Grab the remote! Two unmissable TV shows tonight
Tonight, I will be downing tools, turning off my phone, and commandeering the sofa, remote and wine from 9pm – 11pm as not one, but two, fantastic TV shows arrive on the small screen.
First up, at 9pm on BBC1 is The Replacement, a three-part thriller.
I was lucky enough to go to a preview screening of the first episode and, believe me, it is edge-of-your seat stuff. It stars two of the best young British actresses around: Morven Christie (fantastic as the feisty mother of an autistic boy in The A Word) and Vicky McClure (This Is England, Line Of Duty, Broadchurch).
Ellen (Christie) is a high-flying architect in Glasgow who unexpectedly falls pregnant in the middle of a huge project. She recruits the efficient, smiley Paula (McClure) to be her maternity cover and all is fine at first… until Ellen starts to doubt Paula’s motives. Is she being all hormonal and paranoid or is Paula up to something fishy? This taut, sleek Glasgow-set drama will resonate with any woman who’s navigated that unsettling, identity-morphing period when you put your beloved job in someone else’s hands for safe-keeping, so you can get to grips with motherhood. It’s dark, heavy and compelling and I absolutely loved it.
Then at 10pm, raucous relationship sitcom Catastrophe returns to Channel 4 for a third series. Please tell me you’ve watched the previous two seasons? (If not, you can binge on the lot here – QUICK!)
Rob (bear-like US comedian Rob Delaney) and Sharon (hotshot Irish comedy writer/actress Sharon Horgan) play the sort-of-happy-ish couple, who stumble, argue and wisecrack their way through modern marriage, parenthood and life in general. It’s hilarious, rude and sweary, with some of their ‘banter’ horribly close to the line. In an age of glossy, Instagram-filtered lifestyle perfection, it’s a refreshingly honest take on both the realities of a long-term relationship and looking after small children.
Series 2 ended on a cliff-hanger when Rob discovered Sharon had cheated on him by finding a receipt for a morning after pill. What next for their already-turbulent marriage? What we do know is that this series will see his career floundering while hers flourishes (awkward), and the final episode marks the return of Rob’s acerbic mother, played by the late Carrie Fisher. The last thing Fisher ever filmed before her sudden death at Christmas, it’s gonna be emotional, and no doubt disgustingly funny too).
So, slippers on. You’re not going anywhere tonight.
The Replacement is on 28 February at 9pm on BBC1; Catastrophe is on at 10pm on Channel 4.