Monday 24 April 2017

The complete winter watchlist

From must-see telly to binge-worthy box sets, our reporter has all you need to beat the January blues

In for a treat: Netflix's adaptation of 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' offers family-friendly fun
In for a treat: Netflix's adaptation of 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' offers family-friendly fun
Amy Huberman's drama ‘Striking Out’ continues on the box
Vicki Notaro

Vicki Notaro

Christmas is over, the festive edition of the RTE Guide has been recycled, and 'X Factor' and 'Strictly Come Dancing' have held their jubilant finales - but you might be forgiven for thinking that January is the month in which we need telly the most.

It's dark, it's cold, you're broke and most likely on a diet, so that means the pub, restaurants and, um, leaving your house are all off limits. So where else can you turn for entertainment in this most austere of times?

Never fear, TV is always here. And if there's nothing new on, you can bet your bottom dollar that there's a box set to be consumed…

ON THE BOX

Amy Huberman's drama ‘Striking Out’ continues on the box
Amy Huberman's drama ‘Striking Out’ continues on the box

'Striking Out', RTE, Sunday

Amy Huberman's long-awaited return to drama premiered on New Year's Day, but episode two of four is back on Sunday. Hubes plays a lawyer who discovers on her hen night that her fella (and fellow lawyer) has been cheating on her, and vows to break away from the tight constraints of her personal and professional life. Gripping stuff.

'Celebrity Big Brother', TV3, every night

Ah, another reality show to get us through the darkest post-Christmas days. All the drama kicked off this week but it will continue for the rest of the month, so if you haven't tuned in yet, there's still time to get hooked, and there's something comforting about knowing you can come home each night to some mindless celebrity antics.

'Dancing With The Stars', RTE, Sunday

If 'Strictly Come Dancing' is the highlight of your autumn/winter TV season, don't lament the fact that it's over - look forward to our very own Irish version hosted by Amanda Byram and Nicky Byrne. Des Bishop is set to compete alongside Irish model Thalia Heffernan and infamous weatherwoman Teresa Mannion.

'Red Rock', TV3, Monday

TV3's hugely popular serial drama is back with a new series set in the not-so-sleepy seaside town. Sexy Hollywood actor and Dublin-dweller Patrick Bergin, of 'Sleeping With The Enemy' fame, joins the cast too.

The Golden Globes highlights, RTE2, Monday

The best and brightest of Hollywood line out for adulation and sartorial judgement in the first big televised awards ceremony of the season. The Globes themselves take place on Sunday, so tune in for the highlights on RTE2 the following evening at 9.30pm. We're hoping our own nominees Ruth Negga, Caitriona Balfe, Colin Farrell and 'Sing Street' will take it home.

'No Offence', continuing Wednesday, Channel 4

While it took a few episodes for this female-fronted police procedural to find the right balance of comedy and drama, once it did, it was outrageous fun. The first season (now streaming on All 4) followed the hunt for a serial killer attacking girls with Down syndrome in Manchester, while the second looks set to tackle the city's feuding gangs. From 'Shameless' creator Paul Abbott, it stars Irish actress Elaine Cassidy alongside the fantastic Joanna Scanlan.

'Operation Transformation', RTE, January 11

If you missed the opening episode of RTE's new year show, catch up on the player before episode two. There's no better show in January than one that actually encourages and motivates you to stay fit and healthy.

'The Tommy Tiernan Show', RTE, January 12

The stand-up comedian's eponymous programme is a chat show with a difference - it started last night, and will be a weekly fixture until the middle of February. The host doesn't know who he'll be interviewing until they walk out on set, and in some cases, doesn't recognise his guests at all. A six-part series sure to bring some laughter to Thursday nights in.

'Celebrity Masterchef', TV3, January 16

A group of 10 celebs are taking the plunge, sharpening their knives and donning their aprons in the first episode as the series moves from the national broadcaster to TV3. Model Nadia Forde, Olympian Sonia O'Sullivan and actor-turned-presenter Simon Delaney are just three of the famous faces seeing if they can cut it.

'Ex On The Beach', MTV, January 18

If you like your reality TV on the trashy side, you'll love MTV's twisted dating show, back for a sixth season. It started out with relatively normal (albeit very glam) contestants, but now it's a who's-who of minor reality stars that have a slew of Z-list exes that will no doubt pop up on the beach to ruin their holiday. Aaron Chalmers of 'Geordie Shore' is perhaps the best known face of the bunch, but anyone could wash up…

'This Is Us', continuing Tuesday, Channel 4

The latest 'dramedy' export from the States is a few episodes in, but you can catch up on All4 and then continue with the feel-good family show already being referred to as a weekly cryfest. It stars Milo Ventimiglia of 'Gilmore Girls' and former popstrel Mandy Moore, and it's really quite excellent.

'First Dates Ireland', RTE2, January 19

The restaurant will once again throw open its doors to hopeful singles looking for love, as the mega-popular series returns later this month.

ON STREAMING

'Search Party', All4, available now

Described as a "millennial Nancy Drew", this US mystery series manages to skewer entitled, post-college existential ennui in a way that feels loving, rather than condescending. Centred on the search for a former classmate who has gone missing, this shrewd dramedy stars Alia Shawkat ('Arrested Development') and each 30-minute episode is deeply satisfying - right up to the surprising finale twist.

'A Series of Unfortunate Events', Netflix, January 13

The first big Netflix Originals release of the year for the streaming giant is the family-friendly spin-off series from the Lemony Snicket books and 2004 Jim Carrey movie. It stars Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, and all eight episodes will be available for streaming at once.

'Frontier', Netflix, January 20

Wicklow-born actress Katie McGrath joins 'Game of Thrones' star Jason Momoa, who plays a part-Irish, part-Native American outlaw in this Canadian miniseries. Set in the grisly world of the 18th century fur trade, it marks the Discovery Channel's first original series and is sure to delight fans of 'The Revenant'.

'Riverdale', Netflix, new episodes weekly from January 27

Archie Comics, the iconic American comic series, gets a moody revamp in this twisty new drama. The story follows a murderous conspiracy in the titular small town, along with the love triangle between all-American hunk Archie, girl-next-door Betty and ice queen Veronica. Luke Perry and Molly Ringwald star as Archie's parents.

'Sneaky Pete', Amazon Prime, date TBC

Co-creator Bryan Cranston brings the dark humour of 'Breaking Bad' to this new crime drama. Giovanni Ribisi plays a con man who is about to be released from prison when he finds out the gangster he once robbed is after him - and so assumes the identity of his cellmate, adopting a new family (including beloved character actress Margo Martindale) in the process.

Irish Independent

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment