Remember all the people who recently complained because normal politics in Britain was suspended during official mourning for the Queen?
They now have their wish with the return of View from Stormont (UTV, Monday, 10.45pm), the weekly round-up of events in Northern Ireland.
Cue an hour of Sinn Féin and DUP spokespersons laying in to one another over who is to blame for the failure to get power sharing back up and running, while someone from the Alliance Party coos piously about the need to “come to an agreement”.
If this is what a resumption of normal service looks like, the silence of the Royal mourning period starts to look like a golden age.
As if that wasn’t enough to dampen spirits, Northern Ireland was also responsible for this week’s return of James Nesbitt’s dour crime drama Bloodlands (BBC One, Sunday, 9pm).
There really aren’t sufficient words in the dictionary to capture this show’s sheer awfulness.
Is it Nesbitt’s acting? Is it the risible dialogue? It is the overwhelming sense of portentousness that hangs over everything? The answer is: yes. It’s all of them.
They didn’t even bother coming up with a new story for this second series. Instead it’s just a pointless appendage to season one, where Nesbitt as policeman Tom Brannick had – for reasons known only to the scriptwriter, and in retrospect possibly not even him – shot some terrorist gun runners back in the day.
Suddenly it turns out that the dead men were not only smuggling guns but gold as well, and the accountant who was looking after the loot has been murdered.
Or something like that.
As a result, Nesbitt has to scuttle round various scenic but bleak parts of Co Down, trying once again to conceal from his colleagues that he’s a bad ’un .
All I can say is that these colleagues of his must be spectacularly stupid because he couldn’t be more obviously a bent copper if he went around with a Post-it note stuck to his forehead saying: ‘I am a bent copper’.
How did Bloodlands get a second season? That’s not a rhetorical question. I genuinely want to know.
Not least because if a show this dreadful can get a second season, then it’s not outside the bounds of possibility that it could get a third. Please, make it stop.
Sadly, there’s no sign of an end to the current slew of mediocre prime-time crime thrillers.
The latest to hit screens was Crossfire (BBC One, Monday, 9pm), in which an ex-policewoman played by Bodyguard’s Keeley Hawes announces to her family: “I’ve got a good idea, why don’t we all go away together?”
Suffice to say it wasn’t a good idea at all, as gunmen immediately took over the hotel in Spain where they were staying.
This, naturally, led to quite a bit of running and hiding from all concerned, though any tension which was generated in the process was invariably undercut by lengthy flashbacks in a doomed effort to get us to care who lived or died by making them feel briefly like rounded characters.
There was even an intrusive voiceover in which Hawes delivered superficially deep but ultimately meaningless lines like: “All your life you think you’ve been making choices, but you weren’t making any choices at all.”
None of it felt real. It was just another one of those shows where middle-class people find themselves in a spot of bother and have to put things right over how ever many episodes the makers have managed to wangle from lazy commissioning editors.
The Suspect (UTV, Monday, 9pm), unfortunately, has gone the same way. The first episode of the series saw Aidan Turner as psychologist Joe accused of the murder of a former patient. It was tense, fast-paced.
Since then it has lost its way hopelessly. Joe is now on the run from the police as he tries to clear his name with the help of Fleabag’s sister and that other woman who used to be a hairdresser in Coronation Street and had a one night stand with Jim McDonald.
Unluckily for Joe, the one woman who could provide him with an alibi has also got herself killed, and he’s suspected of her murder too. There’s only one episode to go, but I’ve long ceased to care.
Cunk on Earth (BBC Two, Tuesday, 10pm) is a BBC/Netflix co-production starring Motherland’s Diane Morgan as Philomena Cunk, a dim-witted reporter in the Ali G style who, with a straight face throughout, asks increasingly bizarre questions of her unwitting expert guests, all of whom are far too polite to tell her that she’s a blithering idiot.
In this latest series, Cunk sets out to relate nothing less than the entire history of human civilisation on Earth – which is, she explains helpfully at the start of the show, “a planet I’m literally on right now”.
The whole thing is deliciously quotable – as when she notes of the invention of writing that it “still exists today underneath video clips that we watch online” – and what makes it funnier is that it genuinely does look like one of the big-budget, globe-trotting documentaries the BBC does so well.
“It’s hard to believe that I’m walking through the remains of the first ever city,” she observes at one point in a perfect pastiche of the genre. “Because I’m not. That’s in Iraq, which is miles away. And f**king dangerous.”
The real mystery is how none of the experts the brilliant Morgan interviews as Cunk seem to recognise her despite the fact she’s been playing this spoof character for nine years now. Do academics never watch TV?