What we're watching on TV this week
- Credit: BBC / BBC Studios / Sister
The Split, series 3, BBC One Mondays, 9pm and all series streaming now on iPlayer
It’s a bittersweet return to our screens for The Split.
On the one hand, it’s great to be back in the company of the messy, complicated and impossibly stylish Defoe clan.
But on the other, writer Abi Morgan has already said that this third series will be the last, so in a few episodes’ time we’re going to be bidding them farewell for good.
And parting will be such sweet sorrow.
The glossy series is set in the world of London’s high-end divorce circuit and follows the lives of the three Defoe sisters – Hannah (Nicola Walker), Nina (Annabel Scholey) and Rose (Fiona Button) - and their mother, Ruth (Deborah Findlay).
Hannah has been married to fellow lawyer Nathan (Stephen Mangan) for 20 years, and they have three children, but, following infidelities on both sides – Hannah with former flame Christie (Barry Atsma) - they’ve separated.
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And series three picks up with Hannah and Nathan’s divorce going through seemingly amicably – until it’s revealed at a toe-curlingly awful dinner party that not only does Nathan have a new girlfriend, Kate (Lara Pulver), but it’s looking serious.
Meanwhile Hannah’s boss Zander’s (Chukwudi Iwuji) sister, Leonora (Karen Bryson) has instructed her to look after her divorce – but she is sworn to secrecy about the reason for it.
Middle sister Nina has given birth to baby Cora. She’s now sober, but is still living on the edge, having a dangerous affair with Zander’s husband, Tyler (Damien Molony)
Unable to have children biologically, youngest sister Rose and husband James (Rudi Dharmalingam) are going through the adoption process.
And Hannah and Nathan’s oldest daughter, Liv, (Elizabeth Roberts) is about to return from her travels – with a surprise in store.
That might sound like enough drama to be getting on with – but the end of the episode delivered two shocks. One a juicy “ooh things are going to get very interesting - in italics” and the other an off-the-scale “I cannot believe they just did that I am going to have to vent about that in caps lock on Twiitter.”
No spoilers here, but suffice it’s going to be very hard to resist bingeing the whole series on iPlayer and rationing myself to one episode a week.
Bridgerton, season 2, all episodes now streaming on Netflix
Season one of Shondaland’s Bridgerton landed on our laps just when we needed it last year. Having endured months of lockdowns and uncertainty... and a Government-sanctioned smaller Christmas, the period drama was a joyful feast for the senses. Smouldering lust. Familial feuding. Jaw-dropping sets and costumes. It gave us one of the THE telly quotes of the century (“I burn for you”) and made a breakout star of The Duke, Rege-Jean Page, who’s hotly tipped, but not confirmed, to be in the running for 007.
We eagerly awaited season two. And when it dropped on March 25, it split viewers, with rumblings of discontent about the pared back eroticism. Well, there’s definitely less flesh on show in 2022...but I think this outing of Bridgerton just might be the better of the series.
Following the books lineage (though not closely mirroring its content), charting the highs and lows of each member of the Bridgerton family, it’s Anthony (Viscount Bridgerton’s) turn in season two.
The family’s back story is delved into further, as we see the moment, aged 38, when Anthony’s father is felled by a bee, leaving him heir apparent, with a bevy of siblings to account for – and a mother in labour.
The incident and its aftermath ‘becomes’ Anthony, who’s torn between duty to the family, and his own trauma. He is at turns brooding and vulnerable.
As the ton’s summer season gets underway, the Viscount has one agenda: find a wife, no matter what. Just as he sets off on his own version of speed dating, there’s a chance encounter in the woods with Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) - a headstrong young lady with her own family baggage.
Largely sister Edwina (Charithra Chandran) who will go on to become the Queen’s ‘diamond’, and therefore a shoo-in for Anthony. Much as he tries to convince himself Edwina is the one, there’s no denying the animal magnetism between him and Kate. The duo sizzle on screen together, with an almost tangible chemistry.
Elsewhere, Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) is still on the tail of Lady Whistledown (Nicola Coughlan) who’s trying to evade discovery by friend Elouise Featherington (Claudia Jessie).
And Lady Featherington’s fate seems to be in the hands of a distant cousin, who’s made a name for himself in the gems trade. How far will she go to keep the wolves from her family’s door?
Throw in more dances than you can shake a stick at, and an almost-recreation of Mr Darcey’s famous lake scene, and you’ve got some damn good, compulsive viewing here.
It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, season 15 and all previous episodes streaming now on Netflix
Everyone has that one comfort show they always gravitate towards. That one show they can turn to time and time again, and never get bored of watching. For me, it’s either The Simpsons or It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia – and lucky for me, the latter is back for its 15th season.
For anyone who hasn’t seen it before, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia is a sitcom that revolves around a gang of five friends who run an Irish bar in Philadelphia, and the far-fetched and insane shenanigans and schemes they get up in their day-to-day lives.
Narcissistic, selfish, rude and downright problematic, they’re the total antithesis to the characters on a show such as Friends or How I Met Your Mother. And that’s why I love them.
It’s Always Sunny stars Rob McElhenny (football fans will recognise him as one of the joint majority shareholders of Wrexham A.F.C. alongside fellow actor Ryan Reynolds), Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson, and Danny DeVito – and the show actually became the longest-running live action comedy series ever following the release of its most recent season.
If you've ever seen the show, it's not hard to understand why. It's built quite the cult following the years thanks to its zany storylines, quotable one-liners that have firmly embedded themselves into pop culture, and the cast itself who, in my opinion, probably have the best onscreen chemistry of any sitcom.
Season 15 hit UK Netflix back in February, but I’ve only just gotten around to watching it.
Witty and ingenious as ever, the season 15 opener sees the gang look back on the year 2020, exploring the insanity that was the pandemic, subsequent PPP loans, the US election, and how they played their part in those. And the latter half of the season sees the fivesome finally make their way to Ireland to explore their roots in a story arc that, in my opinion, is long overdue.
And of course, as to be expected, they get into just as much trouble on the Emerald Isle as they do back in Philly. With season 16 due to go into production later this year, I cannot wait to see what other shenanigans the gang gets up to.