This Week’s TV: Kingly manoeuvres are never easy

Pick of the week:
30 for 30 – King’s Ransom
SVT2, Thu 21:30

August 9, 1988 is a date all Edmonton Oilers fans remember. It was the day Wayne Gretzky, ‘The Great One’, left to become the king of the City of Angels, and 30 for 30 – King’s Ransom assesses the impact of the departure of the greatest ice hockey player of all time.

As stunned Oilers fans were left wondering who was going to replace the national treasure who had powered the team to four Stanley Cup triumphs in five years, LA was in shock. The king had arrived.

But what happened when the only NHL player to total over 200 points in a season (four times!) went south of the border.

Noted director, Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights), investigates the riveting story behind the deal that shook the very foundation of North American ice hockey.(CW)

Also new:

Janis Joplin is a timely reminder that celebrities have been dying for years. It’s been suggested we need to bubble wrap our favourite ageing celebrities, but mummifying David Attenborough alive isn’t the answer to your grieving process. And anyway, Joplin died aged 27 – her life and trailblazing career curtailed by a drug habit that saw her record only two solo albums.

Her early life is largely unexplored and is therefore good documentary-fodder for Amy Berg’s Janis: Little Girl Blue (SVT2, Sat 19:05). Archive footage shows what a delightful chat show guest she was, unlike some recently departed stars.

Heavy metal is at the heart of Rammstein in America (SVT2 Sat 20:55). The group’s complicated relationship with the country is explored and the finale features their 2010 New York concert.

If heavy metal and dead celebrities wasn’t enough, nothing says sweet dreams like a double bill of Death Camp Treblinka: Survivor Stories (DRK Mon 20:50), the story of the last two survivors of the death camp, and Moving Half the Mountain (DRK Mon 23:35), which focuses on the brutal use of POWs in Burma. If death isn’t cheery enough for you, then An Honest Liar (DR3 Mon 23:05), explores the career of magician turned paranormal sceptic James Randi (AJ)

Coming soon:

There’s no doubt the Guardian loves Flowers, a “genuinely original … shockingly dark” British comedy currently screening on Channel 4 this week – almost as much as The Killing. Surely not?

Well, it’s got death too and almost more than fancy jumper managed in 20 episodes. A children’s author tries to top himself, and then an elderly relative buys it – all in the first episode. You’ll struggle to stifle your giggles.

There will be a knowing pain in your laughter when you recognise the futility and inevitability of these characters’ lives (Olivia Colman’s amongst the cast).

The flowers are for the funeral by the way. (BH)

Sport of the week:
EPL: Man Utd vs Leicester City (TV3 Sport 2, Sun 15:00)

So Leicester won the EPL (if you’re reading this next Tuesday). Seriously how would the Chelsea players ever look their fans in the face if they lost to Tottenham (TV3 Sport 2, Mon 20:55)?! Elsewhere, we’ve got the final of the World Snooker Championship (Eurosport, Mon 20:00), the NBA playoffs (TV2 Sport, all week), the Russian GP (3+, Sun 12:30) and the CL semi-final second legs (3+, Tue & Wed 20:40). (BH)


Film of the week:
You’ve got to be pretty confident when you add (or omit) an article to a classic title. Sure, Room had no worries, and neither did The Informer, but The Heat (TV3, Sat 21:00), starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, is really up against it, and the confidence is misplaced. Elsewhere, it’s an average week. Foxfire (SVT2, Fri 21:45) is a confused girl gang film while Friends with Benefits (TV2, Sun 21:00) yields us precisely nowhere.