TV not to miss

SATURDAY

The Impressionists: Painting and Revolution

BBC Two, 8pm

Art writer Waldemar Januszczak delves into the backgrounds of the most influential Impressionists — Pissarro, Monet, Renoir and Bazille — finding out what drove them to create a movement that revolutionised art.

Mildred Pierce

Sky Atlantic, 9pm

The second-last episode of the excellent drama series has Evan Rachel Wood making her debut as the grown-up Veda. Adulthood hasn’t tempered the surviving daughter’s mean streak, however, and she is soon at loggerheads with her mother again.

Secrets of the Pop Song

BBC Two, 9.45pm

This superb series is a must-see for anybody with an interest in the mechanics of the popular music industry. Presenter Guy Chambers, right, has written a string of hits, most notably with Robbie Williams, and each week takes us inside the studio with a different artist. Tonight, he works with the Noisettes on a new song and also hears insights from the likes of Brian May, Joan Jett and Neil Tennant.

Copa America

Setanta Ireland, 7.50pm & 11.05pm

With weeks to go to the start of the Premier League, hardcore soccer fans can watch Colombia v Peru and Argentina v Uruguay.

SUNDAY

Seoda: Personal Finance Films

TG4, 5.30pm

A trawl through the archives threw up two gems sponsored by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs. Made in the 1950s and early ‘60s to encourage people to save, these films now look slightly surreal.

Farmers: A Year On The Land

TV3, 6.35pm

Final episode of the enjoyable farming documentary series. Tonight it’s the turn of the pig and salmon farmers to explain the issues in their corners of the food industry. Both strands tend use modern, industrial techniques to create meat that’s still within the reach of the average consumer. For salmon farming, we see inside the operation of Norwegian-based Marine Harvest, who employ about 250 people in Ireland, while M&R Pigs in Virginia, Co Cavan, shows us where our pork comes from.

Traffic Blues

RTÉ One, 8.3Opm

A crash in the Jack Lynch tunnel causes chaos in Cork and the Traffic Corps have to sort it out. The observational documentary also has gardaí trying to keep up with a speeding biker in Dublin and taking part in a dangerous pursuit in Donegal.

Coast

BBC Two, 9pm

Nick Crane leads the team to Sweden and the Baltic, exploring the stunning scenery and the area’s heritage as a source of iron ore, and how Swedish ball bearings were essential to the British war effort.

Australia

Channel 4, 8pm

Widely panned by the critics, Baz Luhrmann’s 2008 film does have some visually impressive moments in its account of an antipodean love affair between characters played by Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman, along with their affection for Nullah, a young aboriginal boy.

Ar Stáitse

TG4, 10pm

Classic footage from 1980 of the Dubliners playing a concert at the Gaiety in Dublin. The line-up features Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna and John Sheahan.

MONDAY

Dispatches

Channel 4, 8pm

This is the series that can hold its head up high for helping to expose the News International hacking scandal in Britain when few people wanted to know about it. Tonight, the flagship investigative show turns its attention to soccer and its exploitation by people who find it easy to circumvent the rules about investing in English clubs.

Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model

Sky Living, 9pm

It’s the day of the Dublin audition so Elle MacPherson spends time with Ronan Keating and his wife Yvonne. They direct her to the country’s biggest catwalk — Grafton Street. Then it’s onwards to the selection process, with disappointment for most of the girls and joy for those allowed attend the model bootcamp.

TUESDAY

The Sex Education Show

Channel 4, 8pm

Sex education seems to be the new black, with no shortage of shows on offer on the subject. This particular one has been around for quite a while, with Anna Richardson striking an ideal balance between lightheartedness and straight talking. Last time out, the show ran a campaign against the sexualisation of children’s clothes by high-street brands such as Primark. Among the issues covered this time around are sexting, sexually transmitted diseases and sex for people with disabilities.

The View Presents

RTÉ One, 11.05pm

James Ellroy is probably best known as the writer of LA Quartet, a series of crime novels that led to the film LA Confidential. He talks about his work and politics, and the unsolved murder of his mother when he was just 10, an event which propelled him into crime writing.

WEDNESDAY

Stars Go Racing

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

One of those summer series where ‘celebrities’ take part and ‘battle it out’ as they master a new skill. Singer Linda Martin, rugby player Alan Quinlan and hotelier Francis Brennan are among those learning to become horse trainers in a programme sponsored by Horse Racing Ireland. Over the next few weeks, each celeb will go through an apprenticeship programme with a horse trainer before a final race-off at Leopardstown.

Oprah Winfrey: The Surprise Goodbye

TV3, 9.30pm

When Oprah’s legendary talk-show made its final bow in US at the end of May, it went out with all the gushing tributes and teary-eyed nostalgia you’d expect. This second and final part of the special farewell show was recorded in front of a live audience of 13,000 people and included Tom Hanks and Will Smith.

THURSDAY

The Killing

Channel 4, 9pm

Episode four of the US murder mystery has the Larsen’s preparing for the funeral of their daughter, while the spotlight of suspicion falls on her former literature teacher. Those who’ve seen the original Danish series will probably find it easy to find fault with this adaptation, but overall it has held up well. Seattle looks as dreary as Denmark, Sarah Linden’s famous jumper has made it across the Atlantic and the involvement of several of the behind-the-scenes people from the original have helped ensure it is as close as we could reasonably expect. If you did want to nitpick, the most obvious failing of the new show is that the American father, played by Brent Sexton, isn’t a patch on the brooding presence of his Danish equivalent Theis. Be aware that this 13-part series doesn’t finish in the same way as the original.

John Oliver’s New York Stand-up Show

Channel 4, 11.05pm

You may have seen John Oliver in his role as the British correspondent on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Here he hosts a series of stand-up performances from various American comedians at a club in New York.

FRIDAY

Fish Town

Sky Atlantic, 8pm

The channel’s first British documentary is set in Brixham, Devon, and presents a fly-on-the-wall look at the town. While fishing is still an important industry in Brixham, and makes up a big part of this 10-part series, we’ll also get an insight into how the town also operates as a tourist hub.

Tsotsi

TG4, 1.10am

Decent but harrowing film set in the Soweto township in South Africa. The title loosely translates as thug/scumbag and it follows a violent gangleader over a traumatic week.

* Get daily TV news, previews, and reviews via Twitter with @examinertv

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