The best of the week ahead: Your TV highlights with Paul Whitington
The Good Wife, Tuesday, RTE1, 10.15pm.... Alicia runs for office
Some of you may have been watching this latest series of the hit US drama on More 4, but season six starts fresh on RTÉ2 this week, and is well worth following. When The Good Wife began way back in 2009, I'd never have thought it would be able to spin out its slender story for this long, but the show's creators Robert and Michelle King have done a fantastic job of reinventing it.
In season five, for instance, the drama suffered a potentially fatal blow when Alicia Florrick's will-she/won't-she? love story with colleague Will Gardner (Josh Charles) came to an abrupt end when he was shot dead in court by an irate client.
As their teasing dance had been a constant thread on the show since the start, one feared that the whole thing would fall to bits. On the contrary, however, season six is proving terrifically entertaining, and poses Alicia (Julianna Margulies) with a host of new challenges.
When her husband's oily advisor Eli Gold (Alan Cumming) tells Alicia that a public poll has suggested she'd do very well if she ran for State's Attorney, she's initially horrified. But the lure of power proves too much, and soon she's drawn into the slippery political world she's always claimed to detest.
Meanwhile her partner at their new law firm Cary Agos (Matt Czuchry) is charged with trafficking heroin and becomes a pawn in a much larger game. Connie Neilsen, David Hyde Pierce and Michael J. Fox are among the guest stars, and Julianna Margulies is execllent as ever as the redoubtable Mrs Florrick.
Thursday, BBC2, 9pm
A deadly Cold War dance
First shown on BBC America, Toby Whithouse’s moody espionage drama is set in London in the early 1970s and stars Brian Cox as ‘Daddy’, MI5’s wily and charismatic chief. With his favourite agent, Joe Lambe (Tom Hughes), he is handling a defecting KGB officer when the Russian tells them of a forthcoming Soviet plot against Britain called Operation Glass. And as enemy sleeper agents are awakened across the country, MI5 must race to stifle them.
Channel 4 On Demand, any time
Hard stories from the Welsh valleys
I missed the start of this fine documentary series but have been catching up on Channel 4’s free On Demand streaming service. Skint is based in Merthyr Tydfil, the once mighty Welsh industrial town that's fallen on very hard times since the mines and steel mills closed in the 1980s. And during the three-part show we meet a young man who sleeps on top of a washing machine, and a couple who live in a tent and skip-dive for food.
Funnymen at war
I love the sound of this new show, which pairs Billy Crystal and Josh Gad as fictionalised versions of themselves. When Billy goes to TV executives with an idea for a one-man series, they politely dismiss his idea and team him up with brash young comedian Josh instead. They're soon jostling for control of their new show, and get off to a terrible start. “When I found out Billy Crystal wanted to work with me,” Gad tells Billy, “nobody was more excited than my grandparents.” Ouch.