Friday’s TV tips

Friday’s TV tips

FANTASY: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD (Channel 4, 8pm)

For decades comic book fans have fallen into two camps: Marvel and DC, and since the 1970s, TV companies have given us a string of live action series from both companies.

Given the fact Marvel are now one of the most powerful entertainment companies on Earth, with TV shows such as this and pending small screen sagas Daredevil and Agent Carter, there’s little wonder DC are fighting back with helpings of Arrow, Gotham and The Flash.

Can Agent Coulson and company win the lion’s share of ratings? Well they’re certainly going to have a good go with this latest run being the perfect teaser for next spring’s blockbuster Avengers: Age of Ultron.

This week, Phil and the team attempt to utilise the freezing power of Donnie Gill, a lethal Morocco-based individual fans may remember from series one episode, Seeds.

The problem is, Simmons is caught in the crossfire.


COMEDY: Citizen Khan (BBC1, 8.30pm)

Adil Ray can’t believe his luck. Within a few years, the Birmingham DJ and comedian has gone from having a sitcom showcase in Salford to his own primetime, Friday night BBC One show.

“I was doing Asian comedy characters on my radio show, the BBC Asian network for some years, and I think Mr Khan was an amalgamation of a few of those characters. I had the opportunity to take part in Bellamy’s People, which was the show that Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson did.”

Paul and Charlie asked him to do a few characters, and that formed the basis for this hit series.

“I’m very happy from my own point of view for it to happen in such a short space of time,” he enthuses.

In the latest offering, Shazia and Amjad’s wedding is fast approaching, so the Khans invite the Maliks over for dinner, concerned they have never hit it off with the groom’s mother.

They also hope Amjad’s father can help Mr Khan get onto a business committee.


MUSIC: The Heart of Country: How Nashville Became Music City USA (BBC4, 9pm)

Blighty, and the BBC especially, has long had an obsession with country music, with the likes of Terry Wogan and Bob Harris showing a devotion to the Country Music Awards that borders on the obsessive.

Now we know what you’re thinking. ’Where can we find a historical biography of the hub of country music at this time of night?’ Well, fear not dear viewers as those nice folks at BBC have given us another of their excellent Friday night music specials.

This one reveals the relationship between commerce and art that has defined Nashville since 1925. Contributors include Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley and Steve Earle.

There’s also archive footage of performances by Nashville legends including Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks.

Have your spittoons and rocking chairs at the ready, settle back and enjoy an evening with some good ol’ boys and girls from Tennessee.


COMEDY: Not Going Out (BBC1, 9.30pm)

You can run but you can’t hide from Lee Mack this month with his Hit the Road Mack tour leaving thousands giggling around the UK, and the DVD of said tour being released at the end of the month.

Then, of course, there’s this cracking sitcom, which sees the lovable London-based layabout still attempting to win over Lucy (Sally Bretton).

In the latest offering, Lucy attempts to befriend posh new neighbours Toby and Anna because they go to gallery openings and classy events.

“It’s a totally different world up there,” she sighs pondering their upstairs flat. Perhaps little wonder Lee compares her to The Little Mermaid.

Lucy might be desperate to impress, but when Lee comes back from the cinema early, she’s clearly facing a losing battle, especially when her lies about closing a big deal become more elaborate, and he creates a culture clash with their guest over the teapot.


FILM: American Gangster (ITV, 10.40pm)

(2007) It’s 1970’s, and when Frank Lucas’s mentor dies, he establishes himself as New York’s number one heroin importer thanks to contacts in South East Asia and his own unique method of smuggling drugs into the US. He’s also protected by the local mob, but one man – honest cop Richie Roberts - is determined to bring him down.

It’s hard not to be impressed by the tense action in this fact-based film which mainly focuses around Roberts’ investigation into Lucas’s dealings, and although there are certainly things to be learnt through the film, it never preaches or offers a one-sided perspective.

Of course, it doesn’t do any harm at all that the two leads here are Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe.

Starring: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin, Carla Gugino, Ted Levine, Cuba Gooding Jnr, Idris Elba


FILM: Wild Child (TV3, 12.05am)

(2009) Teen star Emma Roberts portrays a self-obsessed, incorrigible brat living a pampered life in her L.A. world, who's shipped off to an English boarding school in this hilarious and fun comedy.

Under the watchful eye of the school's headmistress (Natasha Richardson) and surrounded by a new circle of friends, this unruly teen begrudgingly realises her bad girl behaviour will only get her so far, but not before she does her best to shake up the system!

Starring: Aidan Quinn, Natasha Richardson, Emma Roberts


FILM: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (Channel 4, 12.05am)

(2006) After murdering the foreman of a slaughterhouse, fledgling psychopath Thomas Hewitt, aka Leatherface, is taken under the wing of his insane Uncle Charlie – who hopes to mould him into a vicious killing machine.

Meanwhile, two men on the verge of being drafted into the Vietnam War spend a final weekend with their sweethearts – little realising the fate that awaits them.

Right, this gets complicated – so pay attention. This sixth entry in the franchise is a prequel to the remake of the first film and not directly connected to the other films in the series.

So far as horror films about chainsaw-wielding cannibal serial killers go, this one isn’t too bad, serving as a decent explanation for Leatherface’s origins, but isn’t recommended for those who get queasy at the sight of blood.

Starring: Jordana Brewster, Diora Baird, R Lee Ermey, Andrew Bryniarski, Taylor Handley

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