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The best of the week ahead: Your TV highlights with Paul Whitington


America's Next Top Model

America's Next Top Model

The CW

Sense 8, Netflix

Sense 8, Netflix

Ashley is knocked down in Emmerdale

Ashley is knocked down in Emmerdale




America's Next Top Model

It's been running since 2006 and, as season 21 begins, America's Next Top Model shows no sign of flagging. Known as ANTM to its devotees, the show was created by former supermodel Tyra Banks, who has become a multimillionaire on the back of it.

The format is a simple one: a group of young women are housed in confined circumstances and given a series of weekly modelling tasks that sort the wheat from the chaff. You can imagine how bitchy it gets, and while critics of the show have complained that ANTM demeans young women, it seems to me the young ladies are only too keen to demean themselves.

They fight, scream, scheme and pull hissy fits, and the male models have been just as bad since they were introduced a few seasons back. Then there's the oddly fascinating spectacle of Tyra herself. From the very start, the 43-year-old force of nature has been the driving force behind the show's success, and is not shy about letting you know it. In fact, she's not shy about anything: huge glamour photos of her hang prominently in the models' house; she sings the show's soundtrack; she sometimes takes photos (quite well as a matter of fact), and misses no chance to remind the contestants about her own achievements. And why not?



Thursday, Sky One, 9pm

When the music’s over

It feels like it’s been with us forever, but the sixth and final series of Glee has just got underway on Sky One, and sees Rachel, Quinn, Brittany, Will and Blaine return to McKinley to help restart their beloved Glee Club for a new generation of students. Rachel’s TV show has been cancelled after just one episode, and she’s devastated when she finds out that her fathers are about to get divorced, so the club offers her a precious distraction. Lea Michele (above) stars.


Sense 8

Netflix, June 5

Unsettling new sci-fi mystery

The Wackowskis are among the creative forces behind Netflix’s intriguing new sci-fi thriller that will stream here from next Friday. In Sense 8, a group of eight entirely unconnected individuals across the world find themselves suddenly and inexplicably cerebrally connected. They can see each other in mirrors, and gain access at crucial moments to each other's knowledge, talents and skill. They may even represent a kind of evolutionary leap, but soon find themselves being hunted.

The soapbox: Secrets & spoilers

Warpaths, cohabiting and fond farewells

Fair City: Caoimhe doesn't have much time to bask in a post-hollier glow. She has some news to share with Damien. Laura is upset when Nina reneges on a wedding invite, who, as it turns out, wants to shack up together already. Neil lies about taking his medication and starts acting manic in The Station; Rachel - stressed and pumped up on energy drinks - goes on the warpath, while Charlotte continues to sell pills to Ciara.

Emmerdale: Laurel, already at a low ebb, is dealt yet another blow when Marlon admits he's looking into a divorce. Victoria is fuelled by such a rage when Kirin announces that Vanessa is having Adam's baby, that she manages to knock down Ashley, which results in him being put in a medically induced coma. Next thing, a drunk Laurel is informing the village that her ex-husband is dead. Meanwhile, David and Alicia say goodbye; Leyla feels guilty over Megan (stop sleeping with Jai then); and Val dresses up as Brenda in a bid to defraud the bank. EastEnders: Ben starts to get frustrated at Abi's controlling behaviour. It's a wonder he lasted this long. Tensions rise at the Beales' as the fight over Beth's adoption continues, while Pam and Les continue to miss their grandson, Paul, unaware that he has just arrived in Walford. Elsewhere, Sharon and Phil go head to head, but who will come out on top?

Coronation Street: The game is finally up for 'Gandy' when Susan sends Michael a photo album of the real Andy growing up as a child. Things then go from bad to abominable when Gail has to inform Michael that his real son is dead. As for David, he's hot on the heels of Kylie (ie Paula Lane is back off her maternity leave). Jenny suggests to Kevin that she may leg it with Jack in the aftermath of the fire, while Eileen finally cops that son Todd is her online lover 'Jeff' - which is beyond creepy.

Ros na Run: Amy finds out she's not pregnant!

* Sheena McGinley is an editor at entertainment.ie

Irish Independent