At the time of its release in 1999, the New York Times described American Pie as “one of the shallowest and the most prurient teen films”. They weren’t wrong, but the po-faced also missed the point of a genre classic that also serves up plenty of laughs.
Jools Holland: London Calling
BBC Two, 9pm
The affable pianist takes us on a musical journey of the British capital, meeting up with the likes of Ray Davies and Damon Albarn to talk about favourite venues, gigs, etc.
BBC Four, 9pm
Has the absence of a Swedish crime thriller left a big hole in your Saturday night’s entertainment? This fine French equivalent may have not had the impact of The Killing or The Bridge, but its quality writing and engaging characters ensure the series deserves at least dix points. Tonight is a repeat of episodes one and two from the second series, and offers a good opportunity to jump aboard.
Jamie Does Venice
Another chance to see Jamie Oliver’s trip to Venice, where he fishes in the lagoon and tries his hand at the local speciality, spaghetti vongole (clams). Risotto, beef carpaccio and tiramisu all complete a mouth-watering menu.
Ceol ón Chartlann le Paul Brady
Paul Brady continues his trawl through the UTV archives and unearths classic footage from the likes of Margaret Barry, Stocktons Wing and fiddler Seán Keane.
Louis Theroux — Twilight Of The Porn Stars
BBC Two, 10pm
Back in 1997, Louis Theroux did a documentary from inside the thriving Californian porn industry. He now returns to San Fernando Valley to track down some of the people he met 15 years ago and also finds a business that is greatly transformed. The proliferation of the internet and digital piracy has meant the old studio model has become redundant. Instead, stars tend to make their own films and deal directly with their audience through the web. Theroux’s former pals have had a mixed time since he last met them, some clinging on in the industry and others forging new career paths. The most tragic case he encounters is Jon Dough, one of the big stars of the late 1990s. Despite marrying and having a daughter with fellow pornstar Monique DeMoan, the unfortunate Dough became addicted to crack cocaine and eventually committed suicide.
The South Bank Show
Sky Arts 1, 10pm
Melvyn Bragg has found a new home on Sky, and this week’s episode finds him in slightly less genteel territory than what he’s used to. He’s in Bow Cross, an east London council estate suffering from many of the problems such areas are prone to. It has, however, proved a fertile breeding ground for musical talents. Dizzee Rascal and Tinchy Stryder are the most famous, but a number of other MCs, DJs and producers have also emerged from the estate. Bragg talks to them and others before exploring some of the cutting edge new sounds emerging from the urban British scene.
Channel 5, 9pm
The new series has been running for a week now, and narrator Marcus Bentley sets the scenes for the highlights of the past 24 hours.
Sky Atlantic, 9pm
The finale of season five has Don Draper suffering from a terrible toothache which can’t quite be alleviated by his ad agency’s newfound successes. As ever, Don has all sorts of other complications in his life, not least because of his ongoing dalliances with the opposite sex. This series hasn’t been confirmed for an Irish broadcast yet, but it could be late August.
Even now, 40 years after it was made, Francis Ford Coppola’s gangster epic stands up to yet another viewing. Marlon Brando and Al Pacino are just two of the stars of the classic mafia tale.
Dublin Airport: Life Stories
Tonight’s episode in the observational documentary series goes on a drill with the airport’s fire service as they prepare for an emergency situation. We also encounter Sean Farrell of Trocaire who is on his way back to the charity’s programme in Uganda.
Damhsa Down Under
New 10-part series following youngsters involved in the Irish dancing scene in Australia. While they’re the ones who have to wear the bizarre wigs, there’s also a big support cast of parents and teachers that we are introduced to. One of the featured dancers in this opening episode is the appropriately named Ceili.
Ray D’Arcy: Ireland’s Depression Epidemic
TV3’s issue-based programmes can vary in quality, but hopefully this new three-part series can shed some light on a topic of major importance for Irish society. It’s only in recent years that the subject has been talked about openly, and a major thrust of D’Arcy’s show is help further reduce the stigma associated with the condition. In this opening episode he has some straightforward explanations of the different types of depression, and also talks to people who’ve suffered from them.
No Country For Old Men
Possibly the Coen brothers’ finest moment, this tension-laden drama was an ideal choice for Film4’s Tightly Wound series of thrillers. Woody Harrelson, Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones all shine, but it is Javier Bardem’s menacing presence that steals the show.
David Cronenberg’s 1986 tale of a man who transforms into a giant fly has some memorable moments. Stars Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis.
Country House Rescue
Channel 4, 8pm
The first episode of the new series looks at attempts to sustain Colebrooke Park, a neo-classical mansion in Co Fermanagh that’s home to the Brookeborough family. Despite being desperate for revenue, the owners are reluctant to go with Simon Davis’s suggestion of converting parts of the estate into a health and wellbeing business, complete with a spa in a former stable.
The Men Who Made Us Fat
BBC Two, 9pm
With obesity now a major health issue in the western world, this new three-part series presents a fascinating look at some of the major decisions that got us to this sorry stage. Among them was the introduction of high fructose corn syrup in the 1970s which, when present in processed food and drinks, interferes with Leptin, the hormone that controls appetite. We also see how corporate marketing campaigns originally promoted the idea of snacking between meals, and how fast-food outlets have proliferated over the past few decades.
RTÉ One, 11.05pm
While most people see Dublin as the centre of Bloomsday, Manchán Magan is in Paris to explore the sites associated with James Joyce, the writer who spent many years in the French capital. Stephen Rea also reads from The Dead, and there are several more Joyce-related segments.
Series six has felt a bit Dexter-by-numbers, but the thrills and spills of affable serial killer are still just about worth watching. This second-last episode has our dark hero getting himself into a serious predicament before next week’s dramatic finale.