This Week’s TV Highlights: The Eurovision Song Contest, The BAFTA TV Awards, Modern Family, Revenge, The Apprentice: The Final Five

by Matt D

A couple of US TV shows as well as some live extravaganzas headline this week’s big TV preview.

The Eurovision Song Contest (BBC1, Sat, 8pm)
After two nights of watching increasingly barmy semi-final acts, which saw us say goodbye to some of the wackiest songs, it’s time for Saturday’s main event namely. If, like me, you’re having a Eurovision shindig then you’ll want to pace yourself as there are plenty of boring Balkan ballads littered among the headline-grabbing acts which will drag your evening down. In terms of UK viewers the evening may peak early on as Englebert Humperdink, or #TheHump as idiots are now calling him, is performing his gentle love song ‘Love Will Set You Free’ in the first position. Will that count against him in the final voting? Only time will tell however it’s quite clear that our country will probably never win this thing again. Along the way we also have the Turkish man-boat, the Russian Grannies, the Ukrainian Samantha Mumba, the Swedish girl getting pelted by snow and of course the unstoppable force that is Jedward. Though Eurovision isn’t always great its camp value shines through and if you don’t take it too seriously you’re always guaranteed to have a good time.

British Academy Television Awards (BBC1, Sun, 8pm)
This weekend certainly has an air of big events as it ends with coverage of the annual prize-giving to honour those who lit up the British small screen in the last ten months. Fred West drama Appropriate Adult leads the nominations with four, including nods for Dominic West and Emily Watson, while the brilliant Sherlock and the always great This is England ’88 have three nominations. There’s a good mixture of programmes that have been honoured however little emphasis has been placed on last year’s best show The Shadow Line which only features in the Supporting Actor category thanks to Stephen Rea’s great performance. There is also a new category in the form of Constructed Reality obviously created after The Only Way is Essex won last year’s audience award however Towie isn’t present here although rival Made in Chelsea is alongside Young Apprentice, An Idiot Abroad and Don’t Tell the Bride. As Graham Norton will still be in Azerbaijan drafted into replace him this year is equally funny Irishman Dara O’Briain so you know that you’ll be in safe hands whatever happens.


Modern Family (Pick TV, Mon-Fri, 8pm)
Though for some this highlight will be nothing more than a repeat I feel it is my civic duty to inform everybody that starting from Monday there will be no excuse not to watch the best sitcom around I’m talking of course about Modern Family. The programme comes to Freeview for the first time courtesy of Pick TV (Freeview Ch.11) who are showing one episode a day of this chucklesome American comedy which focuses on a diverse extended family. There is head-of-the-family Jay who has recently re-married to the younger, sexier Latina Gloria who herself already has a son in the overly mature Manny. Jay’s daughter Claire has the most normal family unit with a husband in the goofy real estate agent Phil as well as three kids while her brother Mitch is in a same-sex relationship with the larger-than-life Cameron who themselves have recently become parents after adopting a young daughter named Lily. The cast are all excellent and the jokes come regularly however they’re never at the expense of developing ten unique characters who you will get to know throughout the programme’s run. I really can’t recommend Modern Family enough and if you don’t catch it this time round then you only have yourself to blame.

Revenge (E4, Mon, 9pm)
A new US drama that you can actually become a fan of as thankfully it has been renewed for a second series, Revenge is possibly the campest show to come out of the states in the last twelve months. It focuses on Amanda Clarke, played by Emily Van Camp possibly best known over here for her role on Brothers and Sisters, who is out to get revenge on the family that she believed caused her father’s murder by posing as rich socialite Emily Thorne. Emily’s arrival in The Hamptons sparks distrust in the mind of family matriarch Victoria Grayson who is played by Madeline Stowe so gets plenty of evil glares in the direction of all that cross her path. Revenge is utterly ridiculous stuff but it is also very entertaining, well-produced and great to look at both in terms of its setting as well as its good-looking cast. It’s the perfect show to while away these summer nights as it’s not too taxing but at the same time there’s enough intrigue to keep you going from episode to episode.

The Apprentice: The Final Five (Tues, 10:35pm)
So Steven and Gabrielle have both now been fired which means The Apprentice candidates have now been whittled down to a final five who we now get to learn more about thanks to an extra programme on Tuesday. Our motley crew include a part-time pro wrestler, a baby-faced wine merchant, a thick but loveable Northern market trader, a husky-voiced pearl-loving businesswoman and Boris Johnson’s lovechild. These programmes used to be good back in the days of a two candidate final however since the final became a four-way affair this is basically a look at the finalists however here we might get some sort of idea what the finalists business plans might be about. Don’t forget also to tune in on Wednesday night to see this five become a four following a task that asks the candidates to create a luxury product range as we will then know who will see in the final.

What programmes are you looking forward to this week? Leave Your Comments Below.