My Television Viewing, April 7 to April 13 2015

Olive Films’ continued fast-paced releases of long-maligned King of the Hill seasons continued last week, and no sooner had seasons 9 and 10 arrived on my doorstep than I began to marathon straight through. The show was past its peak by this stage (roughly, seasons two through six were the strongest runs) but it never really got into a rut in the same way late Simpsons seasons did, and there’s still consistently good entertainment to be had here. Season 9’s finest is probably “Mutual of Ombwah”, which sees Hank on classic, small-c conservative form when he discovers that he forgot to mail an insurance cheque.

Series 2 and 3 of The IT Crowd continued to impress on this go-round; I should get to the final run this coming week. “The Work Outing”, from S2, remains a comedic masterclass, the finest episode of the entire show’s run.

The Graham Norton Show returned on weak form, with Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse not on their finest form, and Kim Cattrall seeming vaguely out of place. Have I Got News For You got off to a better start, with Daniel Radcliffe proving a surprisingly effective choice of guest host.

Britain’s Got Talent hewed as close to cliche form as ever, but these early auditions rounds are entertaining enough anyway. Spinoff More Talent is outshining the show proper at this stage, thanks to Stephen Mulhern’s freewheeling spirit.

Not sold on The Island with Bear Grylls, feels like a poor man’s Survivor, Boot Camp and Lost hybrid to me. Jack Dee’s Election Helpdesk, on the other hand, toothless though the format itself may be, delivered a whole bunch of genuine laughs – and the lineup of guests on episode 1 was inspired (always great to see Romesh Ranganathan and Aisling Bea). And this week’s Mom dove even darker than last week, delivering one of the season’s stronger entries.

Full seasons:

  • The IT Crowd, series 2 – 8/10 – rewatch – six episodes, DVD, April 8, 2015
  • The IT Crowd, series 3 – 8/10 – rewatch – six episodes, DVD, April 9, 2015
  • King of the Hill, season 9 – 8/10 – fifteen episodes, DVD, April 14, 2015

Individual episodes:

  • The Graham Norton Show, series 17 episode 1 – 6/10 – DVR, April 11, 2015
  • Have I Got News For You, series 49 episode 1 – 7/10 – DVR, April 11, 2015
  • Britain’s Got Talent, series 9 episode 1 – 6.5/10 – DVR, April 12, 2015
  • Britain’s Got More Talent, series 9 episode 1 – 7/10 – DVR, April 12, 2015
  • The Island with Bear Grylls, series 2 episodes 1-2 – 5.5/10 – DVR, April 12, 2015
  • Mom, season 2 episode 19 – 8.5/10 – DL, April 12, 2015
  • Jack Dee’s Election Helpdesk, series 1 episode 1 – 8/10 – DVR, April 13, 2015