Six of the best TV shows to watch this week
‘The Young Offenders’ goes online, and a new talent show begins
Another fine mess: Chris Walley and Alex Murphy in 'The Young Offenders'
Two Doors Down
Monday, BBC Two, 10pm
Some people are just gluttons for punishment. The good folk of Latimer Crescent are back for a third series of catering misadventures in Scottish sitcom Two Doors Down. An ensemble cast led by Arabella Weir and Doon Mackichan play a disparate group of neighbours who are thrown together for dinner parties and other awkward, potentially disastrous get-togethers. It’s Burns Night, and that can only mean one thing – a big, meaty haggis supper for everyone in the crescent. What could go wrong? I probably wouldn’t watch this while eating dinner.
My War on Drugs: True Lives
Tuesday, TV3, 9pm
Anne Buckley tells how she battled addiction in My War on Drugs: True Lives. A heroin and methadone addict for 17 years, Buckley has been clean for the past five years and has earned a journalism degree. Now she returns to the streets to find out what led her to addiction, and what part inequality plays in creating conditions for drugs to take hold. She believes addiction is a health issue not a criminal one, and looks at the arguments for and against decriminalisation.
Can You Rebuild My Brain?
Tuesday, Channel 4, 10pm
Lotje Sodderland was just 34 when she suffered a stroke that almost killed her and left her brain permanently damaged. As you might expect, the experience had a profound effect on her. Lotje says: “It’s completely transformed my life, both for better and worse... It’s been five-and-a-half years, so that’s quite a long time to get used to my new brain and my new life.
“The actual damage was to the part of my brain that deals with language and perception, which is a really big part of experience – that’s where reading, writing, speaking, thinking, as well as how you see and experience the world, is all located in that bit of the brain.”
But the stroke also left her fascinated with the science that helped save her life. In this documentary, she meets some of the neuroscience pioneers who are developing ground-breaking treatments for everything from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to autism. However, she discovers that no matter how advanced these treatments may seem, this branch of science is still in its infancy.
Wednesday, Sky Atlantic, 9pm
Ever since The Sopranos, TV addicts have searched for a Mafia series worthy of the title “the new Sopranos”. Well, maybe they should look closer to the source – all the way to old Napoli. Gomorrah is the acclaimed Italian series centred around the activities of the Camorra crime syndicate in Naples, and the third series opens with the family dealing with the death of a big boss, and looking to exact revenge. The series is based on the true-life book by Roberto Saviano, and the Guardian said it “made The Godfather look like Gilbert and Sullivan”.
The Young Offenders
Thursday, BBC3, available from 10am
In 2016, Alex Murphy and Chris Walley appeared in The Young Offenders as two best friends from Cork who cycle along the Wild Atlantic Way in search of a missing bale of cocaine worth seven million euro. The movie was inspired by a real event and was critically acclaimed. Now Murphy and Walley are reprising their roles as Conor and Jock as they attempt to get to grips with the difficulties of teenage life. Conor’s long-suffering but devoted mother Mairead tries to keep both boys on the straight and narrow, but she’s fighting a lost cause. Instead, she’s left to pick up the pieces as the cheeky duo attempt to run rings around their headmaster – and look set to cause even more strife by striking up friendships with his daughters.
Friday, BBC One, 9pm
It’s a rule of television drama that terrible events of the past must come back to haunt you, and this is what literally happens in Requiem, a psychological thriller with a touch of the supernatural. Lydia Wilson plays Matilda, a successful cellist who is about to start a concert tour of New York when she learns of her mother’s suicide. Going through her late mother’s effects, she uncovers a mysterious box (there’s always a box, isn’t there?) and of course, it contains secrets (maybe a box isn’t the best place to hide secrets). What Matilda finds leads her to a strange, slightly sinister house in Wales where, no doubt, things are bound to go bump in the night to the tune of some eerie cello music.