People who don’t like telly tend not to watch telly and forming an opinion on something you don’t know about should be approached with caution. Somehow, somewhere, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, someone came up with the notion that loving TV was in some way to the detriment of intellect. That you are only really clever if you love books and despise TV.
Fortunately, we are evolving as a species. We can loll around reading Zadie Smith and then switch on the TV to watch EastEnders without our brains falling out of our ears. We can appreciate the beauty of George Eliot and appreciate the beauty of Riz Ahmed. We are adaptable like that. The other day I myself spent the afternoon reading Tacitus, whilst wearing a One Direction t-shirt. We can be all things.
A lot of TV is crap – but a lot of books are crap. TV is like a bookshop in that respect; you can curate your choices. You can form just as an emotional attachment to a TV show as you can to a book. They’re just different types of friends – and you don’t have to pick between the two. TV is relaxing. It’s entertaining. It’s informative. It’s devastating. It’s hilarious. It’s brilliantly clever or delightfully simple. But it’s an art form. It’s a talking point. It can be a joint experience. It can be a comforting solitary experience. Update your settings. TV is brilliant.
And so here’s a small selection of Autumn TV for Midults – predominantly made up of very good looking people getting laid, getting arrested and getting into fights. Be prepared to not leave the house until spring.
Jude Law plays a newly elected pope getting through his daily struggles as the world’s most important Catholic on a diet of Cherry Coke Zero and fags. Directed by Paolo Sorrentino, everyone is calling it ‘House of Cardinals’. (27th October, Sky Atlantic)
A drama about the royal family at the time when the Queen became Queen in 1952, staring Claire Foy and Matt Smith as the Duke of Edinburgh. It’s the most expensive drama Netflix has ever made and it’s to be HUGE. Be an early adopter. (November 4, Netflix)
Did she or didn’t she??? An eye-popping documentary about Foxy Knoxy with a thorough poking around of the whole Meredith Kercher murder. Disturbing on several levels. (On now, Netflix)
Remember that creepy film with Yul Brynner as a cowboy robot in a futuristic theme park where the robots all go rogue? They’ve now made a series starring Anthony Hopkins, Thandie Newton and Evan Rachel Wood, with JJ Abrams as exec producer. Seriously intense. (On now, Sky Atlantic)