Follow Us on Twitter

10 things we learned from watching TV last week 1

John and Greg

Feature by Tim Carson

Here’s what we learned from watching TV between 12th January and 22nd January, 2012.

1. It maybe packed full of more reality TV clichés than The X-Factor but it’s still entertaining and tasty telly. Greg and John manage to add a dash of excitement to the basic recipe and some of the dishes this year’s contestants have served up have been truly exceptional. Go on tuck in you know you want to.
MasterChef, BBC1, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 9pm.

2. While it’s easy to slate The X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, and we did happily, the sad truth is that without them Saturday night TV is truly awful. Best go out if I were you.
Everything, All Channels, Saturday

3. Thursday nights TV’s just got better with the return of Sky1’s Mad Dogs. Max Beesley, Philip Glenister, John Simm and Marc Warren return as the four 40-somethings having a spot of bother with 3 million Euros in stolen drug money, a dead policewoman and worse. Unmissable telly with superb acting and a bonkers plot. Mad Dogs, Sky1, Thursday, 9pm

4. Another welcome return to Thursday nights is The Big C. Laura Linney is excellent as the suburban mum trying to cope with her cancer and the impact it has not only on her but on those around her. Very funny and very touching.
The Big C, More 4, Thursday, 10.30pm

5. And rounding out Thursday’s top telly is classy legal drama The Good Wife. Combining top legal action with political intrigue, family drama and a healthy dose of wry humour it’s easy to watch quality television.
The Good Wife, More 4, Thursday, 9pm

6. New Girl is a welcome addition to Friday nights viewing. Zooey Deschanel is suitably kooky as the kooky Jess as she bounces back from a bad break up and brings chaos to the lives of the three single blokes she now shares a flat with. Plenty of laughs and it’s easy to see why it got nominated for a few Golden Globes.
New Girl, C4, Friday, 8.30pm

7. Why would anyone let Kerry Katona plan their wedding and then agree to it being filmed for a documentary for C5? I mean why…and why would anyone watch it. Madness. Even worse they could have had Jedward. Yes really.
Celebrity Wedding Planner, C5, Monday, 10pm

8. However, here’s a reality TV show you don’t want to miss – The Hotel. C4’s latest fly-on-the-wall documentary about Torquay’s Grosvenor Hotel is described as a real-life Fawlty Towers and it’s not far from the truth. This looks like a mockumentary starring Alan Patridage as the hotel manager. Hilarious. The Hotel, C4, Sunday, 8pm

9. Mario Balotelli – what’s up with him? He seems to be the only footballer determined to get himself sent off as quickly as he gets sent on the pitch as a substitute. He did it against Liverpool and should have done it against Spurs if the referee done his job.
Manchester City vs Spurs, Sky Sports 1, Sunday, 4pm

10. A great book and now a great TV show. The BBC shows that it can do novel adaptations with its lavish and yet gritty version of Sebastian Faulks hugely popular First World War novel Birdsong. Strong performances from hot property Eddie Redmayne and Harry Potter alumni Clemence Poesy (Fleur Delacour), who convey lots without saying a word, make it must-see TV and ease the pain of the gap left by Sherlock.
Birdsong, BBC1, Sunday, 9pm

Next: Previously on What we learnt from TV

What did you learn from TV this week? Tell us…