Game Of Thrones has gone and Orange Is The New Black was far too easy to binge watch, so what's a girl to do? We've sifted the wheat from the chaff to bring you our pick of what's on 'real time' telly that's actually pretty good. Happy watching...
If you: are looking for something totally life-affirming
Filmed using the same unobtrusive fixed-rig cameras that helped make Educating Yorkshire and The Family so compelling, The Tribe goes further a field to deliver an intimate study of family life that somehow feels even closer to home. The Ayke Mukos, a three-generation tribal family who live in four adjacent mud huts in southern Ethiopia, are awe-inspiring to watch, especially Rebo, a gutsy widow fighting to be recognised as the head of her household.
If you: love a gritty crime series
Watch: True Detective (Monday, 9pm, Sky Atlantic)
The new (second) series featuring a new cast (hello, Rachel McAdams and Colin Farrell), a new setting (LA, baby) AND a murky new plot (thickening as we speak) has had mixed reviews but is it surprising when the original two-hander, well, bromance between Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson (and platform for the great McConaissance) was SUCH a hit? We think it got off to a solid start, given the palpable, impossible-to-live-up-to hype. Ani (McAdams) and her not-so-secret weapons and Paul (Taylor Kitsch) and his late night motorcycle rides are particularly intriguing and we can’t wait to get under their skin.
If you: are all about a soundtrack
Watch: Empire (Tuesday, 9pm, E4)
Like all ridiculously addictive soap operas, Empire’s got the family drama (a dying hip-hop mogul deciding which of his three sons should take over his company, Empire Entertainment. King Lear, eat your heart out), the catchiest theme tuuuuuune (not to mention music throughout, courtesy of Timbaland) and a cast of soon-to-be household names, in spades. Queen Bee slash Mother Hen, Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) is totally badass (she took the fall for her husband Lucious’ early dabbling in drugs) and utterly babin’ (leopard print fans just got a new icon). Unlike a soap opera, it’s very, very cool.
If you: want high-octane drama
Watch: The Affair (Wednesday, 9pm, Sky Atlantic)
It’s flipping great, for obvious reasons, to have two Brits fronting one of America’s hottest TV dramas, but it should come as no surprise Dominic West and Ruth Wilson were cast as The Affair’s Alison and Noah; two lost souls who meet one summer in Long Island. These two are on fire as they plunge into a claustrophobic, compelling to watch affair that leaves us with so many unanswered questions. Be patient, that’s the beauty of it, all will be revealed…
If you: dig anything warped and mind-boggling
Watch: Humans (Sunday, 9pm, C4)
About a parallel universe where people have robotic servants AKA ‘Synths’, Humans – from the company who produced Breaking Bad – is one of the boldest, most bonkers dramas to come to Channel Four since Black Mirror. Which is exactly why we’re watching it. We’re thrilled to see Fresh Meat star Gemma Chan in a central role and as a ‘synth’, we think she’s positively rocks it. As she told Marie Claire, ‘I’m naturally quite a fidgety person so I had a lot of homework to do, like ironing or folding washing ‘like a Synth,’ which is ultimately a machine,’ she explains. ‘They didn’t want any clichéd robotic head cocking or anything like that! The outtakes from the show will be hilarious; bumping into stuff and dropping things. I even fell down the stairs during one take.’
If you: need reality TV in your life
Watch: Celebrity Masterchef (Thursday, 9pm, Friday, 8.30pm, BBC1)
Can’t get enough of celebs making a fool of themselves but like, have standards (ie, Big Brother is NOT an option)? Get onto the latest series of Celebrity Masterchef, the comfort food of the telly world. Like the audition rounds of The X Factor, or the wobbly early weeks of the Bake Off, celebs cooking badly will never get old. Plus Chesney Hawkes gets involved. Which is always a delight.