TV listings | Strictly as a last resort

Like, a US sub, basically, hides out on an island (Lost), cool, after refusing to fire its nukes (Crimson Tide), totally, at Pakistan (Slumdog Millionaire), whatever.

Last Resort is “part Hunt for Red October, part Lord of the Flies”, said the Wall Street Journal. That’s a good thing, is it?

“Once you get past the stupid stuff, such as the sex-goddess tech designer and the equally gorgeous chief navigator, there’s something pretty damned good here,” chimed the New York Post. What if we can’t get past the stupid stuff?

“The pilot is sensational − a suspenseful, cinema-quality grabber,” echoed the Philadelphia Inquirer. So they blew half the series budget on it.
Go on then, if there’s nothing else on, I’ll watch it as a last …

The same thing happened with Penn & Teller: Fool Us (BBC Ent, Sun 22:45), which I found myself watching this week against my better judgement.

They’re kind of irritating, aren’t they? In this show, they watch magic tricks to see if they can rumble how it’s done. Infuriatingly, unless it’s the kind of trick a dog could see through, they give the contestant a ‘Magician’s Handshake’ and say: “We know how that was done, don’t we” and move on.

The popular British series Downton Abbey (SV1, Sun 21:30) has moved on from the Great War (pssst, another one will be along in a minute) by signing up Shirley MacLaine, who will no doubt square up against Maggie Smith for the clip they’ll play 50 times at next year’s Emmys.

US presidential election (DR1 & TV2, Tue 20:30)Elsewhere, British sitcom Friday Night Dinner (SV1, Sun 22:40) is back for a second series; Whitney (TV3, Wed & Thu 23:50) is an annoying-looking US sitcom, with a poor IMDB rating, that promises sarcasm (err, great); Terror/Counter Terror (TV3 Puls, Sun 00:00) and Scouted (K4, Thu 21:25) go behind the scenes of two of the world’s most abhorrent industries: terrorism and fashion modelling; and you’ll enjoy the US election more if you watch The Choice (DR2, Tue 20:30), which most voters tend to make at birth (it screened in the US on October 9), and Is America Working? (BBC World, Sat 15:10 & Sun 21:10), a chance for the Birthers to have one last dig before Obama’s reign is reborn or aborted.