by David Dougan
American Horror Story: Asylum, FXUK – Tuesday, 10pm
American Horror Story’s first season was wonderfully weird and, well, horrible. But the second season doesn’t continue that story, instead taking the viewer to 1964, and the Briarcliff Mental Institution. While there are new characters, actors from season 1 like Zachary Quinto and Jessica Lange return in different roles. It seems unlikely that season 2 will be any less weird or horrible than the first, so you might want to watch this one from behind the sofa.
Don’t Sit In The Front Row, Sky Atlantic – Monday, 9pm.
While Sky Atlantic has been spending money to import the best US television, they’ve also been happy to give British talent a platform for new shows. So following on the heels of the likes of Steve Coogan, Russell Brand and Julia Davis, perennial grump Jack Dee hosts Don’t Sit In The Front Row. As the title suggests, if you’re sitting in the front row, you’ll be subjected to a thorough grilling from Dee and assorted guests like Dave Gorman and Frank Skinner. It seems like the audience can dish it out too, so it should provide some big laughs.
Horror Europa with Mark Gatiss, BBC4 – Tuesday, 9pm
Pick an episode of The League Of Gentlemen at random, and you’re almost certain to spot a host of references to classic horror movies. The show was often more horrifying than it was hilarious, and in 2010, Mark Gatiss took a three part journey through the history of horror, in which he explored some of those influences. Now he travels to Europe to explore the legacy of the likes of Dario Argento and Guillermo Del Toro. Should be frightfully good (sorry).
Last Resort, Sky1 – Tuesday, 8pm
Speaking of the best US television, Sky1 will air ABC’s latest big new drama, Last Resort, and it’s a show with a very promising pilot. When the captain of a US submarine is ordered to launch nuclear missiles on Pakistan, he asks for official confirmation of his orders. The US government then orders his vice-captain to relieve him of his duties, but when he too asks for confirmation, a missile is launched on them. Barely surviving the attack, the captain takes over an island, announcing that he’ll launch missiles on anyone coming within 200 miles. It’s an exciting and dramatic pilot that should set up a great series.
Misfits, E4 – Sunday 10pm
E4’s hit series returns for a 4th run with new characters after Antonia Thomas (Alisha) and Iwan Rheon (Simon) were killed off in the third series. The series’ popularity has continued to grow, not only pulling strong ratings for E4, but making a splash in the US via online streaming service Hulu. The question for this series will be whether or not it can continue that success with new characters and new storylines, so tune in to find out.
Freeview Film Of The Week
Angel Heart (1987), Film4 – Wednesday, 11:05
Would you like an egg? Alan Parker’s wonderfully weird classic stars Mickey Rourke (with his pre-boxing face) as a private investigator working for Louis Cypher (a particularly creepy, and beardy, Robert De Niro), a man who might actually be the devil. This has one of Rourke’s very best screen performances, and is a perfect way to end your Halloween adventures.