This Week’s TV Highlights: Britain’s Got Talent semi finals, Planet Earth Live, Homeland, Small Teen Turns 18, Episodes

by Matt D

Another large week of TV goodness and as always here are my five highlights.

Britain’s Got Talent (ITV1, From Sat, 8:45pm)
As it started earlier than normal it’s already time for the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals which start on Sunday after Saturday’s show. You will find out possible semi-finalists elsewhere on this site however I’m hoping my favourites The Showbears, The Zimmers and Strictly Wheels all make it through to the next round however I’m under no illusion that they’ll make next Saturday’s final. As usual it’ll be the singers who do well so that means that larger-than-life opera singer Jonathan, the plethora of teenage girl artists and last week’s emotional youngster Malaki will be favourites to win the coveted royal variety spot. Sunday night’s show, which begins at 8pm will encompass both the performance and the results while those between Monday and Thursday will air the main show at 7:30 and the results at 9:30. Don’t forget to look out for my articles on the Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalists throughout the week.

Planet Earth Live (BBC1, From Sun, 7:50pm)
After the success of Frozen Planet it seems that BBC natural history programmes can do no wrong and this week it embarks on its most ambitious project yet. The network has placed cameras all over the world and follows animals at the start of May where most young animals must fight for survival. Hosts Julia Bradbury and Richard Hammond will both be stationed throughout the globe watching these youngsters throughout the series to see if they do indeed survive. Bradbury will be coming live from Minnesota where cameras follow black bears and their cubs while Hammond is in Kenya looking at the plight of a group of lions. Other animals that will be followed in this eight-part series include meerkats, polar bears and elephants so you can be assured that there is something for everyone. The first three parts will air on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday night with the series continuing over the next few weeks.

Homeland (C4, Sun, 9pm)
It seems that Channel 4 made the right choice when they bought Homeland and aired it in a primetime Sunday night slot as more than 2 million Brits are watching it when it airs. This week’s finale will wrap up all the plots namely will Carrie convince her CIA superiors of her theories now that she has been sacked while will Brody go through with his plot to blow up the Vice President. Both Clare Danes and Damian Lewis have been fantastic throughout the series she playing a mentally unstable woman who in fact knows exactly what’s going while he is the conflicted war hero who is convinced he is doing the right thing. Homeland fans will also be delighted to know that this is a feature-length final episode which will finish at 10:45 so it’s a good thing most of us don’t have work the next day. I’m not sure how it will end but I’m sure we’re all glad that it will be returning for a new season it just determines to be seen which characters will actually make it that far.

Small Teen Turns Eighteen (BBC3, Mon, 9pm)
Of all the brilliant BBC3 documentaries that focus on young people’s struggle in the modern world my favourite has to be those about teenager Jasmine Burkett who, like her mother, had been born with dwarfism. We first met her in 2010’s Small Teen Big World which was so popular that it spawned a whole 2011 series Small Teen, Bigger World in which Jas left home to attend college and reconnected with her former drug addict father. The third feature on Jas’ life follows her on the run-up to her 18th birthday again struggling with family issues as she journeys to America to visit her father at a methadone clinic. Most importantly though she is still a normal teenager trying to shop for clothes for her 18th birthday party but struggling due to the fact that there aren’t many stylish clothes designed for people of her size. If you’ve never seen one of these documentaries before I would highly recommend it as both Jas and her mum Bev are truly extraordinary people who get on with life in the face of serious adversity.

Episodes (BBC2, Fri, 10pm)
I can’t be the only one who wasn’t a fan of the first couple of instalments of Episodes season one as I found Tasmin Greig and Stephen Magnan’s performance stilted and awkward as they struggled with a script written by Americans. However after the plots were established and Matt LeBlanc’s caracture of himself had debut this became a witty look at the American TV industry. At the end of season one Sean and Beverly separated after he discovered she’d had a one night stand with Matt who he then in turn was almost blinded by with LeBlanc’s hilariously named fragrance ‘How You Smellin’. The couple are still estranged at the beginning of episode two but have to be reunited when their co-written sitcom, starring LeBlanc, debuts in the States. Though at times Episodes can seem a little bit like its written for TV insiders there are enough gags here to keep it going while LeBlanc, who won a Golden Globe for his performance here, is still having a hoot as his own alter-ego.

Are you looking forward to any of the shows that I’ve previewed? Do you think I’ve missed anything out? Leave Your Comments Below.