Public Service Announcement 24 of 2012: Royal Pains, Spiral (Engrenages), Borgen

One new season, two repeats. House-in-the-Hamptons medical dramedy Royal Pains is back for its third season this weekend. I ended season 2 liking this show rather more than I did at the start of it, and more than I thought I would: it still isn’t going to change your world, but it’s an immensely likeable show which slips down very easily. We’re some way behind America with Royal Pains – season four has just started there – and I don’t anticipate writing weekly reviews, but it’s worth an hour of your time (Sunday 10 June, Universal, 7pm).

BBC4 is using the summer to repeat two of its more successful non-Forbrydelsen foreign dramas. Tonight sees the start of a rerun of season 2 of French cops-and-prosecutors show Spiral (Engrenages). On top of being drop-dead-cool and satisfyingly violent it also, in the remarkable Fitoussi/Proust/Fleurot triumvirate, has three of the hottest actors on TV. 50% of Unpopcult has already reviewed this; the other 50% (me) hasn’t seen it, but will be taking this opportunity. In double-bills, of course (tonight, BBC4, 9pm).

And there’s another chance to see Danish political drama Borgen, starting this week. If you don’t like the sound of the subject matter, don’t be put off: Borgen is a terrific character drama which happens to use politics as its backdrop, but is about very much more than that, and is anchored by a complex and dazzling performance by Sidse Babett Knudsen as the leader of a minority party who suddenly finds herself in a position of power. I loved it when it was first shown, and I urge you to give it a go. Even better, the first episode at least is being shown on its own, raising the possibility that on this occasion at least the BBC might get away from these accursed double-bills (Wednesday 13 June, BBC4, 11pm).


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