This Week’s TV Highlights: Superstar, Thelma’s Gypsy Girls, Twenty Twelve, The Newsroom, Case Sensitive

by Matt D

So now the football is finished and the tennis has almost come to an end it seems that there are tons of new shows kicking off this week so it’s been a struggle to whittle them down to five however below are my final choices.

Superstar (ITV1, Sat 7:25pm & Sun,8pm)
Saturday nights have seemed awfully quiet since The Voice and Britain’s Got Talent left us back in May thankfully until The X-Factor returns we have a stopgap in the form of Superstar. In fact it does seem that Superstar has been coming for a long time now ever since Andrew Lloyd-Webber announced his intention of finding a lead to his new production of Jesus Christ Superstar which is set to open at the 02. It seems that his Lordship has defected to ITV after several years of finding talent on BBC1 but maybe this time the casting process is a little bit too controversial for the Beeb so Graham Norton has been replaced by Amanada Holden as the host of this endeavour.

The first two episodes, shown over the weekend, will see the 100 finalists whittled down to 40 thanks to a panel of Jason Donavan, producer David Grindrod and Mel C who will be starring as Mary Magdalene in the show itself. Sunday’s edition will see the final 40 whisked off to an island for some intensive training ahead of the live shows where Dawn French will accompany Donavan and Llyod-Webber on the panel. If nothing else Superstar will be an intriguing programme which should initially be fun to watch but as always they’ll have to cast an interesting bunch for the audience not to lose interest in the show.

Thelma’s Gypsy Girls (C4, Sun, 9pm)
There’s no denying that the Big Fat Gypsy phenomenon has produced some of Channel 4’s finest ratings in ages so there’s no surprise that they’re getting as much out of the franchise as they possibly can. This week BFGW’s resident dress-maker Thelma Madine presents her new spin-off show in which she puts ten young traveller girls through an intensive six month training course. Due to the fact that the majority of these girls are taken out of school by the age of eleven, Thelma has her work cut out for her getting them to do even the simplest of tasks but she perseveres as she feels like the traveller community has made a ton of money over the years. Though I feel that the Gypsy Weddings shows have become a bit repetitive I am a fan of Madine’s so I’m hoping that this programme will show the traveller girls in a slightly more positive light than the original programme which, in my opinion, spent too much time poking fun at their old-fashioned lifestyle.

Twenty Twelve (BBC2, Tues, 10pm)
For those of you who thought the last series of Twenty Twelve was far too short don’t despair as it was only the first part of the second run with the final three episodes starting from Tuesday. As we’re now in a period where people who have applied for their Olympic tickets are starting to receive them it is evident than the ever-incompetent Deliverance Committee has their work cut out for them. Hugh Bonneville is brilliant as ever as the harassed Head of Committee Ian Fletcher who tries in vain to stop the games from being a complete disaster however his dim-witted staff have other ideas. This week the problems stem from the Olympic Travel Advice Pack which is considered far too dull so of course Jessica Hynes’ fabulously observed PR Guru Siobhan has some ideas to jazz it up. There’s also a problem with people putting live rounds into the starting pistols so Ian has a meeting with a female police chief who has been appointed head of the ‘Catastrophisation Unit’. As clever and funny as it always has been I’m just hoping that we get another run of Twenty Twelve after the games to see how much the Committee can botch up clearing up after London 2012 has been and gone.

The Newsroom (Sky Atlantic, Tues, 10pm)
After winning an Oscar for his script for The Social Network, as well as working on the Oscar-nominated Moneyball, Aaron Sorkin is going back to the small-screen where he made his name with The West Wing. His latest show The Newsroom is another behind the scenes look at television, following in the footsteps of Sports Night and Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip, which follows the exploits of the staff at Atlantis Cable News. Jeff Daniels heads the cast as Will McAvoy who is seen as the nation’s favourite newscaster due to his impartiality however his life changes when an ex-girlfriend, played by Emily Mortimer, becomes his new producer. Will in fact has to deal with an almost entirely new staff after his former co-anchor left taking most of the production team with him. As always Sorkin’s writing highlights the problems within the area his show is set, in this instance the news media, with his characters performing mini-monologues to air their views about the changing shape of their industry. Though the reviews in the states have been particularly favourable what I do know is that Sorkin always produces interesting shows while The Newsroom has a great cast which not only includes Daniels and Mortimer but also Dev Patel, Allison Pill, Sam Waterston and Jane Fonda I’d advise everyone to ignore the critics by making your own mind up when the programme debuts on Tuesday night.

Case Sensitive (ITV1, Thurs and Fri, 9pm)
For those of you missing Vera and Lewis, ITV1 has got some more new crime drama for you this week in the form of Case Sensitive starring Olivia Williams and Darren Boyd. If you missed the first two-parter last year the show is based around the novels of Sophie Hannah and sees Boyd and Williams as detectives Simon Waterhouse and Charlie Zailer a mis-matched pair who have undeniable sexual chemistry. This instalment, show on Thursday and Friday, is based on Hannah’s The Other Half Lives and tells the tale of a man proposing to his fiancée only to then reveal that he once hurt a woman but she then agrees to keep this is a secret but as you would expect people then start dying. The first Case Sensitive was well-acted but I have to say that I found it fairly forgettable in the overall scheme of these murder mystery shows, that being said the two leads are strong and the story might be better this time round so you’ll just have to tune in to find out just how good it is.

Do you Agree with my Choices? What will you be Watching this week? Leave Your Comments Below.