There’s something about Autumn that makes TV programmes so watchable. Mr C & I don’t get an awful lot of time to sit and watch TV, so when we do we want the programmes to be REALLY good. It is very rare that we actually watch a programme when it is first shown so all my choices of Must See TV Programmes are available on catch up or through iPlayer/ITV Hub. Typically, the shows I like the best are not all on different nights either – I’ve tried to come up with one programme a day but if you fancy a binge fest, watch em all on one night!
Ambulance (BBC 1 Tuesdays)
This has got to be my programme of the moment. Real life Ambulance calls from the Midlands over the course of one shift. You see how the call is handled at the call centre right through to its conclusion when the casualty is dealt with by the crew. This is real compulsive viewing – You will sometimes feel angry at how the crew are treated by the patient or families. Or you will feel terror at the situations the call centre staff have to deal with over the phone.
There will be times, you will feel so sad about how some people live and why they have to call the emergency services. One thing is for sure though, you will be amazed at the angels that are our emergency services. These are truly incredible people. This is a programme that truly is Must See and will leave you pondering the rest of the week.
Stella (Sky 1 Wednesdays)
The 6th series started a couple of weeks ago and is just as good as ever. Set in a village in South Wales, this comedy follows the ups and downs of Stella’s life. Stella doesn’t have the most glamorous life, she is a Mum to 3 grown up children and 1 baby. She has ex-husbands, current husbands and dead husbands to content with. I’m not a fan of slapstick comedy so the dry wit of the writing in Stella (written and performed by Ruth Jones of Gavin & Stacey fame) is right up my street.
If you can spare the time, the early series are well worth catching up on – You may find yourself watching 3+ episodes a night though. Sadly some brilliant characters have left as we get onto the latest series (the scenes from the undertakers with Daddy are pure brilliance as are Dai & Paula with their role-play evenings)
Educating Greater Manchester (C4 Thursdays)
I completely loved one of the previous series, Educating Yorkshire and thought no future schools or Headteachers could even live up to it. I was wrong, though. Regular readers will know that we have just sent our middle daughter, Violet, off to high school so I was a little apprehensive about watching what can happen in Y7. The first episode followed a boy, Rani from Syria who had joined Harrop Fold, a high school in Salford, Greater Manchester. Like Violet, Rani did not know a soul at his new school. I was so glad I watched it though. If you want a show that is completely heart warming and shows adults & kids at their best, then watch this.
The second episode in the series was equally good too. This followed a Y11 girl who is 8 months pregnant whilst studying for her GCSE’s. Absolutely compulsive viewing – you will have to watch to find out about the girls. I defy you not to comment about the eyebrows though!
Doctor Foster (BBC 1 Tuesdays)
Series 2 finishes tomorrow (Tuesday) and I have absolutely no idea how it will end. Suranne Jones has been just as brilliant in this series as the first. Her ex-husband is a complete slime ball, who leaves you shouting at the TV. I remember from Series 1 that the last episode brought everything together with an amazing twist so I have high expectations for tomorrow’s episode.
The Great British Bake Off (C4 Tuesdays)
I’m as surprised as anyone that I’m including this. After last year, I really thought my GBBO days were numbered but there is something about this current series that has drawn me in. Like a lot of people, I watched the first episode half expecting not to enjoy it. I’ve never been the biggest Paul Hollywood fan but even I have to admit that he seems to have mellowed this series. I really rate Prue Leith and even Sandi Toksvig has grown on me. There are new themes this year too that have really got me intrigued – Caramel week was a sticky, sweet glorious success. And we all know now that those waffly biscuits that we buy once in a blue moon are called Stroopwafels. If you haven’t given the C4 version a go, then its worth devoting an hour to it.
Strictly Come Dancing (BBC 1 Saturdays, Results BBC 1 Sundays)
Yes, Tess Daly still drives me potty. Yes the professional dances are often duller than dishwater but still I’m hooked. I really like the new head judge, Arlene Philips lookalike, Shirley Ballas (At what point does she stop being ‘new’?) The standard of dancing seems higher than ever this year. There are so many celebrities that I’m already wanting to go right to the end.
Poor Brian Conley isn’t the most natural of dancers but even he isn’t down as the comedy effect this year. I don’t fall for all the guff about the professionals and celebrities wanting their particular partner and getting them as if by magic. Brendan will still try and fail to be a bad boy but there is enough talent and genuine good tv to keep this series fresh.
Saving Lives At Sea (BBC 2 Tuesdays)
This will have you on the edge of your seat. Mr C has always had a bit of a fascination with the RLNI & if we lived anywhere near the coast, he would sign up as a volunteer in a flash. His fascination has definitely been passed onto the rest of us too and so I often find any one of the 3 girls sucked in. Like Ambulance, these are real life rescues
Now I couldn’t write a TV programme blog post without giving a nod to the shows that haven’t quite grabbed me this autumn. We are taking a break from X Factor (even the youngest girls have lost interest) and Gogglebox (sadly even the funniest families seem to have lost their sparkle – although I will always love the friendship between Jenny & Lee). I’m even less inclined to catch up with First Dates this time around.
So have you got any recommendations for me? I’ve recorded Liar but couldn’t bring myself to watch The Child in Time. I’m just not tough enough.
Have you eagerly awaited the return of a programme you have loved, only to find it doesn’t quite grab you?
Share with me your thoughts on Autumn viewing. I’ll be back in a few weeks with more recommendations.