Six TV shows to watch this week

It’s redneck heaven on the telly this month with Trailer Park Boys and Hardy Bucks

The Hardy Bucks: We haven’t seen Eddie, Buzz, French toast and The Boo since 2015

The Hardy Bucks: We haven’t seen Eddie, Buzz, French toast and The Boo since 2015

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Yee-ha! It’s redneck heaven on the telly this month, with the return of those good ol’ Trailer Park Boys to Netflix at the end of the month, preceded by a brand new series of raucous Irish rural comedy Hardy Bucks.

Hardy Bucks
Thursday, RTÉ 2, 10.35pm
We haven’t seen Eddie, Buzz, French toast and The Boo since 2015, but we can assure you that series four finds them as clueless and aimless as ever. And Eddie really is in redneck heaven, living rent-free in Buzz’s flat, and with a sex-mad new girlfriend, Ciara. Could life in Castletown possibly get any better?

Actually, it can. Ciara has agreed to have a threesome, but there’s a catch. She’ll only do it if she and Eddie can get their own flat. Now Eddie faces the ultimate dilemma - stay with his best friend and have the craic, or move in with Ciara and get kinky sex on tap. Maybe he should check exactly what kind of a threesome she has in mind before he makes his decision.

SEAL Team
Thursday, Sky 1, 9pm
We know Donald Trump would jump out of a plane, parachute into hostile territory, take on an entire squadron unarmed, and single-handedly capture the world’s most-wanted terrorist, but luckily he doesn’t have to, because America actually has a crack military force to do that job, so the Donald can finish his round of golf in Mar-a-Lago in peace.

SEAL Team is a new US action series starring David Boreanaz as Jason Hayes, the leader of an elite unit charged with the kind of dangerous and highly sensitive missions that only Trump could do. Hayes, of course, is also wrestling with demons - he’s haunted by a bad decision he made during a mission which resulted in the death of his best friend Nate.

But there’s a great nation to protect, so Hayes just has to get on with the job - and try to get along with Nate’s replacement, an arrogant young hotshot named Clay (Max Thieriot). Cue lots of Top Gun-style macho posturing. Jessica Pare from Mad Men co-stars as CIA liaison officer Mandy Ellis. Alas, no sign of Trump doing his Chuck Norris impression.

Lig Liom
Thursday, RTÉ One, 7pm
Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh is coming out. She’s not going to hide it anymore - she’s going to stand proud and tell the world the truth. Yes, she’s a gaeilgeoir. For years, the presenter has felt ashamed of being a native Irish speaker, but not anymore. Lig Liom documents Ní Chofaigh’s personal journey into her beloved language, but it is also a call to action for Irish speakers to stand up for their native tongue. Ní Chofaigh grew up in the Rath Cairn Gaeltacht, and when she moved to Dublin, she felt like a foreigner, having to learn a new language, fit in with a different culture, and keep her Gaeltacht roots to herself.

Well, not anymore. No one puts Bláthnaid into a corner. “I’m a proud Gael, an Irish speaker. I don’t want or need your acceptance anymore. Just let me be me,” she says.

Ní Chofaigh meets other Irish speakers who have refused to compromise their mother tongue, including rap group Kneecap, from the Falls Road in Belfast, who bust rhymes as Gaeilge, and whose hard-hitting tunes have been banned by radio stations. She also meets Sudanese gaeilgeoir Dr Abdullahi El-Tom, head of the Department of Anthropology in Maynooth, who learned Irish because, he says, language is the best way to really understand a people and culture. And Ní Chofaigh confronts her greatest fear - that the Irish language will die. “I’m scared that if we lose the language, I lose my identity.”

The Funeral Murders
Monday, BBC2
Vanessa Engle’s documentary examining the deadly series of events connecting two funerals in Belfast in March 1988, hearing from Republicans, Loyalists, security forces and victims’ families. The chain began at the funeral of three IRA members shot by the SAS in Gibraltar, when loyalist paramilitary Michael Stone killed three mourners, including IRA member Kevin Brady, and injured 60 others. At Brady’s funeral three days later, two British Army corporals drove into the cortege and were beaten and killed by some members of the crowd.

Martin Luther King by Trevor McDonald
Wednesday, ITV, 9pm
Throughout his long and distinguished career, Trevor McDonald has met many remarkable people. However, there is one man who he always wishes he could have spoken to - Martin Luther King. The American civil rights leader was assassinated on April 4, 1968, and as the 50th anniversary approaches, McDonald is travelling to the Deep South of America to learn more about the man who meant so much to him. The veteran broadcaster also discovers more about what King was fighting against, as he speaks to an expert on the horrors of lynching in 20th-century America and meets a former Ku Klux Klan member who confesses that there was a time when he would have targeted him because of the colour of his skin.

Civilisations
Thursday, BBC2, 9pm
Mary Beard explores how for thousands of years artists have made religious images, looking at the fundamental problem that all religions share in making god - or gods - visible in the human world. The professor visits sacred sites across the world, including the temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Buddhist caves of Ajanta and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, as she shows how all faiths - and their artists - tread a careful line between glorifying god in images and blasphemy by daring to represent the divine.

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