14/08/2014 16:41 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Idiot Box: 10 Things You Need To Know About TV This Week


1. Louis Theroux is back with three documentaries about life in LA. Last night he took us on "a journey through the outer edges of canine companionship," while this Sunday's film sees him meet very ill patients at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital (BBC Two, 9pm). Louis hasn't lost his skill for standing in corners looking slightly confused while occasionally throwing himself into the action like a trendy Mr Bean (see his heroics at the dangerous dog training school in last night's show), and, for that, we can all be very glad.

2. I feared that the second coming of Gogglebox (Channel 4, Friday, 9pm) was going to disappoint, with the telly addicts being too aware of their comedy appeal. Thankfully, it's still a magnificently entertaining series - in Friday's instalment the collective abuse of Noel Edmonds was a particular joy to behold.


3. This week Masterchef (BBC One, from Wednesday, 9pm) is back, with John Torode looking as worse for wear as ever and Gregg still burbling on about puddings. The daddy of TV cooking shows will surely help us wash The Taste out of our mouths.


4. It might be for charity and feature a load of children, but there really is no excuse for Big Star's Little Star (ITV1, Wednesday, 8pm), yet another reworking of that shitty old 'kids say the funniest things' format. Sprogs answer questions about their celeb parents to allegedly hilarious results. Among the celebs, is, inevitably, Neil 'Razor' Ruddock, who would probably volunteer for Celebrity Hangings if there were a few quid in it for him.

5. Doll and Em comes to a conclusion on Sky Living this week (Tuesday, 10pm). Acutely observed and consistently funny – a second series would be most welcome.

6. One show that has definitely got a second series is Vic and Bob's House of Fools. Some might wonder why and how this utterly idiotic sitcom got another run, but for Matt Berry alone it's deserving of more airtime...

7. This week's film to catch is Mamma Mia! (Tuesday, ITV3, 7.50pm) for no other reason than it means you can relive Piers Brosnan honking in all its glory...

8. One film not to watch is the big screen adaptation of The Woman in Black (Channel 4, Sunday, 9pm). It might have done wonders at the box office but due to the fact it plays to Daniel Radcliffe's Harry Potter crowd, it's about as scary as an episode of the Antiques Roadshow.

9. The Michael McIntyre Chat Show (BBC One, Monday, 10.35pm) is a few weeks in and my initial fears have been confirmed: it's utter garbage. McIntyre is predictably insufferable and it's as if the guest-lists have been cobbled together after desperate last minute dash around the BBC canteen (Clarkson, Lord Sugar Terry Wogan etc.)

10. It's a mother's day special from Surprise, Surprise this week and while it sounds like a cracking episode with Boyzone heading to Swindon to surprise a "wrestling-mad mum from Peckham," this modern version of the show won't be a patch on the original until Holly Willoughby starts closing proceedings with a song, just like Cilla used to.

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