The Idiot Box: What To Watch This Week

24/02/2014 11:52 | Updated 20 May 2015

After being inundated with one complaint for recommending Sky Atlantic programmes last week, I've ensured this week's column is a no Sky zone. True Detective is still the best thing on telly at the moment, but there's another unmissable show that's up and running and easy for all to see...

Must watch... The second series of My Mad Fat Diary (E4, Monday, 10pm) got off to a stupendous start last week with Rae, played by the incredible Sharon Rooney, heading off to college, hooking up with Finn and going camping with the gang. In this week's episode, Rae's college woes continue as she does her best to avoid being seen with her boyfriend while also keeping out of the way of the kid with a talent for making up nicknames that stick forever.

Forget the overrated Fresh Meat and disappointing Babylon, this is the best example of comedy-drama to hit our screens in a long time. There are plenty of quality gags and set pieces (my series highlight so far being the bra-size predictor woman), which seamlessly blend in with the show's unvarnished exploration of Rae's troubles. This is imaginative, moving and brilliantly entertaining television. Do not miss My Mad Fat Diary. That's a direct order.

Maybe watch... Boxing might not be everyone's sport of choice, but if you can see the fun in watching two men or two women put on a pair of gloves and whack the hell out of each other, you might also enjoy Sporting Life Stories: Nicola Adams (ITV1, Tuesday, 11.35pm). The Leeds boxer won a gold medal at London 2012 and was undoubtedly one of the stars of Team GB. This documentary about her life inside and outside the ring tells a remarkable woman's remarkable story.

I'd rather do just about anything else than watch... Mark Wright "sprinkling a little bit of his Essex party magic around the world" might sound like a terrible euphemism, but in fact it's the set up for Party Wright Around the World (ITV2, Wednesday, 9pm). The title steals its pun from Ian Wright's National Lottery quiz show from a few years back, and that tells you more or less everything you need to know about this bizarre programme in which the Towie tosspot travels the globe helping a succession of somewhat confused people throw a party. In this series opener a woman in Miami who has had a "very terrible year with illnesses" is made to feel a whole better when Wright puts on a spectacularly average nightclub bash for her, rounded off by him taking to the stage in full drag. Utter garbage.

Film of the Week... Viggo Mortensen plays the good guy (who's actually a bit of a bad guy) in David Cronenberg's magnificent, A History of Violence (Channel 4, Saturday, 12.15am).

Catch up... First Dates, in which a mixtures of lunatics, lonely hearts and bell ends meet for dinner in a soulless restaurant. Contrived, entertaining nonsense. Catch up with the first couple of episodes of the new series here.

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