What’s available on-demand on Freeview? Keep up-to-date with our weekly catch-up TV column, including reviews of shows on ITV Hub, new releases on All 4 and a guide to My5.
(For BBC TV reviews and round-ups, see our weekly Best of BBC iPlayer column. Or for reviews of the shows on All 4’s Walter Presents, click here.)
Let’s Talk About Sex (All 4)
“What is that duck doing?” If you ever watched Gogglebox but wished it was more… adult, then this is the show for you. Led by Danny Dyer (the go-to man in a time of national need), the star-studded series sees a bunch of familiar faces talk about sex – and, specifically, sex education. Looking back at old educational materials that are now hilariously dated, it’s an amusing, amusingly frank series of conversations between parents and children, as they candidly explain things such as childbirth. It’s all spurred by the decision to make sex ed mandatory for secondary school kids from 2020, and while this is not suitable for young members of the family, there’s much to enjoy here, as Stephen Mangan and Ulrika Jonsson talk the myths of conception and Miriam Margolyes is wonderfully hysterically frank about how things change with age. Talking about these things is important and, while we wouldn’t recommend doing it on camera in front of the nation, this is a surprisingly positive, and highly entertaining, step towards removing the taboo that’s long surrounded intercourse in the UK.
Available until: 20h May 2019 (Episode 1)
Code Blue: Murder (ITV Hub)
This documentary series follows the police as they investigate a murder and lead a manhunt for the boyfriend of the victim, who has gone on the run. The result puts us in the thick of an unfolding case, with surprising access to the procedural work. There’s an underlying story of caution in relation to strangers and online dating, but what stays with you is how polite, considerate and sensitive the police officers are as they head from Cardiff to Bristol to determinedly find their suspect.
Available until: 4th May 2019 (Episode 1)
Timewasters: Season 2 (ITV Hub)
ITV2’s time-hopping sitcom has been airing its second season for a while, but it’s the kind of under-the-radar triumph that deserves more attention and more eyeballs. The series follows a south London jazz band who find themselves stuck in the past, after a trip to the 1920s through a urine-soaked lift in a car park. In Season 2, they’s transported to the 1950s, which gives the show a chance to lean into Back to the Future references with a little more of a knowing smirk – and find themselves facing everything from rock ‘n’ roll and television to the Windrush generation. The cast are superb, each one bringing a distinct, rounded quality to their characters, from Daniel Lawrence Taylor (Cockroaches, Uncle) as jazz loving Nick, Kadiff Kirwan (Chewing Gum, Crims) as the open-hearted Jason, hung up on the discovery that his beau from the 1920s now has a child, Adelayo Adedayo (Skins, Some Girls) as the savvy Lauren and Samson Kayo (Famalam, The Javone Prince Show) as Horace, who inadvertently introduces Ronnie Scott to garage music. Laugh-out-loud funny, subversive of every time travel trope you’ve ever seen (and the face that they’ve always been through the eyes of white characters), sharply written and charmingly performed, this is an ace series that’s worth investing time in.
Available until: June 2019 (Episode 1)
Hurricane Man (UKTV Play)
“I’ve always been obsessed,” says Josh Morgerman, a man who claims to have been on the ground in more hurricanes than any human in history. He doesn’t know why, he says, but the thrill of danger has been a major part of the appeal of disaster movies for decades, which similarly whisk us into catastrophic storms. Hurricane Man, Dave’s new series, is essentially Twister: The TV series, with each episode taking us into a new deadly tempest around the world, as Morgerman races in to document the devastation.
He says he’s there to discover if these natural disasters are getting worse, and there’s a vital importance in that documenting of our planet’s changing climate – undeniable, immediate evidence that the environment has been transformed for the worse by both human behaviour and equally human denial. And so we jump into Hurricane Michael, as its devastating course progresses over Panama City, with 155mph winds wreaking havoc on the city.
One crew embeds with local families caught in the hurricane, one is with emergency services as they help survivors and one films Josh in the violent core and calm of the eye the storm, and it’s that balance that makes Hurricane Man more than just one guy chasing storms – we see the fight for survival for Stephen Brookins’ family, and the aftermath of residents seeing 13,000 homes destroyed, cars crushed and trees knocked over. The result has adrenaline and loud, dramatic music to stoke up the disaster movie-influenced tension, but it’s the quiet fallout of the destruction that gives Hurricane Man an impact that’s more than just hot air. If you liked Twister, this is worth a whirl.
Available on UK TV Play
Unreported World: Season 6 (All 4)
Channel 4’s Unreported World continues to be one of best non-fiction programmes around, shining lights on stories that simply don’t make it to our everyday news headlines and diving into them in depth and detail – not bad going for 30 minutes of viewing time. The 2019 season kicks off in typically timely form, as we see the first-hand impact of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on the country’s LGBT community. An LGBT person is killed every six hours there, we learn, as Seyi Rhodes takes us into Carnaval in São Paulo, a cultural celebration and an opportunity for an outpouring of pride, at a time when the country’s new leader espouses homophobic rhetoric and same-sex couples raced to be married before Bolsonaro came to power at the start of 2019.
Available until: 5th May 2019 (Episode 1)