Good news and bad news this week in telly land. We’ll get straight to it and to soften the blow we have cake!
- To save us from feeling too miserable now the stunningly successful Rio Olympics has finished I’m happy to report that The Great British Bake Off is back this Wednesday 24 August at 8pm on BBC1. Love it or loath it.. no hang on, I know it’s formulaic game show tv produced by the same company who made the Daily Mail clickbait Benefits Street, but it’s the only one in that whole vast landscape of competitive human misery (ours) and self-delusion (the contestants) that actually works. No one is mean or manipulative, the judge’s criticisms are genuinely constructive and it is positively joyful.If you loath it, then you need to check yourself. I’m sorry for you.
- Break-away star of the last Bake Off series Nadiya Hussain presents a two-part cooking travelogue, conveniently scheduled right after the show that made her a household name. She’s off to Bangladesh to explore her family roots and wow us with her cooking skills. She was a natural in front of the camera and has an infectious megawatt smile. If The Chronicles Of Nadiya is a successs, and with a name like that how could it be anything but, I predict a lot more telly from this charming baker.
- Red Dwarf XI starts on Dave at 9pm on Thursday 22nd September. I’m not sure if this is good news or bad. The last series also produced by Dave barely raised a chuckle, and by the end felt like an obligation to characters who you we to love. Is it now past time to break it off with Lister, Rimmer, Kryten and the Cat? It’s not me, it’s you. Stick some repeats on instead and remember why you loved this adorable space sit-com the first place.
- Channel 4 comedy Raised by Wolves has been cancelled but is surprisingly set to be remade for American tv. Tell me, how on earth will a show set in the bleakest blackest Black Country epicentre Wolverhampton translate? I predict, badly. As for the original, they’re not going down without a fight. They’ve got a plan and a hashtag! Writer Caitlin Moran’s Rebel Alliance is supported by producer Big Talk. The cast and crew are “committed to a third series”. I didn’t like the first series all that much, because (like a lot of recent tv) it was all about the most unpleasant character, narcissistic daughter Germaine, who was clearly going to be the hardest to like. When the focus shifted to the family and settled on the indomitable and utterly gorgeous matriarch Della (played by Rebekah Stanton, who I want to be when I grow up) it was a funnier and much more enjoyable watch. I hope they get all the support they need to make series 3. Plus it took me until the end of series 2 to get the pun in the title, I kid you not. It can’t make me laugh like than and just go, leaving me all bereft and stupid!
And two shows in the ‘Hands up who actually knew this was still going’ category:
- Deal or No Deal is no more, unless you fancy a live show version. Noel ‘tidy beard’ Edmonds is liberating his red boxes from Channel 4 and taking them on the road to find yet more gullible chumps who think the game is based on luck and woo-bollocks ‘Cosmic Ordering‘ and not maths and probability. I thought after 11 years this show might have run out of idiots, but apparently not. Careful though, because if you do end up watching it you get sucked in quickly. One Christmas me and Mr H had quite a bit of time off. Each and every afternoon would find us sitting in front of the tv with mince pies and a cup of tea yelling “Open box number 7 Trevor! It’s your dead Granny’s lucky number!” Maybe these mystical red boxes do have transfixing powers after all…
- Sexy spy middle-eastern terrorism drama Homeland has been renewed for a further two seasons. One question – why?! Like many people I gave up with this even before Nick Brody got his comeuppance. Is anyone even watching it any more? And why can’t American tv shows learn how to write endings? It’s over guy. Let it go.
- And finally, you should be watching Neon Joe, a live action supernatural comedy from Adult Swim – the guys behind all the freakiest late-night cartoons on Cartoon Network. It’s about a mysterious down-home good ol’ boy werewolf hunter. Ya’ll know him! Sadly just five episodes long but showing now on Fox in the UK. If you like shitty b-movie productions, ridiculous werewolf horror stories fronted by comic Jon Glaser with a perfect Southern hick accent and impeccable comedy timing, then get on it. He-yump!
Ya’ll come back now, you hear?