Best On The Box This April
Chosen by: Sheena McGinley
A selection of terrestrial viewing for your perusal, spanning from the 115th - 23rd of April, most of which comes from Channel 4. We were going to boycott the broadcaster given the Peter Andre chat show rumour (which, as it turns out, is just a rumour *mops brow*), but the channel has an abundance of intriguing telly on offer this month, which can't be ignored. As always, you can keep yourself up to date with your viewing by visiting our TV Page for our four daily highlights.
You Have Been Watching. 15th April. 10.00pm. Channel 4.
Heat magazine, more misguided than usual, describes this show (returning for its second series) as "a comedy quiz-fest, which is, in essence Harry Hill's TV Burp presented by a sour git." They're right about the sour git bit (and I mean that with the utmost of respect for said git), but since when has there been a celebrity based quiz in Burp? More laughably, the RTE Guide says it's "the UK version of Republic of Telly". We could break out into a rant about how that's fundamentally wrong on innumerable levels, instead we'll say, how could You Have Been Watching be the UK version of Republic of Telly when this far superior QUIZ show first broadcast before that shoddy ode to Harry Hill's TV Burp was even "devised?" Let's clarify what You Have Been Watching is all about. The brilliantly acerbic, witty and hugely talented writer/broadcaster Charlie Brooker returns to host a corrosive comedy quiz show which reviews the weird and wonderful world of television. Leaving the comfort of his sofa, Charlie invites David Baddiel, Liza Tarbuck and comedian Kevin Bridges to join him in shouting and shaking his fist at the world of TV in all its diverse glory. They give their take on an array of clips presented for their delectation and dissection and, in the spirit of competition, answer questions about them too. You Have Been Watching points and laughs at the shows that command the biggest following, but perhaps shouldn't, while also championing all that is truly great about TV - without the aid of inferior Harry Hill inspired sketches.
Growing Up Gay. 19th April. 9.35pm. RTE1.
This two-part documentary series exploring the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people growing up in Ireland. As recently as 1993, homosexuality was illegal in Ireland. As the first generation born after decriminalisation comes of age, this series seeks to establish how much has changed in Irish society in the intervening years. For young people, whose lives revolve around school and the family, is it any easier to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender today than it was 17 years ago? Filmed over 18 months, Growing Up Gay follows the lives of six young people and, in the process, captures the challenging and even hostile experiences which lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people face in their everyday lives. The series also explores the more universal experiences of growing up - from the ups and downs of life at home and at school, to friendships and falling in love. By presenting the human stories behind labels such as 'gay' or 'lesbian', the series aims to alleviate the stigma surrounding various expressions of sexual identity.
Louis Theroux - America's Medicated Kids. 18th April. 9.00pm. BBC2.
Faced with the challenging behaviour of their kids, more and more parents in America are turning to psychoactive medication to help them cope - even though the drugs, and sometimes the diagnoses, remain controversial. Louis Theroux travels to one of America's leading children's psychiatric treatment centres, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to get to know some of the diagnosed children and to try and understand what drives parents to put their kids on drugs... Louis meets Hugh, a 10-year-old who has been diagnosed with ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Aspergers and Bipolar Disorder. Moving in with Hugh and his family, Louis learns more about his controversial diagnosis and gets to know a family where even the dog is on meds. He also meets Jack, aged six, a child who has been excluded from school for his explosive behaviour and now takes antidepressant medication for his anxiety. From "med checks" to "personal pharmacies", Louis explores the world of psychiatric medication for kids, attempting to find the line between ordinary bad behaviour and pathology; and trying to answer the question of whether the latest pharmaceuticals are taking the place of old-fashioned parenting.
Three In a Bed. 21st April. 8.00pm. Channel 4.
From the creator of Wife Swap (which was recently canned to make way for "fresher viewing"...) comes this brand new series in which three sets of proud B&B owners throw open their doors in an attempt to be crowned the best bed and breakfast. And, judging by the title, also possibly enjoy the odd threesome. From the owners of grand houses to the mortgage holders of modest seaside semis, countless people open up their homes to paying guests. But at the end of their stay the guests only have to pay what they think their visit was worth. In this first episode, Roger Garlick and his wife Victoria open up Smugglers Cottage, a historic B&B filled to the brim with antiques, to Claire and Mark Smith from Number One in Blackpool, a five star B&B, and Joyce Barham and her husband Ray, who run the super efficient The Kildare in Skegness. Expect tears, tantrums and turmoil. But, who will take away the best B&B title? And when there are Three in a Bed, can anyone really get a good night's sleep?
