This Week’s TV: My oh my Mr Spy!

Pick of the week:
London Spy
SVT1, Sun 21:45

Neither Ben Whishaw (Q in James Bond) nor Edward Holcroft (Kingsman) are strangers to the spy genre, but it’s not often we see gay ones, even though at least half of the Cambridge Four were. Television still tends to be more comfortable tackling kitchen sink homosexual dramas in San Francisco, the homes of beloved entertainers or the early 1980s.

Rated fifth on the Guardian’s Best TV of 2015 list, the BBC miniseries London Spy is disproving this approach with what the newspaper described as “an unutterably delicious, satisfying dish”.

As the ‘boy meet boy spy-turned-corpse’ story unfolded in the autumn, critics initially put off by its gay content were quickly won over by its intoxicating nature.

As co-star Jim Broadbent explains: “It’s not a gay story. It’s about guys who happen to be gay.”

Also New:
A shooting follows an argument between white and black teenagers, but it isn’t as clear-cut as first thought. With a 100 percent rating on RT, US doc 3 And 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets takes us to the core of race-troubled America, providing a “grimly absorbing watch” according to the Guardian.

Equally compelling but educational is the 2005 series Guns, Germs and Steel (DR2, Tue-Thu 18:30). If you thought Iberian steel wiped out whole civilizations, then think again.

She Wolves: England’s Early Queens (DRK, Sun 15:25) is a breath of fresh air for anyone sick of comedians presenting history shows. Mrs T was a pussy cat compared to Eleanor of Aquitaine or Margaret of Anjou.

But if inane opinions from celebs too young to really remember is more your thing, try the inoffensive Becoming the Beatles (DK, Tue 22:35).

Elsewhere, we’ve got S3 of Shetland (SVTI, Fri 22:00), S8 of Curb Your Enthusiasm (SVT1, Sun 22:50) and S5 of Game of Thrones (SVT1, Fri 23:05); E1 of CNN’s This is Life with Lisa Ling (DR2, Mon-Thu 19:20) is called ‘Sugar Daddies, Sugar Babies’; don’t miss Secrets of Britain (DRK, Tue 23.30) and ISIL and the Taliban (DR2, Wed 23:00); while The Mystery Beneath (DR3, Sat 20:00) explores UFO activity beneath the Baltic. (BH)

Coming Soon:
Making a Murderer

Making a Murderer is the latest pop-cultural TV phenomenon (at least, judging by the number of articles the writers of BuzzFeed dedicate to it).

This documentary series focuses on Steven Avery, a man who was wrongly convicted of sexual assault and spent 18 years in prison before new DNA evidence cleared him of all charges.

However, just when things seem to be looking up, they take a turn for the worse instead when Avery is charged in connection with the disappearance and murder of another woman.

With a score of 84 on Metacritic, this Netflix original series is a must-watch. (SR)

Sport of the Week:
Will the sunny climes of the Australian Open (Eurosport, all week from Monday 01:00) make you happy or just envious? Maybe the grey-skied Liverpool vs Man Utd and Stoke vs Arsenal in the EPL (TV3 Sport 2, from Sunday 14:00) make more sense? Elsewhere, we’ve got the Men’s European Handball Championship, (TV2, from saturday) the NFL playoffs (3+, Sat 22:00 & Sun 18:30), and live NHL (TV3 Sport 1 from 01:00) and NBA every night (TV2 Sport from 02:00). (BH)

Film of the Week:
Lesbians flirt in My Summer of Love (DR3, Tue 21:25) by Pawel Pawlikowski (Ida); an author coerces his creation Ruby Sparks (DR3, sat 16:35) – written by and starring Elia Kazan’s grand-daughter in the title role – to be his girlfriend; adultery hurts in The Deep Blue Sea; (DR3, Sat 20:00) and a divorcee chases skirt in Crazy, Stupid Love (TV2, Sun 21:00). (BH)