Six of the best TV shows to watch this week
Grow, Cook, Eat will teach you all about vegetables and The Young Offenders sign off with a mad bus ride around Cork
The Good Fight: back for a second series
Monday, BBC Two, 9pm
Brixton legend Blacker Dread has been a community mentor, a DJ and a shopkeeper. He has lost a child to gun violence and faces prison himself. Molly Dineen’s intimate yet expansive documentary (her first in a decade) follows Blacker and friends over three years. What emerges is a portrait of an area and an era, as well as of a unique individual.
Grow, Cook, Eat
Wednesday, RTÉ One, 7.30pm
Huddled in our home last week, as the Beast from the East raged outside, with not a single slice of Brennan’s in the breadbin, and just a couple of skangy old potatoes in the cupboard, we were consumed with envy at those lucky people who could grow their own vegetables. Now help is at hand in the form of Grow, Cook, Eat, a new series that shows you how to grow veggies from scratch, and then shows you how to cook them up. Michael Kelly and Karen O’Donoghue from Grow It Yourself will take you through all the steps you need to grow your own, and in the first programme they’ll start with the humble potato – versatile and packed with goodness. If anything can get you through a blizzard, it’s the potato – after all, didn’t Matt Damon survive on Mars with nothing but a few spuds. They’ll show you how easy it is to grow potatoes using just a small patch, and then chefs Jessica Murphy, from Kai Restaurant in Galway, and Jack Kirwan, owner of the Sprout chain of restaurants in Dublin, will come up with some tasty recipes using your homegrown ingredient.
But it seems we don’t need Armageddon to spur us to grow our own. The series coincides with a growing trend for cultivating vegetable and herb gardens at home, using back gardens, patios and even turning balcony spaces into mini market gardens.
O’Donoghue and Kelly will also visit a former wasteground in north Dublin that has been reclaimed from drug addicts and turned into a thriving community market garden. And they’ll find out what happens to the contents of your brown bin after it has been collected.
Last week’s bad weather knocked out public transport and power around the country, but it also seems to have nobbled the telly schedules – major new series are as scarce as sliced pans this week. Good thing this didn’t happen while we were in the throes of the tempest – otherwise we’d have been staring at snow on the telly as well as outside.
The Young Offenders
Thursday, RTÉ Two, 9.30pm
Still, we can always catch the final episode of The Young Offenders . The series – also showing on BBC Three – has been an even bigger hit than the original movie, thanks to some sharp scriptwriting and direction from Peter Foott and stellar performances from Alex Murphy and Chris Walley. It’s made by Vico Films for the BBC, in association with RTÉ and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and also stars Hilary Rose and PJ Gallagher. The series ends – as all good series should – with a mad bus ride around Cork, but don’t fret when it all comes to a stop – lovable langers Conor and Jock will be back in trouble soon enough, as the BBC have commissioned a second series. “It is exactly the type of daring, original comedy we live for on BBC Three and we’re looking forward to continuing our relationship with them,” said Damian Kavanagh, Controller of BBC Three. Gowan ya boy ye, says us.
Four Days That Shook Britain
Thursday, ITV, 9pm
Over the space of four months in spring and summer last year, four terrorist attacks took place in the UK that would change the lives of hundreds of people forever. This 90-minute documentary, featuring accounts from witnesses and members of the emergency services who were first on the scene, tells the dramatic story of each attack, remembering those who lost their lives and hearing from those who survived. The atrocities began in on March 22nd, when Khalid Masood drove a hire car across Westminster Bridge in Central London, killing four pedestrians and later stabbing a police officer.
Exactly two months later, 22 people were killed when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated a homemade device laden with metal nuts as shrapnel in the lobby of Manchester Arena at the end of an Ariana Grande pop concert. It was the deadliest terror attack on British soil since the 7/7 bombings in London in 2005.
Terror struck again in the capital the following month when three men drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge before getting out and running into Borough Market on a stabbing rampage, killing eight people.
Then, just 16 days later, another man, Makram Ali, died and several other people were injured when a van was driven into a group of Muslim worshippers outside a mosque in Finsbury Park, north London.
The Good Fight
Thursday, More4, 9pm
Someone is bumping off Chicago lawyers, and the city’s law firms are in a panic, wondering which legal eagle is next to be taken down. Christine Baranski returns as Diane Lockhart in the second series of The Good Fight, the acclaimed spinoff from the successful drama series The Good Wife. When a lawyer is murdered by his client for overcharging, it sparks off a series of copycat murders, and pretty soon every lawyer in Chicago is a potential target. But what has made The Good Fight compelling viewing for many is the way it has tackled the madness of the Trump administration head-on, and series two doesn’t let up on the Trump-thumping, with plotlines around the #MeToo movement, the Mueller investigation and a hunt for the semi-mythical “pee tape”.
Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago
Friday, BBC Two, 9pm
If you’re the type who enjoys watching celebrities sitting around doing very little in the jungle or the Big Brother house, then prepare for some edge-of-your-seat excitement as a group of celebrities face the ultimate physical challenge – actual walking. Pilgrimage: The Road to Santiago is a three-part travelogue series in which seven stars are stripped of their home comforts and forced to hoof it along the Camino di Santiago, the world’s most famous walking route. They must live as medieval pilgrims as they negotiate this ancient pilgrims’ path, and they must also try to get in touch with their spirituality along the way. The group includes actor Neil Morrissey (currently to be seen in Striking Out), comedian Ed Byrne, M People singer Heather Small and Debbie McGee, the widow of magician Paul Daniels. Will the journey bring any of them closer to God, and will it separate the serious walkers from the strollers?