This Week’s TV Highlights: Blackout, Undercover Boss, Let’s Get Gold, The Midnight Beast, Parents

by Matt D

As the football comes to a close we’ve got a more varied schedule once again so let’s have a look through five of the most interesting shows for the week ahead.

Blackout (BBC1, Mon, 9pm)
Starting the week out with a strong drama from the pen of Bill Gallagher, who most recently scripted Love Life, we have Blackout a dramatic thriller about a corrupt councillor. Christopher Eccleston stars as said councillor Daniel Demoys who we first see doing a deal in a dark alleyway in the middle of a rainy night however later his wife finds him on the sofa with blood all over his shirt convinced that he’s had an alcoholic blackout. This discovery then takes him on a tale of redemption as he tries to put right what he’s done wrong in the past. Blackout survives mainly because of its fantastic cast headed by the always-brilliant Eccleston there’s also Dervla Kirwin as Daniel’s wife, Ewan Bremner as political fixer Jerry Durrans and recent BAFTA winner Andrew Scott as troubled police officer Dalien Bevan. Stylistically the whole thing looks great and its just good to see that British drama is still being nurtured despite this being the summer of sport.

Undercover Boss (C4, Mon, 9pm)
Like with The Secret Millionaire, Undercover Boss is a Channel 4 franchise that has been transported over the globe most notably in America but this week the original series is back for a fourth run. First up we have Fouad Haghighat the man in charge of takeaway chain Pizza GoGo which is a business that his father built up from scratch and one that he has tried to maintain as much as he can. As he starts his mission he is appalled to find breaches of the company’s health and safety codes which obviously he brings up once he reveals his true identity in the final part of the show. Personally Undercover Boss is one of my guilty pleasure favourites as you always wonder if the subject will be rumbled before he’s finished his time at a particular store and I also love the reaction shots of the staff members when the true identity of their new co-worker has been revealed.

Let’s Get Gold (ITV1, Thurs, 9pm)
To capitalise on the upcoming Olympic Games ITV1 have adapted their usual talent show formula to include a sporty twist as sports teams from around the country demonstrate their skills to put on a show for a panel of judges in order to win a grand prize of £100,000. Hosted by the ubiquitous Vernon Kay the first episode of Let’s Get Gold concentrates on the first of the two heats before the final commences in the third instalment. The judges are a motley crew with Rio Ferdinand and Freddie Flintoff representing the sporting world while the entertainment value of the acts will be judged by Una from The Saturdays as well as yoghurt spokeswoman Martine McCutcheon. Hopefully Let’s Get Gold will have the cheesy value of Britain’s Got Talent combined with the opportunity to spotlight some of the best sports teams that the UK has to offer.

The Midnight Beast (E4, Thurs, 10pm)
A new edition to E4’s comedy line-up is a sitcom spotlight for comedy music group The Midnight Beast who have had over 40 million hits on their YouTube site and are most notable for their parody of Ke$ha’s Tik Tok. The sitcom is very Flight of The Conchords as we see the group living together and trying to make a successful go of the band however at the end of the day they’re just a trio of slackers surviving on blagging pizzas as well as playing underwhelming gigs. Like with The Conchords it’s the musical numbers that are the highlight of the show, for example I Kicked A Shark in the Face, while the comedy elements share some similarities with The Inbetweeners. The Midnight Beast will certainly appeal to E4’s core audience however I’m not quite sure why it’s been added to a night that up to now has purely been reserved for US imports.

Parents (Sky One, Fri, 8:30pm)
Since promising to provide more homegrown comedy and drama Sky have stuck to their word with recent successes including Starlings, Walking and Talking, Hit and Miss and the new Alan Partridge specials. Here they again try to create a successful pre-watershed sitcom, as they did with the BAFTA-winning Spy, as Sally Phillips stars in Parents a show which looks at the trend of grown-ups going back to live at home. In the show Phillips stars as Jenny a mum of two who loses her job and after her house is repossessed moves back in with her parents with the rest of her new family in tow. Veteran actors Tom Conti and Suzie Blake star as the parents who really don’t want Jenny, her husband Nick or their offspring around so treat them all like children and go about their daily routine as if they weren’t there. The result is a charmingly old-school sitcom that provides obvious laughs but at the same time is relatable to a lot of people who have gone through similar situations.

Do you agree with my choices? What shows are you enjoying at the moment? Leave Your Comments Below.