The best of the TV week ahead with Paul Whitington
Raised by Wolves
Monday, Channel 4, 10pm
A grandly dysfunctional childhood
Columnist, author, comedienne and all-round force of nature, Caitlin Moran, has written many times about her spectacularly unconventional childhood in the English midlands, and this bracing new sitcom recreates the experiences of Ms Moran and her sister Caroline. Born in 1975 and the eldest of eight children, Caitlin was raised by, as she puts it, "the only hippies in Wolverhampton". Her Irish father was a former psychedelic rock musician and both her parents had a boldly experimental approach to child-rearing.
Moran has described life in a three-bedroom council house with her parents and seven siblings as being a bit like The Hunger Games, and these experiences inform the anarchic mood of Raised By Wolves, which is, however, set in the present day. The large and boisterous Garry family have no money and the kids are home-schooled, educating themselves on a heady diet of books, films, TV and pop music. "We're not northern twats, we're not southern twats, we're midlands twats," announces the redoubtable Garry matriarch, Della, before frog-marching her kids into the nearest wilderness for an impromptu survival course.
Her eldest daughter, Germaine, meanwhile, is in the grip of roaring adolescent hormones, and is obsessed with getting up close and personal with an unsavoury yob called Lee. Also in this first episode, younger sister Yoko reaches a female milestone in most unexpected circumstances and the rest of the kids are given an unwelcome insight into the sexual predilections of their unstable grandfather.
Tuesday, BBC1, 9pm
Secrets of a showroom
This new six-part BBC show takes the unlikely backdrop of a car showroom as the setting for a comic drama about the tangled lives of the people who work there. In part one, harried salesman Marty McLean is given his last warning by his boss, Mike, after turning up late again. And when he sleeps through his alarm after a drunken night out, Marty panics and tells Mike his wife has died. The staff at JS Motors rally round in sympathy, but sooner or later the truth will come out.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Follow-up to 30 Rock is here
Tina Fey’s new comedy started streaming on Netflix last week and while the first episode seems almost absurdly frothy, there’s darkness and depth just beneath the surface of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) was kidnapped by a doomsday cult in her teens and spent 15 years living in a bunker. When she’s released, she heads to New York to let her hair down, but her relentless positivity turns out to be a coping mechanism.
The Last Man on Earth
The world to himself
This refreshingly original comedy premiered in the US last week and stars its creator, Will Forte, as an unassuming man who survives a global pandemic. Phil Miller is a simple soul and finds that time hangs heavy on his hands when everyone else is wiped out. After touring the US looking for survivors, he holes up in an abandoned Arizona mansion, but soon grows tired of his own company. He’s about to kill himself when a woman shows up — the only trouble is, she’s a bit annoying.