From cinema to home viewing, your entertainment wrap for the week
SATURDAY Madoff RTÉ2, 9.20pm
The final two parts of the drama series on American fraudster Bernie Madoff, starring Richard Dreyfuss in the title role. After years of generating millions through a false ponzi/ pyramid scheme, we see how the ineptness of the regulators ensured that Madoff avoided detection. Ironically, it was the authorities ineptness in banking regulation that indirectly led to the New York financier being found out, as those who had invested with him began to withdraw money to fill the gaps lost by their investments elsewhere. As the wheels came off the enterprise, his innocent sons eventually shopped him to the FBI. His irate boys also demanded that their loyal mother Ruth also leave their father. We see how Madoff was eventually found guilty and given 150 years in prison, with the absence of any letters of support from friends or family a mitigating factor in the sentencing.
BBC Two, 10.45pm
Before his death in 1989 at the age of 42, Robert Mapplethorpe had attained a reputation as one of the most interesting and controversial photographers of his generation. His pictures depicted such fellow members of the New York arts scene as Andy Warhol and Grace Jones, while the controversy ensued from the homoerotic photographs that reflected the gay culture that thrived in the city in the pre-Aids era. This documentary on Mapplethorpe looks at how he challenged some of the taboos of his time, while also seeking to enhance his celebrity status.
SUNDAY Creedon’s Shannon RTÉ One, 6.30pm
John Creedon continues his travels along Ireland’s longest river on a stretch from Athlone to Killaloe. Along the way, he uses 3D technology to recreate Clonmacnoise, a settlement that emerged from the monastery in medieval times to become a major seat of learning and craftmanship. The presenter also gets a special dispensation to be allowed make poitín on Lough Derg, and delves into the life of Brian Boru.
Francis Brennan’s Grand Vietnamese Tour RTÉ One, 8.30pm
There’s regular debate in Cork about the origins of the word ‘langer’, and one theory has the slang term coming from soldiers who had seen langur monkeys during their time with the British army in Asia. Francis Brennan and his band of tourists will get to see a particularly rare type of langur in tonight’s episode (insert own joke here), while the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) reminds the visitors of Vietnam’s colonial history.
Formerly called the Exhibition House for US and Puppet Crimes, it contains such exhibits as American military equipment, French guillotines and jars containing foetuses deformed by exposure to the dioxins in Agent Orange.
Ross Kemp Extreme World Sky 1, 9pm
Continuing the men on tour theme that seems to be such a strong part of Sunday viewing, Ross Kemp visits Naples. Not surprisingly, his trip to the Italian city doesn’t take in the city’s wonderful food culture, or the region’s beautiful coastline. Instead he’s looking at the local criminal organisations that have long overtaken Sicily’s mafia in terms of size and violence. The groups that form the Camorra turn over an estimated $4.9 billion per year from extortion, drugs, sex trafficking, etc. As Ross shows, an internal street war between some of the groups has also claimed more than 4,000 lives. He hangs out with a special police unit, and also hears how increasing numbers of women are taking over the gangs following the incarceration of the male members of their clans. He also visits the notorious Scampia housing estates that feature in the book and TV series Gomorrah.
Poldark BBC One, 9pm
It’s all to play for as we enter the second-last
John Creedon looks at the fascinating history of Clonmacnoise on Creedon’s Shannon on Sunday.
Ross Kemp’s Extreme World is in Naples tomorrow.