This week’s high­lights

The Irish Times Magazine - - TV & RADIO - Kevin Court­ney

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.

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