The second week of November is considerably better than the first. There’s lots of British TV kicking about (so if you’re one of those EDL people – well, you probably can’t read, but if you could, you’d like reading about this stuff), lots of new stuff (yay! new stuff), and most of it looks on the better side of promising. There’s a romance/drama/spy thingy with lots of cool people in it, funny stuff for lovers of the funny, and an awesome looking gangster thing. And not a police procedural in sight. Happy days.
First up this week is a new British drama, London Spy. Created by Tom Rob Smith, author of Child-44, as in the critically acclaimed novel, not the “meh” film, the show follows a member of the Secret Intelligence Service, who falls in love with someone only for them to mysteriously disappear. Starring Ben Wishaw (The Hour, Spectre) as the titular secret service person, alongside support from Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen, Sherlock) and veteran actor Jim Broadbent. Though it hasn’t received any reviews as of yet, the people involved and the fact that it’s on the BBC should be enough to earn at least a preliminary glance when the show premieres on BBC Two, at 9pm on Monday.
We’re staying with the Beeb a while longer, as next up is the return of the best food-porn you’ll ever see, in MasterChef: The Professionals. For the eighth time, a collection of professional chefs will try to impress Greg, Monica, and Marcus with their always complicated and often strange attempts at cookery. It might not be the most flashy competition show, or the most stimulating television, and it might make you hate the shit you’re eating for dinner, but it’s always fun to watch someone very very good at something do said something, and there’s probably nothing better on. The show airs on BBC Two, at 8pm on Tuesdays.
On now to Wednesday, and to Channel 4 (the “edgy” ones), for one of the best comedy thingies to return for the final time. The last ever season of Peep Show is on its way, with David Mitchell and Robert Webb reprising the roles of two of the most hilarious assholes to ever be created, alongside that enigma wrapped in a mystery and shrouded in a riddle that is Super Hans. By the way, if you’ve never seen Peep Show before, go see it now. The ninth and last season begins at 10pm on Wednesday.
Our second new show of the week is another BBC production, this one finding its home over at BBC Three. Josh, starring comedian Josh Widdicombe (the baby-faced guy on Mock the Week and The Last Leg), is a sitcom that follows Josh, who is played by Widdicombe, and may or may not just be himself. Jack Dee (the grumpy comedian) is also in it, if that helps. I don’t know, it might be funny. I guess you’ll just have to watch it and see, won’t you? It premieres at 10:30pm on Wednesday.
Another new show this week (aren’t we lucky?) is The Last Panthers. The show, of collective European make, is based on the famous jewel thieves known as The Pink Panthers (holy shit, I always thought that was just the cartoon with the awesome theme music – well, apparently they’re real), and looks at the shadowy world of European gangsters. Created by Jack Thorne (Skins, This is England ’86) and starring Samantha Morton (Synecdoche, New York, The Unloved), Tamar Rahim (A Prophet), and John Hurt (The Elephant Man, Alien, Merlin, Harry Pot– c’mon, guys, it’s John fucking Hurt), this is probably the must-watch new show of the year (unless I’m forgetting something big). It premieres on Sky Atlantic, at 9pm on Thursday.
Finally, we head to ITV2 (and nothing good has ever followed that phrase) to see the return of Scorpion. An American made show, it follows a computer expert and his friends as they do computer-y stuff to save the world. The bad guy from Terminator 2 (Robert Patrick) and the one in American Pie who sleeps with Stiffler’s mom (Eddie Kaye Thomas) are in it. It, er, it hasn’t received the best reviews in the world (it’s sitting at about 40% on Rotten Tomatoes), but it’s been renewed for a second season, so that must mean something, right? If you want to watch it, go right ahead. It airs at 9pm on Thursdays (the same time as The Last Panthers, maybe just watch that instead).