TV shows worth watching this week: What We Do In The Shadows, Gentleman Jack

Comedy vampires, a Danish apocalypse and a new Sally Wainwright drama are among our TV recommendations for the week…

By all accounts, the weather this May weekend isn’t going to be up to much so there’s your excuse for putting off staining the garden fence or running that 5k you’ve been planning. Fences and cardio belong to the future. TV, blankets and Jaffa Cakes belong to the now.

Here’s our pick of the best new and continuing shows airing between Friday the 17th and Thursday the 23rd of May.

Come back next week for the new additions.

The Rain season 2

Friday 17th May, Netflix

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The atmospheric Danish post-apocalypse drama returns for a second season, as the search continues for answers about the population-destroying virus spread by rainfall.

Gentleman Jack

Sunday 19th May, 9pm, BBC One

A new Sally Wainwright (Happy Valley, Last Tango In Halifax) drama is appointment viewing, and this one’s been on the dramatist’s to-do list for decades. Suranne Jones plays 19th century Halifax landowner, lesbian and famed diarist Anne Lister, starring alongside Gemma Whelan, Sophie Rundle and more. It’s life-giving stuff.

What We Do In The Shadows

Sunday 19th May, 9.45pm, BBC Two

Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement’s TV version of their 2014 vampire comedy makes its UK debut, and is ridiculous fun. A mockumentary about mythological beings struggling to make it in the modern world, What We Do In The Shadows stars Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak and Natasia Demetriou.

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Game Of Thrones season 8 finale

Monday 20th May, 2am and 9pm, Sky Atlantic

Even those who don’t watch it won’t have missed the furore surrounding season eight, which has attracted some vocal critics of late. Whatever people make of the Game Of Thrones ending, the finale will be discussed to death and loudly from Monday onwards. Spoiler-phobes should take the appropriate evasive action.

Ghosts finale

Monday 20th May, 9.30pm, BBC One

Scheduled opposite Game Of Thrones on Monday nights, new BBC comedy Ghosts has been a sapling in the shadow of a mighty oak. As a BBC iPlayer boxset though, it can have all its sunshiny photosynthesis needs met. From the Horrible Histories crew, it’s very silly, very funny and surprisingly touching. Don’t neglect it.

Summer Of Rockets

Wednesday 22nd May, 9pm, BBC Two

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Dramatist Steven Poliakoff (Dancing On The Edge, Close To The Enemy) returns with a glossy six-part Cold War drama starring Keeley Hawes, Timothy Spall, Toby Stephens and Linus Roache.

Riviera season 2

Thursday 23rd May, 9pm, Sky Atlantic

Speaking of gloss, the Julia Stiles-starring ‘glamorous billionaires on boats’ drama is back for a second season, starting on Thursday.

 

Additionally

Jeff Pope’s long-delayed four-part Hatton Garden drama starring Timothy Spall finally arrives on ITV at 9pm from Monday to Thursday this week.

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There’s Eurovision on Saturday from 8pm on the BBC, for all your kitsch Europop needs. If you require a sugar-free comedown after that, Sky Atlantic’s devastating nuclear disaster drama Chernobyl continues on Tuesday nights at 9pm.

Also brilliant and continuing are Channel 4’s The Virtues, and BBC Two’s Mum, if you haven’t already gobbled up the whole boxset on iPlayer.

And, why not, Midsomer Murders features a death at a Comic-Con this Sunday night, making it supremely geek-relevant.