Mumington Post contributing editor Jenny Hicken provides our regular round-up of televisual delights.
What I’ve been watching
Game of Thrones / Sky Atlantic / Mondays 9pm
You can generally assume that if Game of Thrones has been on, I’ve been watching it. A little late to the party on the sword-swinging boob-fest that is GoT, hubby and I finally caught up last year, watching series 1-3 in a marathon Throne-sesh before season 4 started.
This time we were forced to wait with the rest of the world for season 5 to start, and already four episodes in, it looks like we’ll be waiting even longer for the story to actually go anywhere. After last Monday’s instalment cut to the end credits, we both cried ‘Is that it?!’ at the TV as if we had just watched a teaser trailer instead of an hour of quality drama. And yet still it is one of the most compelling programmes on TV.It’s almost impossible to write about recent GoT without heavy spoiler alerts, so I won’t give anything away – suffice it to say that if you haven’t yet sampled the delights of Westeros at all, you need to catch up, and quickly. You’re missing out on so much intrigue, action and grisly medieval murder, not to mention its renowned sauciness (and that’s sometimes putting it mildly). It is the kind of programme that you wouldn’t watch with your parents as a teenager lest you suffer the toe-curling embarrassment of a bit of on-screen rumpy.
The opening episodes of season 5 may have been a bit of a slow-burner but there is a very real sense of the plot thickening even further. There are some brilliant new interactions as some characters share substantial screen time for the first time, and hints of butterfly-inducing excitement to come with more double-crossing than you can shake a pointy stick at. There is also the constant nail-biting threat that no character is safe from the chop, so try not to get too attached to anyone. I know who I’m rooting for though.
Winter may have been coming for quite a while now, but it’s never too late to get your woolly hat on.
Box Set of the Week
Firefly / Available on Netflix / DVD / Blu-RayBack in 2002-03, Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator and recent Marvel Avengers director Joss Whedon made 14 glorious episodes of a criminally short-lived sci-fi drama called Firefly. Undeservedly cancelled after only one season, Firefly (and its follow-up 2005 feature film Serenity) has now achieved true cult status and is beloved by fans such as myself who never tire of watching the same few episodes time after time.
Mixing action, comedy and genuinely emotional drama, Firefly is often described as a ‘space western’ as it follows the rag-tag crew of transport ship ‘Serenity’ from planet to planet, taking on jobs both legal and otherwise to get by. Featuring the always brilliant Nathan Fillion, Homeland’s Morena Baccarin and a couple of hilarious guest appearances from Mad Men’s iconic redhead Christina Hendricks, Firefly will be 14 hours of your life very well spent.
Pick of the pre-dawn listings
Pregnancy insomnia? Night feed? It’s not all teleshopping in the early hours
Road Wars / Sky1 / Monday 11th May 4amRoad Wars belongs to an enjoyably ridiculous genre of fly-on-the-rear-view-mirror telly, also including Motorway Patrol and Traffic Cops, which got me through some long nights feeding Joe back in 2010. It’s highly likely that they are still showing the same handful of episodes on a loop that they broadcast 5 years ago, and even if they are new ones, they’re essentially all the same anyway.
The programme follows a group of no-nonsense traffic police as they patrol the mean streets of the Thames Valley looking for boy racers/broken brake lights/out of date MOTs (delete as applicable in every episode), cut together with interview footage of our brave boys in blue recounting what happened as if giving evidence in some whimsical court case. Throw in the odd car chase through a housing estate, a few incidents involving an idiot with a blurred-out face and no road tax, and grainy dash-cam footage of a Ford Fiesta with 14 passengers in the back being pulled over on the M4, and you will find yourself inexplicably glued to the screen until your little one has drifted off back to peaceful slumber.