This weeks TV: The Scientology doc that’s breaking the internet
DR2, Tue 20:35
The Church of Scientology didn’t want people watching this exposé of its practices, taking out a full page ad in the New York Times denouncing it.
Learn about its creator L Ron Hubbard, why people join the church and its battles with the tax authorities and the abuse members face. It includes confinement in The Hole, being sent to a prison labour camp and a horrific game of musical chairs you need to see to believe.
The documentary gives a voice to those usually shunned and silenced by the church: former members, several high ranking, including Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis and John Travolta’s former handler Sylvia ‘Spanky’ Taylor.
Travolta, the doc tells us, cannot leave the church as they have more than enough material to blackmail him with, all collected through his auditing sessions with the church. Likewise Tom Cruise allegedly can’t leave because of similarly murky reasons.
With a 95 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a standing ovation after its Sundance premiere, it’s no wonder it ended up being the most-watched documentary on HBO in nearly a decade.
Some films get TV series because their brilliant universes warrant another visit, others because they made such bad use of the source material, it left the fans in uproar.
Constantine falls into the latter category. Leaving where the unfortunate Keanu Reeves film left off, it finally gives fans of the graphic novel something to cheer about, although not that loudly.
The fans of Intelligence (K6, Sun 21:00) and Almost Human (K6, Sun 22:00) are luke-warm at best. Both feature crime-fighting protagonists with technologically-advanced bodies and redundant personalities.
Bonnie and Clyde (TV3 Puls, Fri 21:00) weren’t short on charisma, as this miniseries reminds us, and neither were the subjects of The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (DRK, Sat 23:40), the most powerful family in 16th century Florence.
Elsewhere, scientists show us How to clone a woolly mammoth (DR3, Mon 20:30), a 40,000-year-old frozen one named Buttercup; Life is Toff (BBC Ent, Sat 11:20) reminds us that modern British aristos swear a lot; and don’t miss this annual Eurovision preview show (SVT1, Tue 21:00) if you want to check the form and have an early punt.
Coming soon: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Imagine being locked up for 15 years thinking the earth was destroyed and you were the only survivor.
Created by Tina Fey, Netflix’s new screwball comedy follows the adventures of a woman rescued from a doomsday cult who tries to start a ‘normal life’ in New York.
Despite her clumsiness and numerous obstacles, she somehow manages to succeed in all her optimistic follies.
With 78 on Metacritic this offbeat sitcom will make you laugh like a drain! (EN)
Sport of the week:
Champions League quarter-final second legs (3+, Tue & Wed 20:00), FA Cup semis (K6, Sat 18:20 & 15:55), Chelsea vs Man Utd (K5, Sat 18:00) in the EPL – it’s really kicking off this week. As an antidote perhaps, try the genteel World Snooker Championship or Bahrain GP (another Lewis Ham Sunday drive surely?) (BH)
Film of the week:
Wasn’t World War Z a bit zzzz, like there’s something familiar in every frame? Likewise the Footloose (TV3, Fri 20:00) remake, the world’s most boring school reunion. Only Brit flicks Death at a Funeral and Shadow Dancer offer fresh ground, although the latter (James Marsh – Man on Wire) is let down by a miscast Clive Owen. (BH)