TV this Week: Islamic state, the origins story

Pick of the week:
Only the Dead
DR2, Tue 20:45

We’ve had Spiderman and X-Men, and now Michael Ware, Australian war correspondent turned filmmaker, presents the origins story of Islamic State.

The 2015 doc Only the Dead is an account of Ware’s eight-year experience as a war correspondent in Iraq. The entire film was recorded on a video camera Ware bought on the black market in Kurdistan.

The Guardian was impressed. “Having witnessed scenes of unimaginable suffering and violence, Ware sees no reason why the audience shouldn’t share the nightmare […] there are scenes here that you can’t unsee, much as you might want to,” it wrote.

3AW was also a fan. “An absolutely outstanding, piercing documentary about the war in Iraq,” it applauded.

“Easily one of the best accounts of the war so far.” (GD)

Also new:

With Euro 2016 starting, there could only be one choice this week: Life of Ryan: Caretaker Manager, which reflects on the peak of Giggs’ coaching career. Caretaker, assistant, what’s next for the Welsh wizard? Ballboy?

Maybe he should have taken the route of Golden Balls boy who in For the Love of the Game (SVT2, Mon 22:15) visits every continent, or something like that, to spread the, err, love of the game.

Sticking with the biopics we have Johnny Cash: American Rebel (SVT2, Tue 22:15), a 2015 doc that bravely follows a popular film with unflinching resolve to tell the real story.

In direct contrast, The Man in the Hat: Rene Magritte with Will Young (DRK, Tue 21:30) and Great Houses with Julian Fellowes (DRK, Tune 20:45) are complete fluff. The Daily Telegraph mused that Young “never seemed to grasp that Magritte was a fully-fledged genius, not some hopeful from Belgium’s Got Talent”, but found the latter “warm and rich, a little like a peripatetic edition of Jackanory”.

Elsewhere, there’s an Alan Turing double bill: The Man who cracked the Nazi Code (DRK, Mon 18:30) and Codebreaker (DRK, Mon 23:15); The Secret Life of Babies (DR2, Mon 20:45) is on too early for Mumsy; while Grease Live! (SVT1, Sun 20:00) was filmed on Broadway in January. (BH)

Coming soon:

This US horror comic book adaptation TV series, which made its premiere on AMC on May 22, has scored 76 on Metacritic.

“Preacher is a drama, but one with a devilish sense of humour and visual playfulness,” praised the New York Times.

Dominic Cooper (Mamma mia!, An Education) is Jesse Custer, a preacher from a small town in Texas who joins a powerful creature escaped from Paradise. Together with his ex-girlfriend Tulip and an Irish vampire named Cassidy, Jesse begins a journey to find God.

The general consensus is the less you know about Preacher the better. Just watch it! (AP)

Sport of the week:

It’s here! And Euro 2016 is as long as the 1986 World Cup. From the turgid opener, Romania vs France, to the picks – England vs Russia (DR1, Sat 20:30), Belgium vs Italy (TV2, Mon 20:50) and England vs Wales (TV2, Thu 14:50) – it’s not exactly the WC, but it will get better … much better! Elsewhere, we’ve got the Canadian GP and the Diamond League. (BH)

Film of the week:

This week’s films don’t necessarily leap out of the page, but they come recommended. Coherence presents a dinner party held under the watchful eye of a comet, Let me in follows a bullied child under the hungry gaze of a vampire, and Oliver Stone’s Savages presents a couple of pot growers who have earned the attention of the Mexican drug cartel. (BH)

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