Public Service Announcement 19 of 2018: A Very English Scandal, The Handmaid’s Tale, Elementary

A big weekend of TV. Top of the list, despite my long-standing antipathy to British TV drama, is A Very English Scandal, the BBC’s adaptation of John Preston’s brilliant book about the relationship between politician Jeremy Thorpe and Norman Scott; and the subsequent trial when Thorpe was accused, with others, of conspiring to murder Scott. (Even if you don’t watch this, the book is unequivocally recommended.)

I’ve been interested in l’affaire Thorpe since it happened, pretty much, so I would have been watching anyway. But when the casting details were released I hugged myself with sheer joy. Hugh Grant as Jeremy Thorpe strikes me as almost laugh-out-loud perfect. And I’m intrigued by the prospect of Ben Whishaw as Norman Scott: Whishaw certainly has all the beauty of the young Scott, and then some, but as an actor he always seems to me to have an enigmatic inner stillness, something which – by all accounts – Scott didn’t necessarily have in abundance back then. Can’t wait. Bunnies can (and will) watch A Very English Scandal. (Sunday, 9pm, BBC 1.)

And if that weren’t enough, at exactly the same time UK viewers will be getting their first look at season 2 of The Handmaid’s Tale. Now, as you may have inferred, Unpopcult – certainly this 50% of it – is kind of fed up with big meaningful important TV drama that feels like homework, and has been retreating into fun procedurals instead. But the first season of The Handmaid’s Tale managed to be incredibly serious and terrifically entertaining at the same time, and of course benefitted greatly from having Elisabeth Moss – maybe the best TV actor at work today – in the starring role (Sunday, 9pm, Channel 4).

On top of that Elementary returns for its sixth season, on the back of the news that it’s already been renewed for a seventh. I say again – best Sherlock on TV (Monday, 9pm, Sky Living).


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