What to watch on TV this week

The cast of All Creatures Great and Small

The cast of All Creatures Great and Small - Credit: Playground Entertainment

All Creatures Great and Small, Thursdays 9pm, Channel 5 or streaming on My5 

It’s always a risk when a beloved TV series is rebooted.  

I’m sure that there were some who were worried when the BBC announced that Poldark would be galloping back on to our screens. 

Of course, many of the doubters changed their mind the second Aidan Turner stood atop a Cornish clifftop in his tricorne hat, hair blowing in the breeze, gazing moodily out to sea. 

Last year when Channel 5, which to be fair is not exactly known as the home of quality drama, announced that it had made a new series of All Creatures Great and Small, I was sceptical.  

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That series ran for 90 episodes from 1978-1990, surely making Christopher Timothy the definitive James Herriot? 

But the gentle tale of a trio of Yorkshire vets turned out to be the pandemic televisual treat that I didn’t know I needed.  

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And clearly lots of other people didn’t know they needed it either, as it became the most-watched series on the channel for five years. 

Everything about the show is soothing – from the jaunty theme tune to the sweeping shots of the Yorkshire Dales at their finest to the cute lambs. 

The second series picks up a few weeks after the events of the Christmas special.  

James (Nicholas Ralph) returns to Darrowby from a break seeing family in Scotland facing the dilemma of whether to stay at Skeldale House or return to the family homestead.  

And things are awkward with Helen Alderson (Rachel Shenton) his (currently) unrequited crush after she ran out of her wedding.  

Am I the only person who is also watching All Creatures Great and Small for the fashion? Helen has the most amazing wardrobe of Fair Isle jumpers.  

Meanwhile housekeeper Mrs Hall (Anna Madeley) has rumbled that Siegfried (Samuel West) fibbed about his brother Tristan (Callum Woodhouse) passing his veterinary exams. 

It is almost TV perfection. My one gripe is that it really should be broadcast on Sundays. 

Emma Lee 

Gillian Anderson as therapist Jean in Sex Education

Gillian Anderson as therapist Jean in Sex Education - Credit: Netflix

Sex Education, watch all three seasons now on Netflix  

I tend to find it hard to get stuck into long television series, and it takes a lot to keep me interested (that reminds me, I still need to try and rewatch The Wire and The Sopranos at some point).  

But one show I’m certainly hooked on at the moment is Sex Education.  

A Netflix original, the show follows a group of teenagers, parents and staff at a secondary school as they deal with the typical trials and tribulations of life – with a lot of problem revolving around, as the show’s name would suggest, sex.  

The show offers a frank and honest look at sex, relationships, growing up, and life in general - and one of the greatest things about the show is how likeable and personable the characters are. The show’s lead, Otis (played by the brilliant Asa Butterfield), isn’t your archetypal heartthrob – but that’s what makes his character so realistic. Starring alongside Gillian Anderson, who plays his sex therapist mother, the show’s cast all have great chemistry, with each one bringing something different to the table. You simply can’t help but fall for each of their characters and their quirks.  

And thankfully, its third season has just been added to Netflix. And while I haven’t had time to yet, I’m very excited to binge the whole season in one day. 

Danielle Lett 

Grace And Frankie

Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda dazzle in Grace and Frankie - Credit: Netflix

Grace and Frankie, Netflix, watch all seven seasons now 

I happened upon this show quite by accident. Just casually flicking through the channels, looking for something to idle away a bit of time on a Sunday afternoon. One episode, and I was consumed by it! 

You know when you just want to watch telly that makes you feelgood? No big drama. No having to concentrate too much on the plot. This is that programme. This is the one.  

Here’s the premise. Career lawyers and lifelong best pals Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston) have news for their wives Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin). They’re coming out....together! 

As you can imagine, finding out your husband has been having an affair for decades right under your nose is a huge shock for both ladies. Grace packs up and moves to the foursome’s shared summer house on the beach. As does Frankie. 

And therein lies the problem. While their hubbies have clearly been getting on like a house on fire (and then some), Frankie and Grace cannot stand each other. 

A successful beauty company owner, Grace has appearances to keep up. While flighty, hippy dippy Frankie is all about the feelings. 

Over seven series they will bicker, they’ll fight, they’ll create their own line of ‘personal pleasure devices’, they’ll fight again. But under all that, a kinship, and true loving friendship and sisterhood is built. 

You’ll laugh, you might cry a bit, and I think maybe (like me) you’ll be inspired by the hilarious lead actresses whose chemistry is almost tangible. They are simply brilliant. And prove that you can still get your glam on well into your 80s. Both female leads look gorgeous. 

This is one to brighten up a grey day. 

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis 

What are you watching? 

Tell us about the shows you’re enjoying right now. What do you recommend? Email charlotte.smith-jarvis@archant.co.uk 

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