Best of the Week's TV (May 11-17)

Highlights include new RTÉ/BBC thriller, The Fall, and the Eurovision semi-final

SATURDAY

Avatar, Channel 4, 7.45pm

It’s made for the cinema experience, but James Cameron’s fantasy epic from 2009 has a strong enough story to also work on the small screen.

The Saturday Night Show, RTÉ One, 9.45pm

Guests include rugby player Jerry Flannery, former royal girlfriend Koo Stark and magician Keith Barry.

Sport

If Wigan do get relegated, at least today’s FA Cup final may act as a useful advertisement for the skills of James McCarthy, right. (Man City v Wigan, ITV, ko 5.15pm). Other soccer today includes Aston Villa v Chelsea (Sky Sports 2, ko 12.45pm), Celtic v St Johnstone (Sky Sports 4, ko 12.15pm) and the Setanta Sports Cup final clash of Shamrock Rovers v Drogheda United (Setanta, ko 3pm). The RaboDirect PRO12 semi-final features Leinster v Glasgow (TG4, ko 7.35pm).

 

SUNDAY

Dexter, FOX, 9pm  

It’s been Dexter-by-numbers for a few years, but this final episode of series seven will hopefully continue the run of impressive cliff-hangers they’ve managed to produce.

The Fall, RTÉ One, 9.30pm  

This slick new crime thriller features former X Files star Gillian Anderson in the role of Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, sent from England to help the PSNI catch a serial killer in Belfast. Other familiar faces in the five-episode drama include Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife) and Simon Delaney, while Jamie Dornan plays one of the most odious characters you’ve seen for quite a while.

Sport  

All eyes will be on an emotional Old Trafford today for Man Utd v Swansea (Sky Sports 1, ko 4pm), Alex Ferguson’s last home game at the helm.  Other games include Stoke v Tottenham (Sky Sports 1, ko 1.30pm). 

 

MONDAY

Coronation Street, TV3, 7.30pm  

Gary oversteps the mark and tries to kiss Tina. She’s horrified and despite agreeing not to tell anyone, eventually lets the cat out of the bag to an angry Tommy.

The Big House, TV3, 9pm  

Bryan Murray continues with his story of servant life in the homes of Ireland’s upper classes of a bygone era. Tonight, the stand-in staff prepare food for a 20-strong shooting party at Strokestown House, while the presenter looks at the causes of the Great Famine and how one of its legacies of that catastrophic event was the decline of such houses.

Championship: Play-Off Semi-Final, Sky Sports 1, ko 7.45pm  

The second leg of the semi-final featuring Brighton v Crystal Palace, with the away side featuring such players as Damien Delaney from Cork and Manchester United’s new signing Wilfred Zaha.

 

TUESDAY

The Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Final, RTÉ Two, 8pm  

Ireland again face the ignominy of having to compete in a semi-final to try and advance to Saturday’s main event in Malmo, Sweden. Ryan Dolan is scheduled to sing ‘Only Love Survives’ ins the latter half of the semi-final, going on stage 13th of the 16 competitors. He will need to finish in the top 10 to qualify, with rankings decided by a combination of viewers’ votes and the opinions of an expert panel. Irish viewers can’t vote for Dolan.

 

The Consumer Show, RTÉ One, 8.30pm  

BMW cars and home hair colouring kits are investigated in tonight’s show.

Frankie,  BBC One, 9pm  

As Call the Midwife has shown, there is unlimited dramatic potential to be had from medical staff engaging with their working class constituency. This new series follows Frankie Maddox (Eve Myles, formerly seen in Torchwood), a district nurse with a love of red wine and fast cars. And just like Nurse Jackie, despite her character flaws, Maddox has a good heart and comes across as genuinely caring about her eclectic mix of patients.

 

WEDNESDAY

Benfica v Chelsea, TV3, ko 7.45pm  

The Europa League final from the Amsterdam Arena pits the Portuguese league leaders against the high-spending London club. Rafa Benitez’s team will probably start the game as favourites, but are unlikely to have it easy against a side featuring Argentinian veteran Pablo Aimar and Paraguayan striker Oscar Cardozo. Mark Lawrenson and Trevor Welch are on commentary duties, while on the studio panel are Kevin Kilbane and Brian Kerr.

Bankers: Risking It All, BBC Two, 9pm  

The second episode in the three-part series look at the balance between risk as the engine of growth or the destructive force that can ruin a bank and a wider economy. Banking insiders and regulators are among those looking at two case studies of multi-billion-pound trading disasters. We hear about MF Global in the US, and the $6bn gamble of its boss Jon Corzine, former governor of New Jersey. The show then examines JP Morgan’s ‘London Whale’ trades, which also resulted in losses of $6bn. This latter case is frightening in that it shows how a supposedly ‘well-run’ bank can be plunged into the mire, not least because even the well paid bosses at the top didn’t quite understand what was going on.

Other Voices, RTÉ Two, 10.55pm  

The second episode of the series includes English singer Beth Orton and American singer-songwriter Matthew E White.

 

THURSDAY

Temple Street Children’s Hospital, TV3, 8.30pm  

Among the young patients we meet on tonight’s show are five-year-old Lily Belle Byrd from Co Cork, attending the Dublin hospital for surgery to help relieve her migraines, having previously undergone treatment for her hydrocephalus.

The Murder Workers, Channel 4, 9pm  

Fascinating but harrowing documentary in the Cutting Edge series that follows the Victim Support’s National Homicide Team in the UK as they work with families who’ve been bereaved by murder or manslaughter. As well as providing a shoulder to cry on, their work involves such jobs as helping the families through the criminal justice system, arranging funerals, closing bank accounts, etc.

True Blood, TG4, 11.05pm  

Season five of the vampire series has Bill and Eric embroiled in some major dealings with the Authority and facing up to a revival of the vampire fundamentalist movement. Meanwhile, Sookie makes the decision to have Tara turned into a vampire as it’s the only way of bringing her back to life.

 

FRIDAY

Sport  

Tonight’s two soccer derbies may differ in scale, but the rivalry is just as fierce in both. First up is Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians (RTÉ Two, ko 7.05pm) in the Airtricity League, with both teams trying to improve on a poor start to this year’s championship. Later in the evening, the Copa Del Rey Final features Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid (Sky Sports 1, ko 8.30pm), possibly Mourinho’s last chance to win another trophy in the Spanish capital.

Natural World,BBC Two, 9pm  

A special entitled Leopards: 21st Century Cats is presented by Rom Whitaker, a conservationist who discovered a leopard had moved onto his farm near Chennai (formerly Madras). He points out how, despite loss of habitat and many of the animals being shot and trapped, the spotted cat has not suffered the demise of its cousin the tiger and is still relatively common in India. He also investigates why a few become man-eaters

The Graham Norton Show, BBC One, 11.15pm  

Among the guests are former Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, soon to return to the West End in a revival of Martin McDonagh’s comedy drama, The Cripple of Inishmaan.


Lifestyle

Yvonne Young, group assistant director of nursing, University of Limerick Hospitals Group and National Sepsis TeamWorking Life: Yvonne Young, group assistant director of nursing

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