Girls, Sky Atlantic – Monday 10pm

Girls is a show about four women living and working (or not) in New York, but don’t worry, it’s nothing like that show Channel 4 used to air.  It’s funny and brilliantly written for a start, and it feels like a far more realistic take on what life is like for women in New York.  I can’t understate how brilliant I found this show to be, and the series begins with back-to-back episodes.

Elementary, Sky Living – Wednesday 8pm

A modern take on Sherlock Holmes set in New York?  Dr. Watson as a female lady?  Sounds like a bloody outrage if you ask me!  But don’t fret, because Elementary is actually very good indeed.  It’s (thankfully) nothing like Sherlock, the excellent BBC series, with Jonny Lee Miller as a very different Holmes (he’s a recovering drug addict) and Lucy Liu as the former Doctor Watson.  It’s not based on the Conan Doyle stories, but the writing and acting is very good, and isn’t the outrage you might have expected.

Fringe, Sky1 – Wednesday 10pm

The final series of Fringe is set in a future where the observers have taken over the planet.  In the first episode, Walter, Astrid, Peter and Henrietta (Peter and Olivia’s daughter) search for Olivia, who is still trapped in amber.  With fewer episodes to tell the story this time (13 instead of the usual 20+) the writing is tighter, and it seems like the first half of the series will see the team on various missions before a final battle with the observers.  It could be a spectacular finale.

Hatfields & McCoys, Channel 5 – Thursday 9pm

The History channel moved into scripted drama with this star-studded three part mini-series which aired earlier this year, and documents the legendary feud between the Hatfields and McCoys in West Virginia and Kentucky between 1863 and 1891.  Kevin Costner plays William Hatfield, and Bill Paxton is Randolph McCoy and Costner won an Emmy for his performance.  This is a bit of a coup for Channel 5 and could net them big ratings.

Sam Mendes: Licence To Thrill, BBC2 – Wednesday 10pm

With the countdown to Skyfall, Bond movie 23, almost at an end (it’s out on Friday), Mark Kermode talks to its director Sam Mendes about his career and the challenges of taking on a British cinematic icon.  Skyfall is only Mendes’ 6th film as a director, but he’s been working theatre for over 20 years too, so it’s sure to be an interesting watch.

Freeview Film Of The Week:

Revolutionary Road (2008), BBC2 – Wednesday 11:20pm

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet were reunited onscreen for Sam Mendes’ 4th film, playing a married couple in 1950s America struggling to continue their lives together.  The cast is superb (Michael Shannon has a small but memorable role) and it’s wonderfully directed too.  It might be on late, but it’s well worth staying up for.