14/08/2014 16:39 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

The Idiot Box: What To Watch This Week


So you can't stop watching EastEnders to have a few cheap laugh at Danny Dyer's acting - I know the feeling. But just in case you are able to tear yourself away from Mr D and his squinting, here are a few other suggestions for telly distractions this week...

Must watch... Apologies if you haven't got Sky but the return of Girls (Sky Atlantic, Monday, 10pm) is unquestionably the highlight of the upcoming seven days. After a patchy second series, the start of this third run promises a return to form. The first two episodes are being shown back-to-back tonight and they are both corkers. Marnie is struggling to cope with being dumped, rehab's struggling to cope with Jessa but, amazingly, things seem to be going OK for Hannah, both with her book and her boyfriend, Adam. Highlights of tonight's double bill include a cameo from Richard E Grant, some surprising oral sex and a great question about utensils.


Maybe watch... 10 0'Clock Live, which I fear might be back at some point later this year, is the kind of smug political satire that makes you wish you lived under a vicious dictator with full control of the media. One of the presenters of that show, Charlie Brooker, is doing his best to atone for his sins by bringing us his latest series of Weekly Wipe (BBC Two, Thursday, 10pm), in which he reviews the worst of the weeks' TV. Brooker might still be a bit too pleased with himself for some viewers and it's not a patch on TV Burp, but the gags are generally pretty good and supporting acts Diane Morgan and Doug Stanhope are superb.


I'd rather have a long soak in an acid bath than watch... When I was young, I was a twat. I liked listening to heavy metal and I thought Birds of a Feather was hilarious. The Chigwell sitcom is now back (ITV1, Thursday, 8.30pm) and where it was probably just harmlessly unfunny back in my youth, it's now provocatively awful. I won't waste my word count on it - all you need to know is it's a sitcom with no jokes and a bloke from Busted in it.


Ciao for now... Italy Unpacked sees chef Giorgio Locatelli and art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon go on holiday for our viewing pleasure. They stop off at various places in Italy to pontificate on food and culture but, thanks in no small part to their flowing grey locks and flash sports car, nothing can distract from the fact that they look like two middle-aged playboys trawling the Mediterranean for young wives.


Film of the week... Top Gun (E4, Friday, 9pm), in which everyone's favourite scientologist dons the aviators and takes to the sky.

Catch up... The BBC's much trumpeted Sunday night swashbuckler The Musketeers kicked off last night, featuring a Dogtanian played by Ollie Locke from Made In Chelsea, Peter Capaldi clad in black leather, and more shitty facial hair than you'd get at a Mumford and Sons gig. It was a load of nonsense, naturally, but fairly enjoyable nonsense, nevertheless. The first episode is up on iPlayer now.


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