Six of the best TV shows to watch this week

‘The Young Offenders’ try (and fail) to stay out of trouble, while a legendary warrior makes his way home in ‘Vikings’

Chris Walley and Alex Murphy in ‘The Young Offenders’

Chris Walley and Alex Murphy in ‘The Young Offenders’


We Won the Lotto
Monday, RTÉ One, 9.35pm
What’s it like to win the lotto? Is it a dream date with destiny or a one-way ticket to palookaville? With most National Lottery winners preferring to remain anonymous, and few willing to speak publicly about their experience, they remain a little-known and less-understood species. But a handful of past winners are happy to give us an insight into the life of an accidental millionaire in We Won the Lotto. In this two-parter, we’ll meet people who have had their lives changed by their lotto win, and get first-hand stories of when they suddenly found themselves with loadsamoney. Who went on a mad spending spree, and who used their winnings to set up a new business or fulfil a lifelong dream? We’ll get both the up and the down sides of sudden wealth – straight from the gift horse’s mouth.

The Handmaid’s Tale
Monday, RTÉ 2, 9.30pm
It was one of last year’s most acclaimed series, sweeping the Emmys and the Golden Globes. You may have caught it on Channel 4, but here’s a chance to revisit the totalitarian regime of Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale. Elizabeth Moss gives a towering performance as Offred, one of a coterie of sex slaves in a patriarchal dictatorship whose task is to provide their masters with children. It’s been billed as a dystopian drama, but given the way things have gone in the past year, it might feel uncomfortably close to a documentary.

Living the Wildlife
Tuesday, RTÉ 2, 7pm

Cameraman Colin Stafford-Johnson reveals to viewers how they can get close to wildlife throughout the year, drawing on his experience travelling and interacting with nature. This is the last episode in the series.

Wednesday, RTÉ 2, 9pm

Jonathan Rhys Meyers: a particularly appropriate acquisition for the Irish-Canadian show’s fifth series
Jonathan Rhys Meyers: a particularly appropriate acquisition for the Irish-Canadian show’s fifth series

Season five of Vikings, the Irish-Canadian co-production that’s given countless Irish extras some much-needed work over the years, continues with a double bill as the Vikings continue their quests in England. In the aftermath of battle, the army leaders must consider their options. Meanwhile, in Floki’s camp, tragedy unfolds. In the second episode, a legendary warrior makes his way home.

The Young Offenders
Thursday, RTÉ 2, 9.30pm
Alex Murphy and Chris Walley (better known as Conor and Jock, the delinquent duo from Cork), return to their roles as teenage tearaways trying (and failing) to stay out of trouble. Anyone who’s seen the hit movie knows that they are in for. The series was made by Vico Films in association with RTÉ and BBC, and also stars PJ Gallagher and Hilary Rose.

Friday, Sky One, 9pm
In 17th-century England, women were shipped over to the Americas to become mail-order brides for the settlers, and Jamestown centres around three strong women, Alice, Jocelyn and Verity, who arrive at the titular settlement to marry their new masters, and must navigate the tricky terrain of sexual and social politics in the New World. Series two promises lots of murder, kidnappings and treachery, not to mention eerie events and a terrible threat to the people of Jamestown. The series features Irish actor Niamh Walsh as Verity.