Monday’s TV tips


Monday’s TV tips

AWARDS: The 87th Academy Awards (RTE Two, 9pm)

The 87th Academy Awards ceremony from the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood. presented for the first time by Neil Patrick Harris.

A triple-threat performer, Harris has enjoyed a successful career in entertainment. He can currently be seen starring opposite Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in David Fincher’s critically-acclaimed feature film, “Gone Girl.”

Harris garnered multiple Emmy® and Golden Globe award nominations for his role as Barney Stinson on the hit television series, “How I Met Your Mother,” and he won an Emmy for his guest-starring role on “Glee” in 2010.

He also recently starred in the title role of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on Broadway, earning the 2014 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Harris served as host of the 61st and 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, as well as the 63rd, 65th, 66th and 67th Tony Awards, for which he won four Emmys.

The 86th Oscars was TV’s most-watched entertainment event in 10 years and attracted the biggest viewership since 2000, with more than 45 million viewers.

The show resulted in more than one billion impressions generated on Twitter and 25 million interactions happening on Facebook on Oscar Sunday. Additionally, the star-studded “selfie” became the most retweeted photo of all time with 32.8 million views.

FILM: Shallow Hal (Film4, 9pm)

(2001) Hal receives a piece of advice from his dying father which states he should only date physically beautiful women.

Hal follows it to the letter – until he meets self-help guru Tony Robbins, who hypnotises him into seeing only their inner beauty.

So, when he meets the obese Rosemary, Hal can see nothing but her loveliness. Can their love survive when the truth comes out – and when the hypnotic spell is broken?

Although criticised in some quarters for being a rather shallow itself, this movie does have its sweeter side. The performances from stars Gwyneth Paltrow and Jack Black help matters too.

It’s actually one of the more tender offerings from Peter and Bobby Farrelly, whose other movies include Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary and Me, Myself and Irene.

Starring: Jack Black, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jason Alexander

HEALTH: NHS: £2billion a Week & Counting (Channel 4, 9pm)

We have one of the greatest healthcare systems in the world, something many Americans would give their eye teeth for.

However, in just over a decade’s time, there is expected to be a £30billion-plus funding gap in the NHS. This is down to a growing population, increased life expectancy, expensive medication and poor lifestyle choices.

For many of us, trying to direct the right amount of cash to the right area sounds like a Herculean task, or the basis of a fiendish video game which would leave many players reaching for the restart button after a few minutes.

That’s the basis for this new interactive series. It challenges viewers to put themselves in the position of doctors, managers and other health professionals as they try to determine where to allocate scarce resources while facing complex dilemmas.

Episode one considers liver transplants for alcoholics, cosmetic surgery and dementia.

COOKERY: A Cook Abroad: Monica Galetti’s France (BBC2, 9pm)

In case you’re wondering ’Monica who?’, she’s a judge on MasterChef: The Professionals, and the rest you can figure out for yourself.

In a genre that seems to prop up TV schedules for the bulk of the year, it’s easy to get jaded with semi famous faces rustling up dishes in exotic climes, but this strand has been one of the best of recent months,

The latest helping is no exception as Ms Galetti samples Jura region of eastern France.

Aside from spending time with the area’s food producers to see how their passion translates into world-class ingredients, she joins a boar hunt and faces up to the responsibility of eating meat.

There are also top tips on making some of the UK’s favourite French cheeses, and Monica prepares a rustic feast on the slopes of Mont d’Or using the produce she has gathered.

Warning: this may lead to some serious fridge raiding half way through.

COMEDY: Asylum (BBC4, 9pm)

Many comic actors find they have skills from an early age, as Asylum star Kayvan Novak knows only too well.

“Yeah, it doesn’t really get labelled as comic skills when you’re eight years old; it’s labelled as ’disruptive and lacking in focus and must try harder’,” he laughs. “I was definitely that archetypal kind of classroom clown, making fun of the teachers and stuff.”

Thankfully he’s turned those skills into a lucrative profession. In the past few years he’s shone in Fonejacker, Sirens, and more recently in the sublime Paddington.

Kayvan is also on top form as Rafael in this engaging three-part strand, featuring Ben Miller.

During the final offering, Dan decides to raise his public profile and holds a Press conference – but inadvertently accuses the El Ricans of torturing him, damaging their World Cup bid in the process.

Meanwhile, Ludo relies on his hacking skills to save the situation.

