TV guide: 21 of the best shows to watch this week, including tonight

Le Ceangal, Home of the Year, Devils, Turas Clainne, Schitt’s Creek, I Care a Lot

Eve Hewson in Behind Her Eyes, streaming from Wednesday on Netflix

Eve Hewson in Behind Her Eyes, streaming from Wednesday on Netflix

 

The Serpent
Sunday, BBC1, 9pm
What a long strange trip this series has been; it’s certainly polarised opinions. There are those who switched off after a couple of episodes, annoyed by the timeline, which seemed to leap around all over the place. Others were hooked from the off and claim it’s got more gripping as time’s gone on. Whatever your view, it all comes to an end tonight. The authorities are closing in on Charles and Marie-Andree, so he plots an escape to South America – but as his behaviour spirals out of control, he could turn out to be his own worst enemy. In Bangkok, Herman remains determined to get his man, a quest that takes far longer than he anticipated.

Le Ceangal
Sunday, TG4, 10.35pm

Aoife and Declan in Le Ceangal
Aoife and Declan in Le Ceangal

What happens when a new couple are separated during lockdown? Aoife and Declan had met each other five times before she was confined to her Dublin family home and he was confined to his Galway apartment with his housemate. Between WhatsApp calls and Zoom quizes they try their very best to keep the flame alive remotely. But will the distance and all that entails allow their relationship to survive?

Long Lost Family
Monday, ITV, 9pm
The 10th series wraps up as hosts Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell help more people trace their roots and finally meet up with family members, and it goes out in dramatic fashion as a woman hopes to finally solve a long-standing family mystery. Foster carer Susanne King grew up with her strict grandparents, as an only child and estranged from her mother. One day she overheard a family secret – that she had two sisters who had been given up for adoption. Can McCall and Campbell track them down?

Home of the Year
Tuesday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Home of the Year series 7 judges Amanda Bone, Hugh Wallace and Suzie McAdam
Home of the Year series 7 judges Amanda Bone, Hugh Wallace and Suzie McAdam

There may be a housing shortage, but with Home of the Year now into its seventh series, it seems there’s no shortage of people dying to show off their amazing gaffs to the nation. This year another crop of homeowners will be competing for the titular title, along with humble bragging rights on Instagram. Lockdown restrictions mean we can’t physically poke around in people’s houses for the time being, so this series is a chance to have a virtual decko at some interesting decor.

There are two new judges on the panel: interior designer Suzie McAdam and architect Amanda Bone join architect Hugh Wallace in the search for homes with flair, imagination and the wow factor that turns it into a special place. Creativity, individuality and clever design are the three main criteria the homeowners have to fulfi. The first three houses up for consideration are a redesigned 100-year-old farmhouse in Co Clare; a semi-D in Co Westmeath that’s been transformed by a little upcycling and a lot of daring; and a modern self-build in Co Cork that looks like a barn but features a warm mix of new and vintage furniture, including a 19th-century grand piano redeployed as a kitchen island.

Charles Hazlewood: Beethoven & Me
Tuesday, Sky Arts, 9pm
In the 250th anniversary year of the great German composer and pianist’s birth, British conductor Hazlewood uses the Fifth Symphony as a starting point to explore the work, genius and various health conditions that both influenced and disrupted Beethoven’s work. Hazlewood delves into the complicated issues around Beethoven’s deafness and potential autism, with insights given from members of the Paraorchestra, the integrated group, founded by Hazlewood, is made up of both disabled and non-disabled musicians.

Devils
Wednesday, Sky Atlantic, 9pm

Patrick Dempsey and Allesandro Borghi in Devils
Patrick Dempsey and Allesandro Borghi in Devils

So, who really pulls the global financial strings? George Soros? A cabal of lizards? No! Apparently it’s the “devils” at New York London Investment Bank (NYL), the fictional firm at the centre of this new Italian series all about the big-money machinations going on behind closed vaults in the corridors of cash power. Massimo Ruggero (Allesandro Borghi) is a hotshot young trader turning over millions as head of trading at NYL. The company’s top dog, Dominic Morgan (Patrick Dempsey), is grooming Massimo to be his vice-CEO, but suddenly the Persian rug is pulled out from under Massimo’s Bruno Magli shoes, and he’s passed over for an older, more reliable model. Massimo suspects he’s being set up, and when his rival dies mysteriously, he’s forced to use all his financial and technical expertise to get to the truth and clear his own name.

Scéalta Grá na hÉireann: Grace O’Malley and Richard in Iron
Wednesday, TG4, 8.30pm

Holly Johnson as Grace O’Malley in Scéalta Grá na hÉireann
Holly Johnson as Grace O’Malley in Scéalta Grá na hÉireann

An epic love story that takes place during a time of great change and upheaval in 16th-century Gaelic Ireland. Gráinne Ní Mháille (Grace O’Malley) forged a path to power and leadership by land and by sea in the west of Ireland with her husband, Risteárd an Iarainn (Richard in Iron). Their castle, Rockfleet, still stands today on the northern shore of Clew Bay, a testament to the exploits of Ireland’s Pirate Queen and her great love.

