This week’s highlights
Raised by the Village ( Monday, RTÉ One, 6.30pm) What do you do when your troublesome teen is getting out of hand and heading down a delinquent road? Send them off to live in a nice, peaceful village, where the community is tight- knit, everyone’s lives are woven together, and everybody has a built- in support network of neighbours and friends. That’s the premise of Raised by the Village. Two city teens get a taste of rural life – and a dose of reality – when they’re sent to a picturesque village far from their concrete jungle, where everyone knows everyone’s business and anti- social behaviour is given short shrift. Will they learn to behave better? Top child psychotherapist Stella O’Malley heads this social experiment, with teenagers Scott, from Kimmage, and Leah, from Tallaght, the grudging guinea- pigs. Scott, a maths prodigy in danger of wasting his talents, is sent to live with the farming family the Nixons in Carrigallen, Co Leitrim, while Leah, a self- centred smartphone addict, is sent to live with the Hurley family in Kildorry in Cork’s Ballyhoura Mountains. That’ll put manners on them.
Versailles ( Monday, BBC Two, 9pm) House prices hitting palatial levels? Bosses living high off the hog on your pension pot? Royal weddings to distract from Brexit impoverishment? We need some high- class escapism, so welcome back to the court of Louis XIV, France’s rock- star ruler, whose lavish lifestyle would make Elton John look like Rag’n’Bone Man. Riches, sex, intrigue, more sex and deadly power struggles are de rigueur in this drama; don’t take too long marvelling at the fabulous costumes - they’ll be coming off pretty soon.
This is the third and final series, and King Louis, having watched his palace crumble around him – and having lost a few marbles too – is determined to get his kingdom back and restore Versailles to its former story. Good luck with that, Louis.
Dietland ( Tuesday, Amazon Prime) Juliana Margulies was very watchable in The Good Wife, and she is starring in a new series set in the cut- throat, looks- could- kill world of fashion publishing. But this is not The Devil Wears Prada: The Series. Dietland is based on the novel by Sarai Walker, and st ars Joy Nash as Plum Kettle, an overweight woman who has been fat- shamed into the ground by the world around her. Her life begins to turn around when she gets a job as a ghostwriter for Kitty
Montgomery, the editor of New York’s biggest rag- trade rag, played with a gritty glamour by Margulies.
Then it gets weird. Plum is contacted by a secretive group of women determined to fight back against fat- fascism, but she also encounters another, more sinister group of women who kidnap, torture and murder sexual predators. As Nash says, most series about overweight people are transformative, with the central character becoming thin, but his series is out to show that your life can change completely while your weight remains the same. This is definitely one woke series to watch.
The Fourth Estate ( Tuesday, RTE One, 11.10pm) Donald Trump’s presidency has been stranger than fiction so far, so Emmy Award- winning film- maker Liz Garbus throws the script out the window for this documentary series set in the offices of the New York Times as they go into battle against the fake- newsman- in- chief, who has called the media “the enemy of the people”. Garbus has gained unprecedented access to the inner workings of the newspaper, as it adapts to the digital age and to a president who is capricious, unpredictable and a friend of the far- right. Forget All the President’s Men – this is All the President’s Tweets, and it’s got more incredible twists and turns than any political thriller.
Get Shorty ( Wednesday, Sky Atlantic, 9pm) The Elmore Leonard novel was successfully adapted into a movie starring John Travolta, but here’s a series loosely based on the novel, with none other than Irish actor Chris O’Dowd in the Travolta role. Like Fargo, this series diverges a bit from the source, so you need to just go with it. Hopefully it will go to some interesting places.
O’Dowd plays Miles Daly, a muscle for a Nevada mob who decides to go legit, and reckons going into movie production is the best way to do it. He will have to take on the sharks and predators of Hollywood, so he teams up with a bottom- feeder named Rick Moreweather, a washed- up producer looking for a chance to swim with the big fish once more ( that’s enough piscine puns – Ed).
Chris O’Dowd in Get Shorty, Wednesday, Sky Atlantic.