativity play looming, Mr Hegarty is determined to undermine the new principal and win the heart of Briege, but you can be sure his efforts will result in classroom chaos.
Awake – The Science of Sleep
Wednesday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
Awake – The Science of Sleep explores the catastrophic health consequences of not getting enough sleep, including cancer, mental illness and cardiovascular disease. Dr Pixie McKenna sets out to get to the root of Ireland’s “silent epidemic” of sleep deprivation. Shift work, burning the candle at both ends, busy work and family lives, and sitting up staring at our smartphones and iPads, all contribute to our collective lack of sleep, and result in a nation of tired, irritable and accident-prone grouches with a dangerously reduced life expectancy.
McKenna meets Irish people suffering from a variety of sleep disorders, from insomnia to sleep apnea, and talks to scientists who are staying up late to try and uncover the secrets of sleep. Hopefully, this programme will help us realise the value of a good night’s . . . zzzzz.
Netflix, from Wednesday
Following his outstanding TV adventure with historical hospital drama The Knick, Steven Soderberg turns his attentions to the western in Godless, with Jeff Daniels’ outlaw pursuing the man who betrayed him into a mining town run by women.
Evil – A Would You Believe Special
We hear the word tossed around the media, usually after another gun massacre in the US or a brutal murder closer to home. But what is evil? Is it something that can actually be detected and measured by electronic equipment, or is it something supernatural, a malevolent spirit that takes over the mind and makes people commit terrible acts? Mick Peelo is the brave soul who sets out to uncover its true nature in Evil – A Would You Believe Special. He talks to Jim and Rose Callaky, whose daughter Rachel was ly murdered by her husband Joe O’Reilly. They believe O’Reilly is truly evil, with no conscience: “When you look into his eyes there’s nothing there.”
He talks to psychotherapist Christine Louise de Cannonville, neurologist Dr Clare Kelly, and psychiatrist Dr Ivor Browne, and learns that evil has several faces, from the narcissist to the full-on psychopath, and many evil acts are down to bad wiring in the brain. But is there a pure, evil force out there, determined to destroy lives and spread misery? Does the devil really exist?
I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here!
Sun-Friday, TV3, 9pm
It’s getting cold outside, so it’s time to send another bunch of wannabes into the jungle to try to generate some telly heat. I’m a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! is by now complete misnomer – the participants will be the usual bunch of complete unknowns, deluded self-promoters or former reality-show contestants, and none of them will want to leave the jungle and go back to being nobodies.
There’s fevered speculation about who may be going into the jungle this year: will it be so-and-so from Corrie, yer wan from The X Factor, or that bloke from Love Island? Who cares? The real question on everyone’s lips is: will Ant McPartland return to co-host the series with his presenting partner Declan Donnelly? The show’s producers have assured fans that, following his much-publicised spell in rehab, Ant will indeed be joining Dec in the jungle, and all will be well with the world of reality TV. But don’t be too sniffy about I’m a Celebrity . . . As a sociological study of what people are willing to do for a fleeting shot at fame, it’s invaluable.