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This week’s best TV: from Collateral to McMafia

Best of the best... Trauma; Damned; Collateral and McMafia.
Best of the best... Trauma; Damned; Collateral and McMafia. Composite: The Guide


The small-screen heavy hitters have come out to play for this drama series by David Hare: Carey Mulligan, John Simm, Nicola Walker and Billie Piper all feature. Collateral is a bleak tale of modern London, where the shooting of a pizza delivery man pulls Mulligan’s DI Kip Glaspie down into the capital’s insecurely housed, irregularly employed underbelly.
Monday 12 February, 9pm, BBC Two

Everything Sucks!

The algorithms have seemingly indicated to Netflix that a 90s high-school drama might gain some traction. But can this parody transcend its period trappings – Tipp-Ex, CD Walkmans, making your calculator spell out rude words – and function as more than basic nostalgia?
Available from Friday 16 February, Netflix

Short Cuts

Josie Long.
The meaning of life… Josie Long. Photograph: Giles Smith

Another run for Josie Long’s unpredictable and charming radio show. Neither drama nor documentary, Short Cuts exists in a world of its own; Long is adept at exploring life’s bigger issues (love, death, loss etc) in uplifting and microcosmic ways. This week, she’s exploring the lingering presence of lost loves.
Tuesday 13 February, 3pm, Radio 4


Jo Brand has a knack of turning scenarios that are at best mundane and at worst horribly bleak into comedy. In tandem with Morwenna Banks, she’s done it again with social services comedy Damned. The premise of this series two opener – a sex worker risks losing her children – doesn’t read like a gag-fest. And yet, against all odds, it’s very funny.
Wednesday 14 February, 10pm, Channel 4

Heaven’s Gate

Journalist Glynn Washington has a particular interest in cults, having been raised in a doomsday church. So what drives people to such extremes? This podcast explores the 1997 mass suicide by members of the Heaven’s Gate organisation through the prism of Washington’s own experiences but also via the testimony of survivors and people who still believe in the group’s principles.


James Norton in McMafia.
Mob rule… James Norton in McMafia. Photograph: Nick Wall

If you have followed this always intriguing but occasionally glacial thriller since Christmas, you’ll feel as if you’re owed some serious payoff by now. And you might just be in luck as James Norton’s Alex finally finds that trying to be all things to all people won’t keep him out of trouble for ever.
Sunday, 9pm, BBC One

Survival of the Fittest

The clue is in the title. This new reality guilty pleasure lands at almost the exact point at which Love Island and SAS: Who Dares Wins intersect. This time, the contenders have travelled to the challenging South African savannah for a weird mixture of ab-flexing and eyelash-fluttering.
Sunday 11 February, 9pm, ITV2


Class war ahoy in this new drama from Doctor Foster creator Mike Bartlett. John Simm and Adrian Lester star, respectively, as the angry, working-class father of a stabbing victim and the smooth, middle-class consultant who fails to save the teenager’s life. Soon, resentment turns horribly toxic with explosive results.
Monday 12 February, 9pm, ITV

And her name was… Paulina Garcia in Gloria. Photograph: Allstar


Paulina García’s Gloria is a vivacious divorcee, out to have a good time clubbing and possibly meet a new love – and it seems she does, in the charismatic Rodolfo. Trouble is, life is complicated for mature Santiago singletons; family matters and past lives intrude on both sides, lending a poignant tone to Sebastián Lelio’s sexy, sophisticated Chilean drama.
Tuesday 13 February, 1.45am, Film4


Is a man with two families, each of which he keeps secret from the other, worthy of your sympathy? That’s the question at the heart of this new comedy-drama from David Cross. Stephen Mangan’s considerable cringe-comedy chops are at the centre of this farce, which also stars Heather Graham and Jo Hartley as his unlucky ladies.
Wednesday 14 February, 10pm, Sky1

This article titled "This week’s best TV: from Collateral to McMafia" was written by The Guide, for The Guardian on Friday 9 February 2018 12.00pm

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