Thursday 27 July 2017

Watch list: The top things to watch on the telly and in the cinema this autumn

Our expert has the low-down on the film and television highlights you'll be glued to this autumn

Nancy and Baz Ashmawy in '50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy'
Nancy and Baz Ashmawy in '50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy'
Louis Walsh returns to the 'X Factor'
Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth are joined by Patrick Dempsey in 'Bridget Jones's Baby'
Lauren Graham as Lorelai and Alexis Bledel as Rory in Gilmore Girls
In Vogue: Anna Wintour
Laura Whitmore takes part in 'Strictly Come Dancing'
Vicki Notaro

Vicki Notaro

It's time to face it - summer is all but over. Sure, we might have a brief mini heatwave as soon as the kids are back in school full-time, but to all intents and purposes, soon we will be in the throes of autumn. The nights will draw in, there'll be a nip in the air and you'll no longer feel guilty about curling up on the couch at 7pm on a Saturday night.

It's time to face it - summer is all but over. Sure, we might have a brief mini heatwave as soon as the kids are back in school full-time, but to all intents and purposes, soon we will be in the throes of autumn. The nights will draw in, there'll be a nip in the air and you'll no longer feel guilty about curling up on the couch at 7pm on a Saturday night.

But luckily, TV and movie executives pre-empt this, and thankfully programme some fabulous entertainment for the hibernation months. Autumn isn't all bad - you get to shop for new coats and boots, and all your favourite shows are back on the telly, hurrah!

'The Great British Bake Off' kicked off this week, but there's plenty more entertainment where that came from.

Louis Walsh returns to the 'X Factor'
Louis Walsh returns to the 'X Factor'

ON THE BOX

REALITY

Strictly Come Dancing, BBC1

Is there anything that screams autumn more than the return of the celebrity dancing show? It all kicks off tomorrow, when the famous faces will be paired with their professional dancing partners, and then returns properly two weeks after that. Our very own Laura Whitmore is flying the flag for Ireland alongside singer-turned-fashion-guru Louise Redknapp, politician Ed Balls and British Olympian Greg Rutherford.

The X Factor, TV3

Simon Cowell clearly thinks that fiddling with a winning formula will keep it fresh and relevant, but if the last few seasons of the ITV talent show are anything to go by, he should be sticking with the "if it ain't broke" mantra. Shaking things up once again, he's bringing back Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger to the judging panel and reinstating Dermot O'Leary as host. But can anything revive the now tired old format?

Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth are joined by Patrick Dempsey in 'Bridget Jones's Baby'
Renée Zellweger and Colin Firth are joined by Patrick Dempsey in 'Bridget Jones's Baby'

50 Ways To Kill Your Mammy, Sky One

Baz Ashmawy and his adorable mum Nancy are back for a third series, but this time, Baz isn't just terrorising his own mother. According to his Twitter, there are even more mammies involved this time, but it remains to be seen who the er, lucky, ladies are. There'll be more world travelling and daredevil activities anyway, when the show returns on September 26.

Gogglebox Ireland, TV3

When TV3 bought the successful format from Channel 4 last year, many thought it would be on our screens fairly quicksmart - after all, the format of filming families watching television isn't exactly complicated. However, the producers are still in the process of casting and the station hasn't confirmed a launch date yet. It's likely to be on our screens this side of Christmas, with 'Mrs Brown's Boys' actor Rory Cowan in the narrator's role. In the meantime, the British version is back in September.

Celebrity Masterchef, TV3

Despite being a success for RTÉ, TV3 now own the rights to 'Masterchef' and have rounded up a string of celebrity faces to take part, including sportswoman Sonia O'Sullivan, actor Simon Delaney and Eurovision favourite Niamh Kavanagh. The presenters are yet to be announced, and surely Ireland's foodies are all vying for the position. There's no confirmed date as of yet, but it's safe to expect it in the next few weeks.

Lauren Graham as Lorelai and Alexis Bledel as Rory in Gilmore Girls
Lauren Graham as Lorelai and Alexis Bledel as Rory in Gilmore Girls

Asking For It, RTÉ

Author Louise O'Neill has become one of the most prominent faces in Irish feminism after her novels 'Only Ever Yours' and 'Asking For It' stormed the book charts and won high-profile awards. As part of the Reality Bites series, Louise has made a documentary based around the issue of sexual consent, stemming from her most recent tome of the same name. Expect this one to air on RTÉ2 in October.

