The middle(ish) week of September looks set to be the biggest of the month, if not the season (I mean it won’t, because Sherlock, but this is still a busy week). Luring us in with old bait-and-switch, the week starts with a detective show, at which point everyone falls asleep, only to be jerked horribly awake as Harry Potter animates prostitutes, a school-child is horrendously racist, a young woman runs off with a man more than three times her age, and ITV persuades a bunch of oil-rich Arabs to hire a butler. Seriously. Read on for all this and more.
The week starts slow on Tuesday evening, with the return of multi-national detective drama/police procedural thingy, Crossing Lines. The show, which follows an American detective working for a (fictional) international police organisation in Europe (specifically as part of The Hague), is entering its second season this Tuesday, and has been renewed for a third. Starring William Fitchner (one of those actors who pops up in something, whereupon you recognise his face but can’t place it, effectively ruining whatever it was you were watching as you spend the next hour or so trying to remember what he was in. Eventually someone breaks out IMDb and says, smugly, he was the bank guy with shotgun at the beginning of The Dark Knight) alongside Donald Sutherland (Hunger Games, also lots of good films), Crossing Lines airs on Alibi at 9pm.
If detective dramas aren’t your thing (even though, based on just how many of them are, they must be everyone’s favourite thing), Tuesday night is still not lost to How I Met your Mother re-runs. Over at the Beeb, young Harry Radcliffe (or is it Daniel Potter?) is getting his beard on in The Gamechangers, a TV film about Rockstar, the crazy bastards who gave us the Grand Theft Auto games. More specifically, the film is about the (I gather mainly American) pubic losing its collective shit over the ground-breaking yet undeniably violent games. I imagine (though can’t be entirely sure) that the majority of the film will be something to the effect of overly concerned parents screaming “Will someone please think of the children?”, while Daniel Radcliffe’s character ignores them and makes lots of money. The film airs at 9pm on BBC Two.
On to Friday, with the first of this month’s big-hitters (though granted slightly more of a cult one – can this really be described as cult anymore though?): South Park. The irreverent, low-fi, on-the-nose cartoon show about the most outrageously hilarious, and hilariously outrageous school-children returns to our screens for its nineteenth season (I was about to say that Matt Parker and Trey Stone were giving The Simpsons a run for its money, but then I looked it up and The Simpsons is pushing for at least 28, so, no). If you still don’t know what South Park is by now, it’s probably not for you (also you should really be questioning why you’re reading a student magazine). The show airs on Comedy Central at 10pm.
Next up is a show beloved by kids, adults, and overly involved teenagers in (un)equal measure: Doctor Who. Entering its ninth season (excluding the original series from way-back-when), and the second of the Peter Capaldi variety, Doctor Who is one of the BBC’s flagship shows (probably the flagship show, what with Jeremey Clarkson getting all “punchy”), and it has become a staple of primetime telly. Alongside Capaldi, Jenna Coleman returns to the show for her third season as the Doctor’s current companion, Clara Oswold, with the two being joined by a host of guest stars including Maisie Williams and Rufus Hound (two people who I doubt had ever existed in the same sentence until they were cast). The season kicks off with a two part-er (by which I mean one of those “To Be Continued” episodes, not a double-length episode) at 7:40pm, Saturday, on BBC One.
Wrapping up the week is the sixth and final season of Downton Abbey. For the very last time, viewers can enjoy the tale of a bunch of rich people being rich, but still having problems (which I gather is a very loose description of the show’s premise). Still, while it may not be to everyone’s taste (looks nervously over shoulder), the show has undeniably been a phenomenal success, being watched across the globe by millions, and continuing to perpetrate, among other things, the idea that the English are all rich and posh, and that we don’t like the Irish. Also, fun-fact, the show has been connected with a dramatic surge in the popularity of butlers in China and the Middle East, which is just fantastic. The show airs on ITV at 9pm on Sunday, with its final ever episode coming on Christmas.