With so many of us unable to meet up with either children or grandchildren, it was both cheering and wrenching to encounter all the bright young schoolgoers who featured in Creative Kids (RTÉ1).
Filmed before Covid-19 changed all our lives, the documentary focused on five of the 150 primary and secondary schools that had been participating in a nationwide Creative Ireland educational project. Pride of place was rightly given to the children themselves.
Ranging from seven-year-olds to teenagers, and from all sorts of backgrounds, they were articulate and enthusiastic about their tasks, whether artistic or scientific, though occasionally you got the sense that they were dutifully parroting received feel-good wisdom from their teachers on such matters as inclusivity, diversity and the embracing of ethnic difference.
Indeed, there was an air of earnest do-goodery about the overall tone of this hour-long film that made it seem more doggedly worthy than it should have been, and less riveting too. Still, the children were lovely.
At the beginning of March - and how long ago that seems - 5,000 people from 135 countries were invited to be new citizens of this nation. Becoming Irish (RTÉ1) focused on three of the people who had applied.
There was 29-year-old Zak Moradi, originally from Iraq but living with his family in Leitrim since he was 11 and a long-time player and coach with the local GAA team. There was Elinor Lyon Murphy, an English woman married to Galway husband Luke, whom she met in Brisbane. Then there was dancer Carlos Gonzales from Venezuela, whose family had fled the unrest to Argentina and who now hoped to take up permanent residence here.
The three people were engaging and all of their stories were interesting, but the title of this half-hour film turned out to be something of a misnomer when we learned at the very end that only Elinor had been invited to become Irish. The film just left it at that, offering no indication as to why this should have been so.
I should really have led off this column again with my praise for Normal People (RTÉ1/BBC1. It began brilliantly last week and that has got even better, with some scenes that made the viewer's eyes - well, mine anyway - well up.
Though faithful to Sally Rooney's marvellous novel, this adaptation has a different feel to it, which is how it should be, especially when played by actors with extraordinary charisma. This week's revelation was Sarah Greene, perhaps too young for the role of Connell's mother, but afforded two scenes - one with her son and one with the betrayed Marianne - to which she brought real emotional impact.
The transition to Trinity College was beautifully handled, too, with local Sligo hero Connell suddenly finding himself socially adrift and uneasy among young urban sophisticates and encountering a Marianne whose damaged schoolgirl spikiness had adapted much more comfortably to undergraduate living.
In his great poem, 'Sad Steps', Philip Larkin speaks of "the strength and pain/Of being young; that it can't come again,/But is for others undiminished somewhere". For those of us who have passed that first flush of agonised rapture, this drama is a potent reminder of such strength and pain - and of how our subsequent lives haven't matched up to the intensity of it all.
I'm told I can binge-watch the 12 episodes of Normal People on the BBC Player, but I'd much rather eke it out over its six-week run, savouring its nuances while praying that it doesn't make any mis-steps.
Though I could also binge-watch the seven instalments of Hollywood (Netflix), the opening episode has already made me think that perhaps I've had enough of this Ryan Murphy story of wannabe movie stars in the California of the late 1940s.
Yes, it looks great, which is what you'd expect from the creator of Glee, Pose and Feud, but David Corenswet is a bland presence in the lead role of Jack, who's required to service the sexual needs of the idle rich at the behest of seedy boss Ernie (Dylan McDermott), who uses his petrol business as a front for upmarket prostitution.
Apparently there'll be various other subsidiary storylines, some of them concerning the racism and sexism of Tinsel Town, but after the opening hour I didn't feel remotely engaged.
I was much taken, though, by the opening two episodes of Norwegian drama State of Happiness (BBC4), even if at the outset it seemed distinctly unpromising. Did I really want to know about declining fish stocks in a Norwegian coastal town in the late 1960s? Or, indeed, about unsuccessful offshore oil mining, with American speculators intent on closing down their operations?
But I quickly became engrossed in the quirky plotlines and the travails of the principal characters, all of them given real individuality by actors hitherto unknown to me.
RTÉ2 went all Scandi, too, with Modus, though this Swedish psycho-thriller drama dates from 2015 and, if memory serves, was screened on BBC4 a few years back. It wasn't very good then and looks no better now.
But the two-hour Tintoretto: A Rebel in Venice (Sky Arts) was an absorbing and detailed profile of the great 16th-century painter, with as much attention paid to the extraordinary work as to the colourful life.