TV this week: The machine on ice
Pick of the Week:
SVT1, MOn 21:55
Sports films become great by taking our heroes and making them seem human. Champions may be remembered for their successes, but their training, devotion and era are what make them legendary. Ice hockey documentary Red Army looks at sport’s cultural significance during the Cold War through one team’s effort and idealism.
The film tells the story of how the Soviet Union made their ice hockey team into the all-time most successful in the sport’s history. Set against a backdrop of national and political interests on the world stage, filmmaker Gabe Polsky shows his audience the Soviet system from within through a man who lived it: Slava Fetisov, seven-time World Championship and two-time Olympic gold medal winning Soviet captain.
With 82 on Metacritic, the interplay between Fetisov and Polsky carries this film. Exploring success and glory has rarely been so successful.
A thousand apologies, but due to an oversight regarding the DR2 programs previewed last week, all of them are actually being transmitted this week, including the pick, The White Queen (Sun 18:10).
So it almost seems a little bit churlish from our glass house of fallibility to question the decision to make Bonnie and the Thousand Men, which involved DR noting the success of a photo exhibition about a Danish prostitute and deciding to make a documentary about her. Really, couldn’t they have found someone else?
Prostitution: What’s the Harm continues with a theme that has been a ratings winner since ancient times, while UK X Factor (DR3, Tue 20:00) continues to march on with a similar immortality complex.
Elsewhere, there’s another chance to see British crime series Grantchester (SVT1, Tue 22:55), Oliver Stone’s Castro documentary Comandante and Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer; we’ve got season 11 of Grey’s Anatomy and the first and final season of Red Band Society, a teen hospital drama (they think of everything stateside!); Last Night at the Proms (DRK, Sat 22:30) never disappoints; and docudrama The Last Hours of Michael Jackson (TV3, Wed 22:50) might raise a few questions … and smiles. (BH)
How can anyone resist that husky voice? But Ed Burns’s new series proves his talent goes way further than those sexy Irish looks. As actor, director and writer of this new TNT series, his deft wit and touch is evident in every scene of this gangster drama set in New York in the 1960s.
As the head officer of the Public Morals Division, vices and temptations are an everyday part of the job. Drugs, prostitution, gambling, bribery … where does the line of morality begin or end?
With a score of 69 on Metacritic, you’ll love this intriguing story, while Burns’s wiseguy humour is undeniably irresistible! (EN)
Sport of the Week
Memphis Depay swallowed hard when he saw PSV vs Man United pop up as the first fixture in the Champions League (3+, Tue 19:30), particularly as it’s only three days after his first visit to Anfield. Elsewhere, we’ve got the final Diamond League (SVT1, Fri 22:00) meeting, the finals of the US Open, a Nordic Fight Night and the return of the NFL (3+, Sun 22:15). (BH)
Film of the Week
Dark offerings lead the way this week. Rabbit Hole finds unexpected mirth in the aftermath of the death of a child, and The Grey takes us on a nightmarish journey across an icy wilderness. But they won’t depress you more than the unfulfilled potential of The Makeover (K4, Sat 21:00), which reverses the gender roles of Pygmalion, and Jack the Giant Slayer, a CGI mess. (BH)