Breathless, sadly not the French classic; while Vicious has nothing to do with Sid

Go-go’s a go. It’s the mad mod London of the early 1960s and Dr Otto Powell (Jack Davenport) wants to make you feel better with a nice dose of retro-style TV drama.

Breathless has already been dubbed the British version of Mad Men, but with doctors thanks to the constant smoking, dapper suits, sexist remarks and depiction of sad, subdued women leading unfulfilling lives of menial labour. And of course sexy nurses instead of secretaries!

Powell’s character is intriguing. As well as being a doctor, he’s a a gynecologist who performs black-market abortions for the women of the British aristocracy, lending the show a twist of relevance, topicality and grit.

Staying in Britain, we have another 2013 series, Vicious, which follows the lives of Freddie Thornhill and Stuart Bixby (Ian McKellan and Derek Jacobi), an elderly gay couple that live in their Covent Garden flat, amusing themselves with frequent dinner guests and humorous misadventures.
Throwing insults as often as they throw parties, the two endure a love/hate (but mostly love) relationship that winds them through a never-ending array of wacky hijinks.

Freddie is a washed-up bit actor who, having never ‘made it’, still likes to think he has – often deluding himself into various fantasies that coroborate his self-perception.While Stuart, an ex-bartender, is constantly bugged by his elderly mother, Mildred, who is clueless about his relationship with Freddie.

Just like Freddie and Stuart, the critics have a love/hate relationship with the show, calling it anything from “nostalgic fun” to “the least funny comedy in recent memory”. Still, Vicious was confirmed for a second season last August and will air this autumn. (James Gage)

SVT1, Sat 21:30 &
SVT1, Sun 21:45


Just a week after the appearance of the second season of House of Cards on Netflix, the second series of its other major drama series, Lillyhammer, is debuting – this time with more Brits in the cast.

Which has always been the case with popular UK drama Emmerdale (DR1, Mon-Fri 10:00), which appears to have replaced Neighbours as the daily soap.

Docs-wise, Coach Zoran and his African Tigers takes a look at the birth of South Sudan’s national side, Lost Angels: Skid Row is my Home is about the homeless in LA, and Lego: The Building Block of Architecture (BBC World, Sat 16:30 or 22:30) examines the impact of the children’s toy on the adult world.

Elsewhere, watch the entire fifth and sixth seasons of Californication (Zulu, Sun 08:15); while Britain’s Darkest Taboos (DR2, Sun 23:30) takes a disturbing look at murdering thrill-seekers. (BH)


Black Sails

Maroon yourself on the shores of this new drama and settle in for a long term addiction: Black Sails is a TV treasure.

Set as a prequel to the events of Robert Louis Stephenson’s classic Treasure Island, the show centres around the tale of Captain Flint (Toby Stephens), a pirate captain consumed in battle against the British Royal Navy for ownership of New Providence Island in 1715.

Marauders like Flint threaten the maritime trade of the developed nations and are declared “hostis humani generi” (enemies to all mankind).

Enlisting the help of Eleanor Guthrie (Hannah New), the daughter of a local smuggling kingpin, Captain Flint assembles a rag-tag group of pirates to defend their island, their riches, and their way of life. (JG)


Our resident ice hockey expert reckoned Russia would win the Winter Olympic final despite the controversial shootout loss to the Americans in the group … Watch Miami Heat vs Chicago Bulls to get your weekly NBA fix. While in Europe, Manchester United face two testing away games, first at Crystal Palace (K6, Sat 18:00) in the Premier League and then at Olympiakos in the Champions League. They wouldn’t be the first team to have a dire season and still win the big one at the end. (BH)


Don’t trust IMDB! Case in point: Gerard Butler as the man of god and violence who toddles off to help African villagers in Machine Gun Preacher. It scored 6.9 on IMDB, but just 29 on Rotten Tomatoes. While Young Adult scored less on IMDB and more on RT (6.3, 80), probably because it’s central character was horrid and its overall approach too dour for the maniacally happy. Still, they’re both better than Killers starring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher, which bombed with both fans and critics. (BH)

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