The Ricky Gervais Show. 23rd April. 10.30pm. Channel 4.
From the creators of The Office and Extras comes an animated series using original recordings of The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts. Gervais's much loved podcasts have earned a spot in the Guinness World Records for the most downloads. The Ricky Gervais Show features the same banter between the comedian and his (loosely termed) sidekicks Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington, with animation accompanying original recordings of the trio. Storylines include the merits of 20th-century inventions; Karl's suggestion for population control; how philosophy has evolved through the ages; as well as Karl's round head and his thoughts on charity. In case the picture didn't clarlify, the podcasts come accompanied by animation, in which Gervais appears to be aping Fred Flintstone. What are the bets Karl had a word with the animator. Another new episode follows at 11.05pm.
BEST OF THE REST
Facejacker. 16th April. 10.00pm. Channel 4.
Kayvan Novak was never going to be happy just lending his voice to his catchphrase creations. So here is Novak, who the Guardian claims is the new Sacha Baron Cohen, with a load of prosthetics on his face saying his catch phrases. Shame, one of the best things about FoneJacker was the animations. There are some familiar characters, including the charismatic and multi-divorced car salesman, Terry Tibbs; scamster Augustus Kwembe, who hypnotises people to stop smoking, but is really eliciting their bank details; and the super irritating complainer, Dufrais. The brand new faces include charlatan art critic Brian Badonde and Saddam Hussein's former plastic surgeon of choice, Dr Ali.
Britain's Got Talent. 17th April. 8.00pm. UTV/TV3.
ITV's hit entertainment show (they can say that seriously now after the whole Susan Boyle furore) returns for a fourth year following an incredible series which saw Diversity crowned as the 2009 winners. Hosted by Ant and Dec, with Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden on the judging panel, the show once again travels the length and breadth of the UK in search of Britain’s best talent. We've already been informed that another dog (Gin being the last one...) makes it to the final.
Marco's Kitchen Burnout. 16th April. 9.00pm. UTV.
AKA Marco's Career Burnout. Pierre White is back on with "TV's toughest celebrity cooking challenge yet." Twelve celebrities will be cooking in a professional kitchen for diners all on their own and the pressure will be relentless from the start. Four weekly heats build to two semi finals and a "nail biting final" as Marco narrows the field in the hunt for Britain’s top amateur celebrity chef. Each heat sees three "stars" lock horns in a culinary showdown but only two can go on to the next round. Such "stars" include Donna Air, Tupele 'Kelly Crabtree with the legs!' Dorgu, Nancy Dell’Ollio, Carol Smilie and.... Jason Byrne.
Comedy Lab: iCandy. 19th April. 11.05pm. Channel 4.
Channel 4's unique televisual experiment that aims to unearth the comedy stars of tomorrow (but, more often than not, throws up a load of shite), returns for a new series in a week-long run. The first show in the series, iCandy, is written by and stars Irish actor Liam Hourican as a variety of characters, including a mountaineer who has a taste for human flesh, a driving instructor with anger management issues and a life coach with a murky past. Plus the newly elected Irish Prime Minister reveals some of his policies to change the world. Next week sees Comedy Lab's Filth (April 22nd, 11.25pm). Two misfits struggle to survive in the lurid world of a weekly lads' mag. Rob (James Buckley, The Inbetweeners ) has a knack for lads' mag writing, but the job threatens his chances of ever having a relationship. Mike (Danny Morgan, Off the Hook ) couldn't be less suited to the job: he's naïve, sensitive and a virgin, but eager to learn. They are minnows in a testosterone pond, ruled over by Chad (... Danny Dyer).
Five Daughters. TBC. BBC1.
Sarah Lancashire and Ian Hart lead the cast in Five Daughters, a three-part drama serial for BBC One by acclaimed writer Stephen Butchard (House Of Saddam, Vincent). A sensitive portrait of events surrounding the discovery of five young women tragically murdered in Ipswich in 2006, Five Daughters is based on the personal testimonies of many of those closely involved in the events at that time. Writer Stephen Butchard says: "These five young women, precious to their families, had heart, ambition and potential; until an event or events, one wrong turn, one chance meeting led them into the world of heroin and crack. Their dependency on these drugs facilitated their easy exploitation and led them to the street. Our hope is that this drama provides a glimpse of the real girls their families knew."
Story by Sheena McGinley | 09:00 | Tuesday 13th April 2010 | Other
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