This week sees the return of several shows, with only one new show premiering. There is (shock-horror) an actual British show here this week, though the highlight is certainly HBOs Veep coming back for a fourth season. Also, if you happen to be a Sky Atlantic exec, Wednesday’s going to be a good day for you, with two big shows returning to choke out the competition.
The week starts on Monday (breaking news) with the return of Yonderland for its second season. Made by and starring the people responsible for Horrible Histories (one of the finest children’s shows ever created), Yonderland is wacky, funny, and kind-of child friendly. The show revolves around a suburban housewife who gets dragged into a world of elves and magic for some light-hearted weekly adventures. Certainly it’s good enough to be renewed for a second season and take up a not-trivial spot on Sky1s schedule, airing at 8:30pm.
Tuesday next, with the History channel unloading a fresh vat of vaguely historical programming in the form of Black Sails, which is apparently a sort-of prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island. Among the producers hides Michael Bay, whose naval dreams are apparently not restricted to the post-apocalyptic US Navy; he’s more than happy for stuff to get blown up during the Golden Age of Piracy as well, it would seem. Black Sails premieres at 10pm.
The second season of Dominion starts this week. Described as an “apocalyptic supernatural action series”, which sounds awesome, the show is loosely based on the 2010 film Legion, whose poster features an angel holding a knife and a machine gun. Yet more awesome. Apparently the critics disagree with this, as the show’s first season received what can only be described as lukewarm (the worst kind of warm) praise. Still, what do they know? Angels and machine guns. Dominion airs at 9pm on Wednesday on Syfy UK.
If the prospect of Syfy makes you queasy, don’t panic, Sky Atlantic’s got you covered for Wednesdays anyway, with the return of not one but two shows. The first of these is Ray Donovan. Starring Liev Schrieber (the Scream trilogy, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), the show follows a “fixer” in L.A., someone who arranges the bribing of corrupt police officers and other people in power. Very well-received and Emmy nominated, the lack of machine-gun toting angels has apparently not hindered Ray Donovan’s progress at all, as its third season begins airing at 9pm.
After Ray Donovan kicks off Wednesday nights on Sky Atlantic, critically-acclaimed Veep returns to the UK for its fourth season. Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Seinfeld, A Bug’s Life) and created by Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, In the Loop), the show follows the political career of a fictional Vice President, and has consistently won awards and garnered nominations since its first season. The fourth season also sees the introduction of Hugh Laurie in a recurring role. The show airs a 10:10pm.
The third season of Bored to Death has finally made its way to the UK after the show was cancelled by HBO. Pushed into the primetime slot of 11:55pm on a Friday, the show, which stars Jason Schwartzman and Zack Galifianakis and follows a private detective in Brooklyn, is hardly likely to be watched by any other than dedicated fans. Despite its cancellation, however, the show may be able to wrap itself up in a satisfying way, with HBO announcing in 2013 that a film would be made. The show airs on Sky Atlantic.
Finally we have an honourable mention: yesterday (that is, Sunday) saw the broadcast of a TV movie titled 7 Days in Hell on Sky Atlantic, starring Andy Samberg and Kit Harrington, which follows two tennis stars as they slog through a match lasting seven days. As its broadcast was announced after last week’s “This Week in…” it wasn’t included there (for obvious, time-travel related reasons), but by all means harness the interwebs and go watch it if you haven’t already.