Elementary is back, for the last time. “With the seventh and final season underway in America”, wondered The Sunday Times on 2 June, “can we now concede that this modern-day Holmes reboot was far superior to our own Sherlock?” Well, Elementary is better acted and plotted; has a more interesting relationship between the two leads; and, crucially, isn’t smugly, but wrongly, convinced of its own genius . So: yes, The Sunday Times, indeed we can concede it. In fact, some of us have been saying it for years (tonight, 9pm, Sky Witness).
In its own low-key way, Better Things – which also returns this week – has a claim to be somewhere near the top of the Best Things On TV list: Pamela Adlon is the star and auteur of a bittersweet comedy-drama about a single mom in LA, trying to cope with her modestly successful acting career, the pressures of parenthood, and the challenges of life. Although Adlon has now severed her ties with longtime ally Louis C.K., he was still involved with the show during this second season, and on the evidence of the stellar first run of episodes this show shares with C.K.’s self-named vehicle the ability to conjure jaw-dropping genius out of nowhere. For the avoidance of doubt I’m not for a second suggesting that C.K. is the visionary behind Better Things: this is very much Adlon’s show, and the word from America is that the C.K.-less third season of Better Things is astonishing. Meantime, we can savour season 2 (Wednesday 17 July, 10pm, BBC2).
And season 2 of Harrow is here. Didn’t bother with the first season; won’t be bothering with this one; thus far, no-one has told me that I’m missing out (tonight, 9pm, Alibi).