What to Watch – Week Commencing 19th April


On Saturday Sky Atlantic will screen a new US musical drama. Given the huge success Fox has had with Glee it’s no surprise that another US network would jump on board with their own take on the genre. Smash (which was billed as a Glee for grownups) focuses on the behind the scenes workings of a fictional musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe. As musical dramas go (and I don’t rate them highly) this is quite a good series. You must understand that “quite good” is high praise from me when it comes to this sort of show. The characters don’t spontaneously burst into song as much as those hideously precocious Glee lot. The cast is rather impressive and if you’re need of a non-taxing easy on the brain series this does the job nicely.


Saturday also sees BBC1’s The Voice move on from their Bind Audition stage. From now on those iconic red swivel chairs will be facing the stage and the acts now battle against each other in a mock boxing ring. Two singers sing the same song together with the audience and coaches deciding who gave the best performance. The song list has been revealed and we know to expect songs from Chris Brown, u2, Marvin Gaye and Elvis. The series has proved unstoppable in the ratings but it will be interesting to see whether viewers stay tuned in now that the series develops into more of a bog standard signing competition. The coaches have proved an interesting watch though as long their
personalities continue to shine through I’ve faith the series will go from strength to strength.


Tuesday sees the start of an interesting reality series on Channel 4. Hidden Talent is fronted by Richard Bacon and as I write this I’ve realize it’s not the easiest idea to explain. Basically it’s about
ordinary people who go into a test centre where they discover they have “Hidden Talents” they didn’t know they possessed. The first episode focuses on a mother who discovers she is skilled at rock climbing and a retiree who finds she as an aptitude for telling if someone is lying or not. You might think it’s a bizarre idea for a show and in truth I was far from gripped by the first ten minutes but by the end Richard Bacon and the premise had won me over. It’s certainly unlike any reality show in recent memory and will feature ordinary members of the public achieving things they never thought themselves capable of.  If rock climbing and lie detection don’t really float your boat then I ask you stay tuned as an extraordinary upcoming episode focuses on a young homeless woman who learns to speak Arabic!


Thursday sees the second part of Louis Theroux’s interesting look at extreme Love. This second  episode focuses on the relationships between dementia patients. Theroux was once known for his quirky style and it’s taken some time for me to enjoy his take on more seriousness and near the knuckle subjects. His style is unobtrusive and relaxed. Theroux is skilled at getting his subjects to open up and speak their minds to the camera. The subject might prove very close to home for some but Theroux’s documentaries are always unmissable and I’m sure this could prove to be his most moving in recent memory.
Louis Theroux: Extreme Love: Dementia AIRS THURSDAY 26TH APRIL ON BBC2


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