Film & TV

On TV This Week…(May 11th)

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Make the most of your time with the remote! We’ve sifted through the week’s telly to find you all the good stuff…

This week sees Alan Partridge’s big screen adventure hit the small screen, enigmatic dramas from across the pond with The Affair and Wayward Pines, the inevitable return of Big Brother and much more!

Episodes (Season 4 *Premiere*)
Monday, 11 May – BBC Two, 10pm

From the pen of David Crane, co-writer on possibly the most successful sitcom of all time, Friends, comes this wry satire of the television industry – something with which Crane and writing partner Jeffery Klarik are intimately familiar.

This season returns to find producers Beverly and Sean return to London after a less than successful experience in Hollywood. But it seems they’re far from out of the woods yet as to their surprise, the couple learn that the network has picked up their exceptionally bad show Pucks! for another season. Naturally, they’ll be reunited with their leading man, Friends alumnus Matt LeBlanc, for more trans-Atlantic shenanigans. 

Big Brother (Season 16 *Launch*)
Tuesday, 12 May – Channel 5, 11pm

Yes, it’s that time of year again when Channel 5 rounds up the nation’s most dysfunctional residents, locks them in a confined space with each other and broadcasts the ensuing pandemonium for our viewing pleasure.

Emma Willis hosts the fly-on-the-wall reality show as it returns for an astonishing 16th series. In an effort to keep the aging format somewhat fresh, the showrunners have chosen this year’s obligatory gimmick to come in the form of “time-disruptive” tasks – a phrase which is just vague enough to arouse our curiosity.

Expect the traditional mix of wannabe celebrities, exhibitionists and egotists as they butt heads in the newly redesigned, 1960’s inspired BB House.

The Affair (Season 1 *Premiere*)
Wednesday, 13 May – Sky Atlantic, 9pm

This enigmatic Golden Globe winning drama from the US promises to lead viewers up the garden path and back again with its intricately woven plot.

When family man Noah Solloway (Dominic West) escapes the city for a break with his wife and four children, a chance meeting with Ruth Wilson’s (Luther) waitress leads to an illicit affair.

But all is not what it seems in this skilfully constructed drama that goes to great lengths with its misdirection. Loyalties will be questioned and memories tested in this thrillingly unpredictable series.

Wayward Pines (Season 1 *Premiere*)
Thursday, 14 May – FOX UK, 9pm

Another mysterious entry from the States, Wayward Pines is the brain-child of M. Night Shyamalan, the man who brought us some of the most memorable twists in cinematic history including The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. Sadly, his track record has been iffy at best since then, but perhaps he has found a suitable home on the smaller screen.

While investigating the disappearance of two colleagues, Secret Service Agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) suffers a near fatal car accident on the outskirts of the sinister town of Wayward Pines, Idaho. As he begins to uncover the shocking fate of his associates, he realises that he may never leave this seemingly idyllic small town alive.

A League of Their Own (Season 9 *Premiere*)
Friday, 15 May – Sky 1, 9pm

James Corden returns to host the hilarious sports-based comedy quiz.

The first episode’s guests include Ryder Cup legend Ian Poulter, Sky Sports presenter Olivia Wayne and comedian Josh Widdicombe, with former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie Redknapp and ex-England cricketer Andrew Flintoff returning as team captains.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013)
Saturday, 15 May – BBC Two, 9.20pm

Ah-ha! After many small screen outings, Steve Coogan’s Norwich based DJ finally gets his own film. While the stakes are suitably higher for his cinematic misadventure, the heart of what makes Partridge so funny remains alive and well.

When his local radio station, North Norfolk Digital, is bought out by a multinational company, Alan doesn’t hesitate in throwing his colleague under the bus to save his own skin from the threat of downsizing. But, when his fellow DJ returns with a shotgun to take the station hostage, it’s down to Partridge to avert disaster and save the day!

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (Season 1 *Premiere*)
Sunday, 16 May – BBC One, 9pm

Eddie Marsan and Bertie Carvel star in this Victorian era fantasy based on the marvellous novel by Susanna Clarke.

At the dawn of the 19th Century, modern science has dispelled popular belief in magic – that is until the mysterious Mr Norrell astounds onlookers by breathing life into the statues of the city’s cathedral. Elsewhere, the hedonistic Jonathan Strange discovers his own magical powers and soon the two sorcerers cross paths, setting them on an adventure involving mythical creatures, the undead and Napoleon’s Empire.