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The Idiot Box: What To Watch This Week

18/02/2014 09:55 | Updated 20 May 2015

So with the Winter Olympics, which is basically The Jump without Anthea Turner or Sinitta (rubbish, right?) dominating our screens this week you've got a couple options. Either succumb to the snow or get yourself in front of a couple of excellent new Sky shows. I recommend the latter...

Must watch... This week there's a fantastic double from Sky with Doll and Em (Sky Living, Tuesday, 10pm) and True Detective (Sky Atlantic, Saturday, Sky Atlantic, 9pm). The former is a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style comedy in which actors and real-life best friends Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells play fictionalised versions of themselves. Mortimer is getting on with her career in Hollywood with a newly single Wells flying out to work as her assistant. The opening episode is a bit of a scene setter with things not really taking off until the very funny second instalment. It's definitely worth making it to week two where hot tub and Susan Sarandon-related high jinks await.

In contrast, True Detective doesn't need any time to get going. This police procedural, starring Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as partners on the hunt of a vicious killer, is absolutely mesmerising from the opening moments. As good as Line of Duty and other Brit cop shows can be, this is superior stuff, thanks to its ambitious direction, complex script and acting of the highest calibre. If anything comes along to better True Detective this year, I'll be very pleasantly surprised.

Maybe watch... The Great British Sewing Bee (BBC Two, Tuesday, 8pm) is back for a second series and among the new batch of stitchers are Cliff, a retired Buddhist prison chaplain, and Simon, a Bradford lad who "gets a bit carried away with nice cloth". Of course, there is no avoiding the fact that GBSB is a poor man's GBBO (Think fabric instead of flan, a talking fringe instead Mel and Sue and Mr Selfridge instead of Paul Hollywood) and how wowed you are by the intricacies of under stitching will determine whether you can be bothered to stick with it or not.

I'd rather watch The Big British Immigration Row on Channel 5 than watch... Despite the odd diversion, like Ronnie Wood fighting or Jarvis stage invading, The Brits (ITV, Wednesday, 8pm) has never been much fun, being that it's a smug celebration of which band has the biggest marketing budget punctuated with shit jokes. This year's event promises to keep this hard-won reputation going. James Corden will once again read the duff gags off the autocue and the tunes, coming soon to a mobile phone advert near you, will be provided by Bastille, Lorde, Disclosure and more.

Film of the Week... There Will Be Blood (BBC Two, Saturday, 10.45pm), in which Daniel Day-Lewis wears a fine moustache and shouts a lot.

Catch up... Hidden away on BBC Three, stand-up Nick Helm has found a great vehicle for his talents with Uncle, a spiky but sweet sitcom that takes the Uncle Buck/About a Boy formula and makes it its own.

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