It’s here, the TV event of 2019. You probably already have a selection of appropriately themed snacks and homemade bingo cards for your viewing party guests ready. Not forgetting costumes, obviously. After all, Crufts only comes but once a year.
If, however, watching a man evaluate the hind quarters of a miniature pinscher with kissing cousins for parents (do dogs kiss? Stay focused, Louisa) isn’t your idea of a good time, then some viewing alternatives are below. Time travel and fantasy dimensions meet bleak cynicism, a dystopian virus and an ITV psychological thriller.
In addition, the pretty glorious Fleabag, Derry Girls and This Time With Alan Partridge all continue this week, it’s the first game of the quarter finals in Only Connect, and death-and-cardigans extravaganza Midsomer Murders starts series 20 (20!) in Endeavour’s recently vacated Sunday night spot, so that’s plenty to be going on with.
Here’s our pick of the best new and continuing shows airing between Friday the 8th and Thursday the 14th of March. Come back next week for the new additions.
Friday 8th March, 9pm, More4
The follow-up to 2015’s acclaimed German-language spy thriller Deutschland 83 is finally here and fans won’t be disappointed. Set three years later (doesn’t take a maths genius to figure that out), the new series finds young Martin offered an opportunity to return home but one that comes with a price.
If you didn’t catch the first series at the time, it’s currently available to stream as a Walter Presents box-set on All 4. A third season taking the show all the way to the 1989’s collapse of the Berlin Wall is also on its way.
Friday 8th March, Netflix
Ricky Gervais has gathered a splendid cast for his new six-episode Netflix comedy about a man who turns suicidally misanthropic following the death of his wife. Penelope Wilton, Ashley Jensen, David Bradley, Kerry Godliman, Rosin Conaty, Mandeep Dhillon and Diane Morgan all join Gervais in a series that combines characteristic cruelty (read: lots of fat jokes) with bleak cynicism and the odd, unexpected emotional punch.
American Gods season 2
Monday 11th March, Amazon Prime Video
New episodes of American Gods will arrive weekly over the next two months on Amazon Prime, continuing the story of ex-con Shadow Moon and his induction into a fantasy world of deities and dreams. Season two welcomes back Ricky Whittle, Ian McShane, Emily Browning, Pablo Schreiber and Orlando Jones, alongside some new arrivals, and looks to be no less a visual treat than season one.
Monday 11th to Thursday 14th March, 9pm, ITV
Taking away the trouble of choosing what to watch every night this week is ITV psychological thriller Cheat, which runs from Monday to Thursday at 9pm. It stars Happy Valley and The Night Manager’s Katherine Kelly as a university professor whose student (played by Three Girls’ Molly Windsor) is accused of an open-and-shut case of academic deception that turns out to have…dun dun dun… deadly complications.
Timewasters series 2
Monday 11th March, 10pm, ITV2
Daniel Lawrence Taylor’s ace sci-fi comedy Timewasters returns for a second six-episode run. This series, the time-travelling jazz band finds its way to 1958, where complications from their earlier jaunt in the 1920s arise. Sharp and well-observed with a strong cast, series two promises not to disappoint. Take a look at the trailer here.
Tuesday 12th March, 9pm, FOX UK
The first season of FOX’s ten-part Justin Cronin adaptation comes to an end this week in a double-bill that promises savagery and heart-break. The Passage is the story of a secret medical facility where experiments are being conducted on a dangerous virus that could either cure all disease or, you know, destroy the human race. Either/or.
Latecomers can catch up on NOW TV until the 18th of April.
In preparation for The Handmaid’s Tale returning for season three this summer, season two is being repeated on More4 starting on Thursday the 14th of March at 11.05.
And in preparation for Game Of Thrones’ final season, arriving on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV on Monday the 15th of April, seasons one to seven are currently available once again to stream on NOW TV.