The Wire, Weeds and Funny Or Die head to Sky Atlantic this January

by Lisa McGarry

This January, hit US comedies Weeds and Funny Or Die will make a return to Sky Atlantic HD for their latest seasons, plus the critically acclaimed HBO classic The Wire makes its debut on the channel.

The sixth season of Emmy® nominated dark comedy Weeds begins on Monday 2 January at 10.15pm, returning us to the world of Nancy Botwin (Golden Globe® winner Mary-Louise Parker), who took to selling marijuana when her husband died and who, over the years, has become more deeply involved with illegal activity. Cast regulars Hunter Parrish, Justin Kirk and Golden Globe® nominee Alanis Morissette will also make her big comeback.

Straight after the premiere of Weeds, Funny Or Die Presents returns for a second season of sketches, skits and silliness. Executive produced by Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, the masterminds behind the ground-breaking Funny or Die website, this half-hour sketch-comedy series provides a creative forum for dozens of America’s most talented comedians, actors and writers.

Highlights this time around include the adventures of the United States Police Department, as well as former Batman star Adam West hitting on people. As with season one, top stars have lined up to make cameos, including Kristen Wiig, Elijah Wood, Jack McBrayer, Ben Stiller, John C Reilly and Will Ferrell.
The crime opus The Wire is widely considered to rank among the best TV shows ever made, and it’s coming to Sky Atlantic from Friday 6 January at 10.15pm. A hyper-realistic trawl through the gritty drug-infested streets of Baltimore, the series has been praised for its objective stance and expertly crafted blend of top-notch performances, searing drama and damning social commentary.

Backed by a stellar ensemble cast including Idris Elba, Dominic West, Lance Reddick and Michael K Williams, the bleak but unmissable journey kicks off at the sharp end of the city’s problems with D’Angelo Barksdale, a housing project drug dealer who has landed in court on a murder charge. Homicide detective Jimmy McNulty attends the trial, where a key witness points the finger but another suddenly decides he is unable to testify, resulting in Barksdale walking free.

The deftly woven story spirals across five captivating seasons, taking in myriad acutely observed characters from street pushers and school kids to teachers, journalists and politicians, all the while plumbing the ever-murkier depths of the drug trade in a city that to many looks rotten to the core but that some still love enough to consider worth saving.