Strangely these what to watch posts often post a challenge I’m not always up. Sometimes it really is the case of What to Watch? What’s new, fresh and exciting. Luckily for me (and for you lucky, lucky readers) there’s quite a bit this week.
Saturday sees the highly anticipated debut of BBC1’s reality show The Voice. It’s been trailed like mad on the BBC and rumour has it that even Simon Cowell is quaking in his leather boots at the prospect of this new series stamping all over the ratings of his vehicle Britain’s Got Talent which starts the same night on ITV. The Voice is a singing competition of course but comparisons to The X Factor or Pop Idol should end there. Here the celebrities in those swanky red swivel chairs aren’t judges or panto villains they’re primary goal is to mentor their acts and mould them into the acts they want to be. Those who enjoy the insane asylum that the X Factor auditions have become may find The Voice a bit hard going as all those taking to the stage are actually quite good and stand a chance of progressing in the competition. Even the judging (sorry coaching) panel is as about as eclectic as an IPod with Sir Tom Jones, Jessie J, Black Eyed Pea WILL I AM and some Irish fellow from the Script which makes the Britain’s Got Talent panel of Cowell, Holden, Walliams and Dixon look a little limp.
The BBC may not have the greatest of track records when it comes producing Saturday Night reality shows and the less said about Fame Academy but if there’s one show to topple the mighty Cowell empire it could well be this.
The Voice begins Saturday at 7.00pm on BBC1
Fans of Downton Abbey and shipwrecks are in for a treat on Sunday when ITV begins the 4-part TV version of Titanic written by the Mighty Julian Fellows. With the HUGE success of Downton Abbey both in the UK and abroad Fellows is virtually untouchable at the moment and I’ve no doubt ITV have backed the right horse and that Titanic will easily equal the mammoth viewing figures that Downton achieved. However if you’re expecting any other than Downton Abbey on Sea you’ll be disappointed. The story moves at a painfully slow pace and you may (if you’re anything like me) find yourself longing for the iceberg. That being said I’m sure Titanic has a built in audience and they’ll love it.
Titanic sets sail (sorry couldn’t resist) Sunday at 9pm on ITV1
Now it’s important here that you hang on my every word. Some bright spark in the scheduling department at the BBC has placed one of the best dramas I’ve seen this year in a graveyard slot which may mean it either won’t get the viewing figures its deserving of or people won’t even realise its been on. it’s a 4-part drama called One Night and focuses on the tragic events of one hot summer’s night told from four very different prospective. It really is one of the best dramas to air on the BBC this year, which is why it seems brutal and cruel to it and to the viewing public that it’s been shoved to a late night slot with little to no promotion. The opening episode is wonderful and star Douglas Hodge is wonderfully real as tortured soul Ted whose actions on one summer’s night snowball. By the end of episode 1 you’ll be really intrigued to see where the story is going. Please watch it – it’s on 4 nights this week. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and the final episode is both moving and edge of the seat stuff.
One Night Begins Monday 10.35pm on BBC1 – DO NOT MISS!!
The other big BBC1 drama starting this week is Kay Mellor’s five-part comedy drama The Syndicate. The series, which stars Timothy Spall and Joanna Page is good but something about it may make you feel a little bit annoyed by some of the characters. The series is set in a supermarket and centres on a group who win the lottery with each character taking centre stage each week. Its nice mix of humour and drama and those already familiar with Mellor’s other work will know exactly what to expect. Its very northern and often a bit like a racy episode of Coronation Street.
The Syndicate begins Tuesday at 9pm on BBC1
Finally some comedy yes? I dismissed Twenty Twelve, the BBC’s comedy about a spoof team who are organizing the London Olympics but series 2 is actually laugh out loud funny. Its so funny that I felt the need to type the words rather than opting for LOL. It’s full of well-known faces which I suppose distracts a little from it being a real documentary but once you set that aside this is very funny and well worth a watch as we’re running low on decent comedy at the moment.
Twenty Twelve – The Second Series Begins Friday at 10.00pm on BBC2.