SERIES

Gilmore Girls, Netflix

This mother-daughter drama set in a small New England town struck a chord with millions over the seven years it was on TV, and although the premise doesn't exactly sound like it's going to set the world alight, Netflix were very smart to get behind a follow-up series. Four 90-minute episodes will premiere on November 25 and show exactly what Lorelai and Rory have been up to since the show wrapped in 2007.

Can't Cope, Won't Cope, RTÉ2

Penned by Stefanie Preissner, who, according to the State broadcaster, is the voice of her generation, this Irish "dramedy" series follows the exploits of two 20-something women trying to balance life, love and careers in Dublin. National treasure Amy Huberman has a supporting role, and it's great to see RTÉ promoting projects directed at young women.

Narcos, Netflix

Series two of the acclaimed Netflix original series about the life of drug baron Pablo Escobar lands today. If you like your drama raw, gritty and more than a little violent, this might be the show for you, as kingpins, cops and the military battle to control the cocaine industry in Colombia.

The Night Of, Sky Atlantic

The late James Gandolfini (aka Tony Soprano) worked on this passion project for years, and it's finally coming to the small screen. Starring John Turturro, it explores a murder case through multiple points of view over eight episodes. The entire series is now available to stream on Sky Box Sets, with weekly episodes also being broadcast.

Marvel's Luke Cage, Netflix

Another Netflix original, this time making its debut, fans of Marvel comics or other Netflix shows 'Jessica Jones' and 'Daredevil' will already be familiar with the character whose skin is unbreakable. This is the third of four series commissioned by the streaming service, with 'Jessica Jones' season two still to come, and 'Iron Fist' in 2017. The series will eventually culminate in 'The Defenders', a crossover mini series. 'Luke Cage' starts streaming on September 30.

AT THE MOVIES

Inferno, October 14

Based on the novel by Dan Brown, this is the third Robert Langdon film to star Tom Hanks as the symbologist on a mission to uncover the truth through history, all the while being chased by baddies. Filmed in Florence, Venice and Istanbul with a big budget and helmed by Ron Howard, this time Oscar-nominated Felicity Jones plays Langdon's sidekick. Fans of 'The Da Vinci Code' and 'Angels and Demons' are sure to enjoy this film.

Eight Days A Week, September 15

This Beatles documentary is also directed by Ron Howard, and it this focuses on the Fab Four's touring years. Interviews, found footage and archive video make this a must-see for anyone that wishes they were at one of John, Paul, George and Ringo's 250 live gigs.

The First Monday in May, September 30

The prestigious Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has become a cultural landmark since 'Vogue' editor-in-chief Anna Wintour took over in the 1990s. Now one of the biggest red-carpet events of the year, it's the subject of this documentary by the makers of the other big 'Vogue' documentary, 'The September Issue'. One for fashionistas and celebrity aficionados, no doubt.

The Magnificent Seven, September 23

A remake of a remake - as is common in Hollywood this weather - this is a new version of the 1960 film of the same name, which in turn was a remake of the original Japanese film 'Seven Samurai'. Still with me? Okay, so this one stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and Ethan Hawke as three of the seven men tasked with protecting a small town from a violent industrialist. It has a big budget, slick cinematography and lots of star power, so probably a big box-office return.

The Girl on The Train, October 14

The adaptation of Paula Hawkins' debut novel is hotly anticipated, with Emily Blunt in the lead role of Rachel, a woman on a downward spiral who swears that she witnesses a murder through the window on her daily commute. Also starring Justin Theroux and Luke Wilson, the setting has been moved from London to New York - which might upset some of the more devout fans of the book.

Doctor Strange, October 28

Another one from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this will be the 14th film in the franchise thus far. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the titular character while Rachel McAdams is the female lead. The story focuses on a brilliant neurosurgeon who, after a horrific car crash, discovers a magical world of different dimensions - a theme recently made popular by Netflix's 'Stranger Things'. Set to be a sure-fire hit.

Bridget Jones's Baby, September 16

The literary heroine of the early noughties is back in this third instalment of the franchise, starring Renée Zellwegger. This time, Bridget finds herself pregnant and on the cusp of 40, but she's not sure who the father is - her on/off love Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) or new love interest Jack, played by 'Grey's Anatomy' star Patrick Dempsey. It's bound to be a big hit considering the success of the first two Bridget movies, even if the plot is a little trite.

Irish Independent

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