Best on TV: Monsters v Aliens

This week's pick of what's on the box.


Monsters V Aliens

RTÉ One, 5.25pm

Reese Witherspoon provides one of the voices for this DreamWorks animation about a woman who is turned into a giant when she is struck by a meteorite on her wedding day.


BBC Four, 9pm

The Danes have built quite a reputation for crime dramas, but this show is mainly set in the political arena that usually provides the sub-plots to The Killing. As such, Borgen lacks the suspense that makes its more famous counterpart so gripping. That said, it did build something of a cult following with its opening run. Series two begins with prime minister Birgitte visiting Danish troops in Afghanistan and later wrestling with the issue of whether she should withdraw them.

The Jonathan Ross Show

UTV, 9.45pm

It certainly isn’t one of Ross’s strongest lineups, but perhaps some entertainment will be found in Jeremy Piven talking about his new drama Mr Selfridge, or former Doctor Who David Tennant telling us about his various projects.


To Kill A Mockingbird

RTE One, 2.50pm

The ultimate Sunday matinee. Gregory Peck stars in the masterful 1962 adaptation of Harper Lee’s tale of a fight for justice in the American south.

Dancing on Ice

UTV, 6.15pm

Among the celebrity skaters for the new series are Pamela Anderson and gay former rugby player Gareth Thomas.

At Your Service

RTÉ One, 8.30pm

John and Francis Brennan begin a new series of advising people in the hospitality industry on how to improve their businesses. First up is Coolanowle Country House and organic farm in Ballickmoyler in Co Carlow, run by Bernadine and Jimmy Mulhall.


RTÉ Two, 9pm

The first series of the excellent BBC comedy gets a run on RTE. A London cleric struggles with hypocritical parents and other daily frustrations.

The Iron Lady

Channel 4, 9pm

This slightly disappointing biopic of Margaret Thatcher does feature a fine performance by Meryl Streep. Part of the problem for Irish viewers is that they’ll be expected to identify with and even like the lead character.


RTÉ One, 9.30pm

Back for a fifth series, the restaurant-based drama may have been usurped somewhat by Love/Hate, but Jojo and co will still attract a loyal audience for the new six-part run. Our main protagonist returns with a new husband, but the baggage from her past still weighs heavily on her personal life.

Bealach na mBusanna

TG4, 9.30pm

A sequel of sorts to the recent Iarnród Uladh documentary series on Ireland’s railways, this new show looks at the history of the nation’s bus service.

Staff and passengers recollect the days when buses began to replace trains and trams as the main form of public transport. We hear tales of cross-border smuggling, journeys to major events and how the humble bus was instrumental in transforming the lives of some people in rural areas.

The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne

RTÉ One, 10.35pm

Gay Byrne returns with a new crop of celebrities to be asked about their personal beliefs. First up is writer Colm Toibín, while future guests include JP Donleavy and Yvonne Murphy.


Dublin Wives

TV3, 9.30pm

The constructed reality show returns for a second series running over five nights this week, immediately after Celebrity Come Dine With Me. Last year’s feud seems to be ironed out when Danielle Meagher apologises to Virginia Macari, but she is soon involved in other tensions with Jo Jordan.

And spare a thought for poor Virginia — apparently juggling that fabulous lifestyle with parenting duties for baby Thor isn’t so easy after all.

The Polar Bear Family and Me

BBC Two, 9.30pm

For this three-part series Gordon Buchanan is in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard filming the most dangerous member of the bear family.


TV3, 10pm

New Galway-set drama portraying the lives of the people living in an exclusive housing estate. We haven’t seen a preview, so don’t know how good it is, but familiar faces include Leigh Arnold (Clodagh in The Clinic) and, pictured above, Eve Macklin (Georgina, the IRA man’s wife in Love/Hate).


Lives On The Line

RTÉ One, 10.15pm

Martin Sheen narrates a documentary about Irish human rights organisation, Front Line Defenders, as their head Mary Lawlor goes to Guatemala to visit Dr Yuri Melini, hit with seven bullets in 2008 in an assignation attempt because of his work defending the natural environment and indigenous people against logging and mining interests.

Nurse Jackie

RTÉ Two, 10.50pm

Jackie’s helter-skelter life continues in season four. The hospital is taken over by a new corporation, and Kevin finds out about Jackie and Eddie.


On The Verge Of a Midlife Crisis With Sharon Horgan

Channel 4, 10pm

The Irish actress tries to deflect her own mid-life crisis by visiting six diverse women who’ve already been through their own.



RTÉ One, 7pm

Joe Lindsay and Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin are in Lisbon to check out holidays in the Portugese capital.

Adoption Stories

TV3, 8.30pm

Another series of heartbreaking and heartwarming stories from children, birth parents and adoptive parents involved in Irish adoptions through the decades.

Edna O’Brien: Life, Stories

RTÉ One, 10.15pm

Repeat of the documentary on the 81-year-old Irish novelist that includes contributions from her two sons, Carlo and Sasha Gebler.


First Time Farmers

Channel 4, 8pm

New five-part documentary series on a new generation of farmers. The first episode is set in Herefordshire, where Robbie is trying to make a go of his mother’s struggling pig farm, while two of his pals have divergent feelings about their traditional family business.

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