Friday’s TV tips

Friday’s TV tips

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

We still have six months until Avengers: Age of Ultron hits cinemas, but Marvel fans are already looking forward to a two-part follow-up (The Infinity War, in 2018 and 2019), as well as versions of The Black Panther, The Inhumans, Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor and Captain America sequels.

And for as long as MAOS is on air, you can bet there will be plenty of references to the next big movie from Marvel studios, as well as a few grey areas coloured in, like they have been doing with recent superhero movies.

This week, Coulson (the ever-likeable Clark Gregg) is attacked by Melinda May.

Meanwhile, Fitz attempts to save the rest of the team when they are trapped in an explosive situation.

The rest of the cast includes Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Iain de Caestecker and Sheffield’s own glamourpuss, Elizabeth Henstridge.

FOOD: Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes (BBC2, 8.30pm)

Friday’s TV tips

They say you should never speak with your mouth full. Clearly the eponymous star of this show didn’t get the message, because like an over-excited teenager in a domestic science class, he enthuses “Oh my god, that is amazing!” in the first few seconds.

In the final episode – lush lunches – he tackles proper tomato soup. You’ll need an onion, some red chillies, garlic, sugar, red wine vinegar and two Michelin stars to cook it as well as Tom, but don’t let that put you off.

Like Nigel Slater’s cookery show, which this closely resembles (thankfully minus the out-of-focus arty shots), the joy of these ’best ever’ dishes is the simplicity.

Kerridge’s enthusiasm is infectious, so by the time he sets about creating sweet muscovado creams at the end of the episode, don’t be too surprised if you’re adding the ingredients for that “dead easy, proper lush” dessert to your next shopping list.

FILM: Ocean’s Twelve (TV3, 9pm)

(2004) After pulling off the heist of their lives, Danny Ocean and his pals unexpectedly find themselves back in harness in this sequel to 2001's blockbuster hit Ocean's Eleven.

After robbing a cool $160 million from the Bellaggio Hotel Casino and winning back his former wife, Tess, from Bellagio owner Terry Benedict, Danny Ocean is living quietly on the lam in Connecticut when he's unexpectedly approached by Benedict.

It seems Benedict has tracked down Danny and the ten men who helped him pull off the seemingly impossible robbery, and Benedict offers them a proposal - if they can repay the $160 million in two weeks, he won't have them killed.

As it turns out, both Danny and his best friend, Rusty Ryan, haven't been doing so well in terms of money management and could use some cash, so they set out to plan a robbery to recover the loot, with the same crew helping out.

Starring: George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Catherine Zita-Jones, Julia Roberts

TRAVEL: Alex Polizzi’s Secret Italy (Channel 5, 9pm)

Friday’s TV tips

Italy seems to have been heaving with Blighty-based presenters and film-makers in recent months, whether making cooking shows, comedy films or travelogs like this.

Hotelier and troubleshooter Alex Polizzi has proved to be a natural when it comes to getting the most out of a TV travel jolly – as this final episode proves.

She concludes her journey by visiting the south of the country, an area she knows little about. She marvels at the trulli, local beehive-shaped dry stone huts, in Puglia, one of Italy’s most picturesque and unspoiled regions.

She also samples a wine with a difference before heading off to the majestic Monte Pollino National Park.

Last stop is the unique city of Matera: its atmospheric cave dwellings are some of the oldest settlements in Europe.

Ms Polizzi takes in the sights of the annual Festa della Madonna Bruna, a week-long carnival ending in a pagan-style rite of destruction and a breathtaking firework display.

DRAMA: Lewis (UTV, 9pm)

Alec Newman has rarely settled for the cosiest of roles. He appeared as a drug-addicted freedom-fighter in a TV version of Dune; was the eponymous scientist in a 2004 version of Frankenstein; a headmaster with anger-management issues in Waterloo Road, and more recently has been playing lethal slater Graham Lawrie in this two-parter.

Lawrie’s arrest for the murders of three police officers led to one of Lewis’s first big successes as a DI.

Lawrie received a life sentence and, after being diagnosed as a psychopath during the trial, was incarcerated in a secure hospital.

However, 13 years later, Lawrie is about to win his freedom, putting the detective’s reputation in jeopardy.

In the concluding part of the story, as Maddox’s life hangs in the balance, Lewis joins Hathaway on the case, but they struggle to work well together.

The cast includes Kevin Whately, Laurence Fox and Clare Holman.

MUSIC: Bob Harris: My Nashville (BBC4, 10pm)

There’s long been a close relationship between the BBC and Nashville, going back to the 1970s when the Radio 2 playlist was awash with Country tracks.

One man whose passion for the medium has rarely wavered over the decades is ’Whispering’ Bob Harris, so who better to give us the lowdown on Tennessee’s most famous musical region?

The seasoned broadcaster journeys to America’s country music capital and reveals why Nashville became Music City USA.

From the early days of the Grand Ole Opry on commercial radio, through the threatening onset of rock ’n’ roll in the 1950s, up to the contemporary mainstream hits of Music Row, this film examines how music has shaped Nashville, and why in 2014 it’s a place of pilgrimage for musicians the world over.

There are performances from the region’s top talent as well as interviews with Emmylou Harris, Duane Eddy, Dave Stewart and Rosanne Cash.

FILM: Psycho (Channel 4, 11.40pm)

(1960) When crooked young woman Marion Crane hits the road with a stash of stolen money, she makes the mistake of stopping off at the Bates Motel.

After being bumped off in the most famous shower scene in history, a string of people go looking for her, with no idea what they are going to find...

Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller is a masterpiece, with everyone involved doing some of their greatest work.

Anthony Perkins is unforgettable as disturbed young man Norman Bates, Saul Bass’s opening titles are simple but effective, and Bernard Herrmann’s creepy score ranks among his finest and has been ripped off many times since.

Forget the Gus Van Sant remake with Anne Heche and ignore the host of sequels - just revel in this cheaply made movie which will give you nightmares for weeks to come.

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Martin Balsam, Vera Miles, John Gavin

FILM: Michael Collins (BBC Two, 12.40am)

(1996) It’s a biopic of the eponymous Irish radical who became a hero following his involvement in the 1916 Easter rising against British Rule.

However, Collins’ plans for achieving an Irish free state increasingly bring him into a conflict with some of his former allies – and a love triangle also threatens to divide him from another trusted friend.

It’s been criticised for historical inaccuracies, and although the love triangle may have its basis in fact, it does feel a little unnecessary.

But these are small quibbles about a stirring film that tackles a controversial period with great skill and style – and Liam Neeson is suitably charismatic in the lead role.

Starring: Liam Neeson, Julia Roberts, Alan Rickman, Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Ian Hart

FILM: The Divide (Channel 4, 1.45am)

(2011) New York comes under nuclear attack, but nine residents of an apartment building are able to escape the worst devastation thanks to the janitor, who created his own underground bunker in the wake of 9/11.

However, as supplies dwindle and hope of rescue fades, the survivors start to turn on each other in increasingly horrific ways.

The film would arguably have worked better if cabin fever had set in a little more slowly – we’ve barely had time to get to know the characters and decide who to root for before they are all at each other’s throats.

However, the movie does establish a grim sense of claustrophobia, and Rosanna Arquette does a good job of fleshing out a rather two-dimensional role.

Starring: Lauren German, Michael Biehn, Rosanna Arquette, Milo Ventimiglia, Courtney B Vance, Ashton Holmes

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