TV This Week: Long dead, now he’s alive!

Pick of the week:

Shakespeare Live!     
SVT2, Sat 21:30

Whether you’re a Marlovian, Baconian, Oxfordian, there’s probably a part of you that secretly hopes the BBC’s transmission of Shakespeare Live! will be marked by a few mishaps worthy of the Bard’s comedies, and the tragedies too – a thespian pursued by an actual bear would be a nice touch for example.

Two things are guaranteed on such an occasion with the BBC: luvvies and misfits. Judi Dench, Ian McKellen and Akala, the rapping founder of the Hip Hop Shakespeare Company, will be doing their best to remind us why this man of letters was so important, a full four centuries after his death. To be or not to be, innit.

Presenting the proceedings from Shakespeare’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon is David Tennant, an admirable Hamlet in his time who found fame with Dr Who. It remains to be seen how much light he sheds on Mr Who. (Ben Hamilton)

Also New:

How many mockumentaries have been made since The Office? Then again Family Tree (SVT2, Wed 20:30) was created by Christopher Guest (Nigel Tufnell!), one of Ricky Gervais’s all-time heroes, so I guess we’ll let him off.

Starring Irish star and Hollywood bit-part actor Chris O’Dowd in the leading role, it must be overwhelming for O’Dowd to feature in more than one scene for a change.

Given some of Guest’s recent work, it’s likely that in years to come some will question whether he authored his earlier scripts. In similar vein to mark Shakespeare’s deathday, Last Will and Testament (DR3 Sun 19:00) explores the authorship of the Bard’s plays.

Still missing the UK after that? Then watch Angry, White and Proud (DR2 Mon 19:55) and you will never want to go back. Its bigotry and ignorance slap you round the face faster than you can scream “Hygge!”.

Elsewhere, My Transgender Summer Camp (DR2 Sun 19:15) will divide opinion; the first of four Eurovision entry wrap-ups (SVT1 Tue 20:00) will divide the field; and The Profit (TV3+ Sun 23:45), back for a third season will combine The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den. (Alex James)

Coming Soon:

The Detour
The Detour is the brainchild of husband and wife duo Jason Jones and Natalie Zea and follows a seemingly simple family vacation gone wrong.

Starring Jason Jones (The Daily Show), Entertainment Weekly praised the diversity of the jokes on offer, including “delicate character comedy to sight gags to gross-out humour”.

With a Metacritic score of 69, it is backed by quality writing, so it’s no surprise to learn that this ten-episode American vacation comedy has been renewed for a second season. (Alex James)

Sport of the Week:

It’s FA Cup semi weekend, as Everton take on Man Utd (K6, Sat 18:00) and Crystal Palace play Watford (K6, Sun 16:55), but it’s difficult to look beyond the EPL as the Foxes play the Swans (TV3 Sport 2, Sun 17:10) followed by Tottenham vs WBA (TV3 Sport 2, Mon 20:55). Elsewhere, the World Snooker Champs continue on Eurosport, as does the CL (3+, Tue & Wed 20:40) and we’ve got the London Marathon (Eurosport, Sun 10:00). (BH)

Film of the Week

Befitting of the Bard’s big day, Much ado about Nothing (SVT1, Sat 23:10) is a modern retelling by Joss Whedon (Buffy, The Avengers). August: Osage County (DR2, Fri 20:00), The Company Men (K5, Mon 21:00) and Before the Devil knows you’re dead (DR2, Fri 23:05) are all meaty dramas Wills would have approved of, but the same can’t be said of Grand Piano (DR3, Fri 22:35) in which Phone Booth meets Shine. (BH)