In any normal week, the return of Scandal would be the first item on the PSA agenda. However, these are not normal times, and the most important show on British TV this week – maybe this year – is a re-run of the landmark 1997 documentary series The Nazis – A Warning From History. It’s particularly significant in a week when the new White House administration issued a statement, ostensibly commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which managed not to mention the Jewish people. And on being challenged about that the new Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus, doubled down, claiming that “Everyone’s suffering in the Holocaust including, obviously, all of the Jewish people affected… is something that we consider to be extraordinarily sad…”. These are entirely recognisable as anti-Semitic expressions. As someone asked on Twitter: “Did they just ‘All Lives Matter’ the Holocaust?” Yes. Yes they did.
I remember watching A Warning From History when it was first on, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I do recall, though, wondering whether the title was unnecessarily portentous. Maybe it seemed that way in 1997. Twenty years later, though, it’s time to pick a side (Thursday 2 February, 11pm, BBC Four).
All of which means that I’m finding it difficult to decide whether we really need the sixth season of Scandal to be a tremendous distraction, or whether panem et circenses are the last thing we want at the moment. I thought the last season was mixed at best; and, of course, Scandal has to struggle with the fact that whatever it comes up with is unlikely to be any more horrifying or implausible than the IRL shitshow we’re being forced to sit through. We’re just behind American transmission here, so well done Sky Living. As usual, weekly reviews (Thursday 2 February, 10pm, Sky Living).