INVESTIGATION: Crimecall (RTE One, 9.35pm)

Philip Boucher Hayes and Grainne Seoige with reconstructions, CCTV footage and live studio appeals to look for information from the public, to help with Garda investigations.

Each month this long-running, popular programme uses reconstructions, CCTV footage and live studio appeals to look for information from the public, to help with Garda investigations.

Calls to the programme have helped lead to numerous convictions over the previous ten series.

DRAMA: Broadchurch (TV3, 10pm)

Series Finale

Award-winning mystery drama set in Dorset coastal town, starring David Tennant as DI Alec Hardy and Olivia Colman as DS Ellie Miller.

Decisions are made, truths are revealed, and lives in Broadchurch are changed forever.

Also starring Jodie Whittaker, Andrew Buchan, Charlotte Rampling, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Eve Myles, Meera Syal and Arthur Darvill.

COMEDY: Catastrophe (Channel 4, 10pm)

Sitcoms can be a funny old business, and not always funny ha ha.

Shows like Only Fools and Horses can start out as generic comedies and turn into Greek tragedies as the years go by, but some have a foot in both camps.

This offering from Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan has been one of the most bittersweet offerings of the past 12 months, taking a thorny subject like cancer and sticking two fingers up at it.

In the last of the current series, following a trip to Boston, a heavily pregnant Sharon picks Rob up at the airport and tells him she has invited an old friend from Ireland to be her maid of honour.

Though Rob wants his fiancee’s brother to be his best man, the fact Fergal’s wife has left him and taken their children means he has bigger fish to fry.

Needless to say the hen and stag nights spiral out of control. Do they ever go off without a hitch in comedies?

FILM: The Jackal (Channel 5, 11pm)

(1997) A Russian mobster hires the Jackal, an elusive, ruthless assassin to kill the director of the FBI, who he holds responsible for his brother’s death.

The only person who knows the Jackal’s true identity and what he looks like is imprisoned IRA sniper Declan Mulqueen. He’s allowed out of jail on the condition that he tracks down and stops the Jackal in his tracks.

This is not a patch on the original film, The Day of the Jackal, which was based on a novel by Frederick Forsyth, who insisted his name be taken off the credits of this version. If you haven’t seen the original movie, chances are you will find this entertaining.

Starring: Bruce Willis, Richard Gere, Sidney Poitier, Diane Venora, JK Simmons, Jack Black, Leslie Phillips, Sophie Okonedo

FILM: Dazed and Confused (Film4, 11.15pm)

(1993) It’s the last day of term in 1976, and most of the pupils at a Texas high school are preoccupied with finding somewhere to party.

However, star quarterback Randall ’Pink’ Floyd also has to weigh up whether or not he’s going to sign a good-behaviour contract handed to him by his coach, while freshman Mitch is more worried about the school’s resident bully, who is out to subject him to a humiliating initiation ritual.

It may not have much in the way of a plot, but Dazed and Confused has plenty of atmosphere, insight and quotable lines, and never coasts by on 1970s nostalgia.

Director Richard Linklater, whose currently sweeping the awards for Boyhood, gets great performances out of his young cast, which includes a couple of future superstars – Ben Affleck is on strong form as the sadistic O’Bannion, while Matthew McConaughey steals the film as Wooderson, the sleazy twenty-something who’s still hanging around with the high-school kids.

Throw in a terrific soundtrack, and you’ve got yourself a deserved cult classic.

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Parker Posey, Jason London, Joey Lauren Adams, Wiley Wiggins

SITCOM: House of Fools (BBC2, 11.50pm)

As much as we love Vic and Bob, this second series of their cult sitcom got off to a shaky start last week as Bob arranged a blind date for humourless son Erik.

Thankfully this offering is much more on the money. Vic has created a pop-up tattoo and Botox parlour, and his first customer is the brilliantly bonkers Julie.

It seems Vic’s supply is well past its use-by date, but Julie seems thrilled by the idea of side effects. Can Beef escape the wrath of the Bradford butcher (Johnny Vegas), and will he realise he’s been conned by Vic’s saucy hand tattoo?

That remains to be seen, but we can tell you Morgana Robinson (one of the best aspects of Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe), a melon with Bob’s face (yes, really) and Matt Berry steal the show from under the noses of Reeves and Mortimer.

Dan Skinner, Daniel Simonsen and Ellie White also star.

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