The Great British Dig: History in Your Back Garden
Wednesday, More4, 9pm

The Great British Dig: History in Your Back Garden
The Great British Dig: History in Your Back Garden

Brexit must be really hitting hard – everyone in Britain has cleared out the backs of their sofas, and now they have to go out into their back gardens and dig for hidden treasures to barter for food, beer, Playstations and other essentials. Comedian Hugh Laurie presents this new amateur archaeology series, in which he and his expert team encourage viewers to excavate their own back gardens to see what artefacts they can uncover. It’s like an episode of Detectorists gone mad. Apparently there are important pieces of British history to be found – who knows, you might unearth an entire medieval village and be able to live on mead and roast hog without any need to deal with those meddling Europeans. But what if you don’t find anything of value on your dig? Never mind: at least you’ve got a nice hole now to bury your head in.

Wartime Britain: Keep Calm & Carry On
Wednesday, Channel 5, 9pm

The famous image of St Paul’s Cathedral as seen through the flames and smoke of blazing buildings in London during the Blitz. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images
The famous image of St Paul’s Cathedral as seen through the flames and smoke of blazing buildings in London during the Blitz. Photograph: Keystone/Getty Images

The BBC has been doing these immersive-history experiments forever, but C5 has certainly upped its documentary game, so this offering might be worth a watch. It follows a family as they experience life as it was during the second World War, with a team of historians and other experts contributing to a recreation of the home-front experience. The volunteers end up learning everything from rationing-friendly recipes to dancing the jitterbug, while archive footage offers first-hand perspective.

Turas Clainne
Thursday, TG4, 8pm

Tara Uí Adhmaill in Turas Clainne
Tara Uí Adhmaill in Turas Clainne

For many, the journey to parenthood can be magical. For others it’s often a rocky road marked by twists and turns, obstacles and, sometimes, tragedy. This four-part series takes an honest look at the realities of starting a family and the difficulties many people encounter along the way. We meet a disparate group of people who have their own unique stories to tell, from seeking fertility treatment to dealing with miscarriage and postnatal depression. Among those profiled are Tara Uí Adhmhaill, who has gone through several heartbreaking miscarriages; Marilyn McGivern and her husband, Wayne, who have tried everything from IVF to IUI in their quest to conceive; and Nicola Fallon, whose postnatal depression went undiagnosed until it was nearly too late.

Laochra na Rásaíochta
Thursday, TG4, 9.30pm
Laochra na Rásaíochta takes a look at Ireland’s most famous National Hunt horses from the 1970s to the present, recounting their brilliant feats through archive footage and interviews with the men and women involved.This episode tells the remarkable story of Arkle, rated by many as the greatest National Hunt racehorse of all time. Trained by Tom Dreaper in Kilsallaghan, Co Meath, and ridden by Pat Taaffe, Arkle won three Cheltenham Gold Cups in a row from 1964-1966. We hear from many of those connected with Arkle, including Jim Dreaper, Paddy Woods and Johnny Lumley.

This Week on the Farm
Thursday, Channel 5, 8pm
The new series begins with a race against time for Barnsley brothers Rob and Dave as they try to catch their wayward cockerels before an outbreak of avian flu forces them into chicken lockdown. The lads are also on a mission to find out if their alpacas are pregnant, but rather than calling in the vet, they decide to use a less scientific method involving a lot of spit. JB Gill visits a dairy farm in Lincolnshire to meet the cows who live a life of luxury and produce milk to match. Rob and Dave put the milk to good use when they cook up a batch of pancakes, but who will bring their A game to a flipping competition? Also in the episode, the brothers bid a fond farewell to shire horse Will, who is moving onto pastures new, and an urgent vet visit is needed to treat Bear the ram, who has a very sore head

Dr Jack and Mr Nicholson
Thursday, Sky Arts, 10pm

Jack Nicholson with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider (1969), which earned Nicholson the first of 12 Oscar nominations
Jack Nicholson with Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider (1969), which earned Nicholson the first of 12 Oscar nominations

With more than 60 movie credits to his name, and having worked with many of the best directors, from Stanley Kubrick to Michelangelo Antonioni to Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson helped redefine the notion of actor and remodel the American cinema landscape. Unmoved by critical approval, polemic, or convention, Nicholson remains the most elusive of American actors. This documentary looks at the career of the veteran actor, who shot to fame in Easy Rider and has won Oscars for his roles in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Terms of Endearment and As Good as It Gets.

Schitt’s Creek
Friday, Virgin Two, 9pm

Annie Murphy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Dan Levy in Schitt’s Creek
Annie Murphy, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Dan Levy in Schitt’s Creek

Here’s a chance to revisit the titular town in this acclaimed Emmy-winning comedy. This one went under the radar for several series, but when it moved to Netflix, the word started to get out about this slow-burning gem, and eventually claimed its reward when its sixth and final series won a slew of telly awards this year. Meet the Rose family, formerly super-rich but now on their uppers after their business manager makes off with all their money. Mum and dad (Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy) and their spoilt YA kids (Dan Levy and Annie Murphy) are forced to move out of their mansion and stay in a run-down motel in the only property they have left in the world: the town of Schitt’s Creek.

