This Week in TV

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This week we’re finally finished with August (besides one day, but who’s counting?), a fairly dry month TV wise. The next seven days are no different. It gets a bit louder towards the weekend, but louder isn’t better, just more piercing. Still, September is on its way, and it looks phenomenal, so bare that in mind while you read on to see what is brought by August’s final gasp.

First up this week is the return of E4’s prank show Bad Robots for its second season. The show features a number of deliberately malfunctioning machines being poked and prodded by the unsuspecting public, all filmed by hidden cameras. The machines are voiced by a plethora of comedians and actors, including Michael Gambon, Rob Delaney, and Tom Allen. With its first season receiving buckets of praise from social media (so, like, the people who actually watched it, rather than those who like to think their opinions matter more for arbitrary reasons looks shiftily over shoulder), it obviously makes sense to keep making it. Which is what has happened. Bad Robot’s second season begins at 10pm on Tuesday.

Next up is Wednesday, which sees the return of American horror series The Strain. The show is based on a trilogy of novels of the same name by Chuck Hogan (who wrote the book that became The Town, which is an awesome film) and Guillermo Del Toro (who, you know, is Guillermo Del Toro). Hogan and Del Toro are also the show’s creators, and are joined by Carlton Cuse (Lost, Bates Motel) as an executive producer and showrunner. The premise of the show is that a plane landed in New York, and everyone on it was dead apart from four people, who were vampires, with the spiral out of control that would be expected from such an event making up the meat of the show. With its first season receiving strong reviews, its second about halfway done in the US, and a third greenlit, The Strain has definitely made it to “successful series”. The second season premieres on Watch at 10pm.

Skipping out Thursday (the third day), we can jump straight on to another returning show, this time the delightfully named Duck Quacks Don’t Echo. A panel show/game thing hosted by comedian Lee Mack, the show is essentially QI-lite, in which contestants have to determine whether a variety of seemingly ridiculous sounding statements are facts, or just made up. If you’ve ever watched QI and thought it could be bit funnier, or less pretentious (and let’s face it, we all have at one time or another), this is your answer. The show, which airs on Sky1, returns for its third season on Friday, at 8pm.

Still Friday, and we have the week’s first new show, Resistance. The show isn’t, unfortunately, anything to do with the fantastic video game series released by Insomniac a few years ago. Instead, it’s a look at life in Nazi-occupied France (so, you know, kinda different). The show follows a 17 year-old girl who joins the French Resistance, but it doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, and there’s very little on its IMDb, so that’s basically all I can tell you about it….It’s a miniseries. It could be good; fantastic, even. It could be horrendous. If you want to know, it premieres on More4 at 9pm. A trailer for the show is hard to track down.

The heavyweight of the week, eagerly anticipated by a lot of people, I presume, is the return of our thick-black-haired overlord, as for a twelfth time he deigns to raise a lucky few out of the dirt and into the stars, even if their ensuing fame/success invariably lasts for like a month at best (apart from One Direction, and maybe like two others, but I forget their names, so they don’t make the best exceptions). It is, of course, the return of The X Factor. Where arseholes go to be shouted out be richer arseholes (now including Nick Grimshaw and Rita Ora), someone’s mother/father/grandma gets too aggressive, and decent-ish warbling gets hailed as the best thing since whatever the melodic equivalent of sliced bread is. At least a dog can’t win this one (although saying that, I kind of want a dog to win X Factor now). The show starts at 8pm on Saturday, on ITV.

We wrap up with this week’s second new series: The Pinkertons. A Canadian police procedural (it’s a detective show, stop lying Wikipedia), the show is essentially a series of reproductions of the cases of the Pinkerton Crime Agency. Pinkerton gained fame way back in the 1850s, when he foiled an assassination attempt against Abraham Lincoln (wait, it gets better), before being hired by the President as security (told you so). The Agency survived the ignominy of letting a President die (which is impressive in itself), and went on to become the foremost detective/security agency in America, employing, at its height, more people the US military. The Pinkertons is a show about that. It already finished its first season in Canada, and there’s no info about a second season being greenlit, so read into that what you will. The show premieres on Drama at 8pm this Sunday.

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A 3rd year English student who likes staring at all the pretty moving pictures. Also books, I suppose. I do take English after all

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