What we're watching on TV this week

Martin Compston as Bram Lawson in Our House

Martin Compston as Bram Lawson in Our House - Credit: ITV

Wolf Like Me, Prime, all episodes available now 

This one’s divided critics. But I’d say if, like me, you watch TV for pure entertainment, not cerebral nourishment, you’re going to enjoy this dark comic romp from the producers of The Dry and Nine Perfect Strangers. 

Like the aforementioned, the action here takes place in Australia. A sleepy, cosy suburb filled with nuclear families in their nests. With neighbourhood bars and restaurants. Leafy parks. 

Garry (played by seriously underrated American singer/actor/comedian Josh Gad) is struggling. Since his wife passed away leaving him with daughter Emma, he’s been trying to maintain the perfect family façade for his offspring. 

Garry spends his life trying to ensure Emma’s world isn’t rocked, down to the smallest detail of cutting the crusts off her sandwiches, and wrapping them with more care than the average harassed parent would take. 

Not that it’s doing any good. Her dad’s inability to ‘move on’ and be happy, as he desperately tries to fill Emma’s mother-shaped void, have left the pre-teen riddled with anxiety. She’s seeing a therapist. And she needs to be medicated. 

The duo’s world is literally shaken when flame-haired stranger Mary (Isla Fisher) careers into their SUV. 

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Despite the fact she could have killed them, Garry finds himself drawn to the kooky fellow Yank, who has a baffling array of talents, and oddly can’t stay out after dark. 

I won’t say much more, it’ll spoil the fun, but this is a sweet, well-acted, heartfelt modern-day fairytale with a dash of humour that, at 30 minutes per episode, skips along nicely. 

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis 

Joe Cole as Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File

Joe Cole as Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File - Credit: ITV

The Ipcress File, ITV, Sundays, 9pm 

Given current world events, the timing of ITV’s new adaptation of Len Deighton’s Cold War thriller The Ipcress File is chillingly uncanny. 

Michael Caine famously starred as working-class spy Harry Palmer in the 1965 film version of the book – this time round it is Peaky Blinders alum Joe Cole who slips on the famous thick-framed spectacles. 

We first meet him as a British army sergeant on the make in Berlin, where he’s been moonlighting as a wholesaler, retailer, fixer and smuggler – and taking rather unconventional German lessons.  

Then his luck runs out – the law catches up with him and he’s sentenced to eight years in a grim military prison.  

But his dodgy moral compass, linguistic skills and the shady underworld contacts he’s acquired have been talent spotted by British intelligence. 

Instead of going to prison he’s recruited by Major Dalby (Tom Hollander) as a spy – and his first case is the titular Ipcress File. 

Inscrutable Palmer has links to a man suspected of kidnapping a missing British nuclear scientist – and his dangerous undercover mission ends up taking him back to Berlin and much further beyond.  

Also on the case is Jean Courtney (Lucy Boynton) - and the pair make for quite the stylish double act. 

As well as the cat and mouse game that’s unfolding on both sides of the Iron Curtain, this series is an absolute feast for the eyes.

The period detailing is meticulous and the costumes - Palmer’s sharp cut suits and Courtney’s leopard-print pillbox hat – make it a retro treat.  

Emma Lee 

Tuppence Middleton as Fi Lawson in Our House

Tuppence Middleton as Fi Lawson in Our House - Credit: ITV

Our House, ITV, all episodes available to stream now 

Is there such a thing as the perfect family? Not if telly drama’s to be believed. Think back to the likes of Dr Foster and Deadwater Fell. Lies and darkness behind glossy front doors and sports car-lined driveways. 

ITV’s newest domestic drama, Our House, ran in four parts last week and is available to stream now. The adaptation of Louise Candlish’s book is largely a two-hander, led by Tuppance Middleton and Martin Compston – am I the only one who found it disarming to hear him speak in his native Scottish tongue having known him as Londoner Steve in Line of Duty for so long? 

It would be hard to explain the plot without giving too much away, so we’ll just look back at episode one, which was certainly juicy enough to keep viewers engaged. 

Fi Lawson returns home from a business trip. Inexplicably, there’s a removal van outside. She finds a new family dragging their belongings through the door. And when Fi steps inside, the only evidence she’s ever been there are the spectres of photo frames on the walls. 

What’s happened? Who are these people? 

They insist, and show evidence to prove, they’ve bought the house fair and square. They have the legal documents and keys. 

Fi feels her sanity slipping as she tries to piece together the puzzle. Her husband Bram is uncontactable. Her kids aren’t in school. What the hell is she supposed to do now? 

‘Today’ is cut through with flashbacks, peeling away the layers of the Lawson marriage. 

Them buying their dream home 10 years before. Decorating. Making love. Building a family. Making beautiful memories. Oh, and more recently, Bram having it off with Fi’s friend in the playhouse at the bottom of the garden. 

Separated, the couple making a nesting arrangement, taking on a studio flat to share, splitting their time between the dark, small-windowed high-rise, and the warmth of their family home. 

We also see Bram’s not quite the wholesome guy-next-door he appears to be. There’s the flirting with his boss. The stack of speeding tickets Fi finds in a box (she doesn’t know he’s lost his licence). And the episode one cliff hanger, where a boozed-up Bram gets caught up in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Will he get away with it? 

And what really happened to the house? 

You’ll have to watch to find out. 

Charlotte Smith-Jarvis