Later – with Jools Holland
Friday, BBC2, 10pm
With the challenging times continuing for a while yet, Jools is looking to keep viewers entertained with a brand-new six-part series filmed at Jools’ creative home (his unique south London recording studio). Tonight the Piano Man welcomes one of this year’s most hotly tipped artists, Arlo Parks. The Hammersmith-born singer-songwriter and poet performs a track from her critically acclaimed album Collapsed in Sunbeams. Tonight also sees the much-awaited return of Tennessee rockers Kings of Leon, who perform The Bandit from their forthcoming eighth album, When You See Yourself. And finally, Nottingham’s polemical frontman, Jason Williamson, and dexterous producer Andrew Fearn aka electronic punk duo Sleaford Mods provide a specially shot performance of their new single, Mork n Mindy, featuring newcomer Billy Nomates.

The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC1, 10.45pm
Norton welcomes Oscar-nominated actress Rosamund Pike, star of comedy thriller I Care a Lot (see below). Also appearing is fiery TV chef Gordon Ramsay, who hosts a new high-stakes BBC quiz show called Bank Balance. And there’s a chat with Welsh and Lions rugby great Gareth Thomas, who talks about his latest book, Stronger, and his recent appearance on Celebrity Best Home Cook.

Raiders of the Lost Past with Janina Ramirez
Friday, BBC2, 9pm
Historian Janina Ramirez begins a new run of the archaeological show, previously shown on BBC4. Once again she will be following in the footsteps of three explorers who travelled the world in search of lost treasure and looking at three more finds that changed our understanding of the origins of civilisation. In tonight’s opening episode, Ramirez is on the island of Crete pursuing the trail of the millionaire who discovered the mythical palace of the Minotaur and the first western civilisation – and who is now mired in controversy.

ON DEMAND

The Crew

From Monday, Netflix

Kevin James in The Crew
Kevin James in The Crew

Comedy and cars come together in this new series. Kevin James stars as a crew chief for the fictional Nascar-based Bobby Spencer Racing Team. It’s a happy, settled and blokey place to be – until the owner steps down and hands the reins over to his daughter Catherine. She has big plans to modernise the team, and James feels it’s his responsibility to put her off in a bid to protect himself and his colleagues. However, Catherine isn’t one to give up without a fight, so she brings in a bunch of millennials who rely on tech rather than instinct; cue lots of arguments between the old-school workers and the Moneyball-inspired newcomers. Jillian Mueller, Freddie Stroma and Sarah Stiles are among the supporting cast.

Behind Her Eyes
From Wednesday, Netflix
That teaser image of a stony-faced Eve Hewson standing in her perfect kitchen gesturing over her shoulder with a big knife is already burned into our retinas, and if this creepy new series doesn’t live up to the hype, then at least the poster might linger in the popular consciousness. Hewson plays Adele, the troubled wife of psychiatrist David (Tom Bateman), trapped in a marriage where the power dynamics are tilted against her. David is having an affair with his new assistant Louise (Simona Brown), a single mother who is trying to leave a traumatic past behind. When Adele secretly befriends Louise, things take a decidedly weird and terrifying turn.

By now, everyone knows to expect a shocking twist at the end – the novel sparked a #WTFthatending frenzy on Twitter, so if you’ve read the book and know the twist, please don’t tell us. We’re looking forward to having our minds well and truly bent and our heads spun round like a record, so don’t spoil our scary fun. Rising star Hewson, daughter of Bono, has already proved herself an accomplished actor, but her talent has been ill-served by underwhelming projects (eg The Luminaries). Will this be the series to break her into superstardom? The eyes have it.

For All Mankind
From Friday, Apple TV+
A must for sci-fi fans, the opening series was one of the first shows to appear on Apple TV+ in November 2019. For the uninitiated, it takes an alternative look at history, in which the Soviet Union landed a manned crew on the moon before the US. The new run picks up a decade after the events of its predecessor. It’s now 1983, Ronald Reagan is president and the cold war continues to rage. Any hopes of further space exploration are threatened by the need of the superpowers to secure the rights to control sites rich in resources on the Moon. Joel Kinsman, Michael Dorman and Sarah Jones remain from the previous run, joined by Coral Pena and Cynthy Wu.

I Care a Lot
From Friday, Amazon Prime

Rosamund Pike in I Care a Lot
Rosamund Pike in I Care a Lot

Rosamund Pike first made her mark on the big screen as a Bond villain in Die Another Day, but it was her Oscar-nominated role as nasty, manipulative Amy Dunne in Gone Girl that really sealed her reputation as an actor of note. Amy appeared to be all sweetness and light in public, but a nightmare in private. Pike is treading a similar path in this black-comedy thriller. She plays Marla Grayson, who outwardly appears to be a kind and caring soul who puts the needs of others before her own. However, she’s really a high-class con artist who persuades judges to appoint her as the legal guardian of lonely pensioners before using her position to steal their money. However, she could be in for a rude awakening when one of her charges turns out to have links to the mob. Peter Dinklage and Dianne Wiest costar.

Contributing: PA

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