Rejoice! If you have a digibox, at least - if you don't, then go and get yourself one. For Lemmy's sake, they're only thirty quid or so from the supermarket. And, once you have one, you can watch More4, the new Channel 4, uh, channel, which launches tonight at 8pm. A new freeview digital channel, you say? Isn't there one of those launched every day? Ah, but More4 is going to screen The Daily Show (daily 8.30pm More4), Jon Stewart (pictured)'s scathing, scabrous political sketch comedy-comment hybrid. We've heard only good things about The Daily Show from our American friends, so we are squirming with excitement/anticipation like Rove deserves to squirm in front of the Supreme Court.
More4 will also be showing such TV-tastic masterpieces as The Sopranos (Mon 11.35pm More4) - surely the best programme of the last decade (we're deadly serious). Watch right from the very start the show that rings so true, real-life mobsters have been taped by the FBI saying how accurately it reflects their experiences.
If we're starting to sound like More4 cheerleaders, then, well, tough - we haven't finished lauding it yet. A Very Social Secretary (Mon 9pm More4) sounds like snide, blackly humorous fun at the expense of everyone involved in the sordid Quinn/Spectator/Nannygate affair (here's a link for anyone who's been living under a rock for the past year or so, and a link to the latest Blunkett scandal - we're anticipating the AVSS follow-up already - An Even More Social Secretary? The Social Secretary Utterly Incapable Of Learning From His Past Mistakes? A Guide Dog's Dinner Of An Affair?). AVSS is bound to be sharper than More4's other big premiere, the sixth series of West Wing (Fri 9pm More4). We've never 'got' the West Wing - it's smug, po-faced, smug, self-important, smug wish-fulfilment, and seems utterly divorced from relevance in a world of Bush, Blair, DeLay, Katrina, Osama and so on. Give us Commander In Chief (when it finally makes its way to these shores) instead any day.
Much as we loathe President Smugface Bartlett, however, we can't help but wish he had been in charge of the Katrina relief effort; watch how his real-life counterpart dealt with the disaster (with 'help' from every level of government, from the state to the federal) in The Hurricane That Shook America (Wed 9pm BBC2). Then, cheer yourself up by watching Lost (Wed 10pm C4) immediately afterwards - who is Ethan Rom? Thanks to a handy solver, we've discovered his name is an anagram of "Other Man", "More Than", or, in an offbeat tribute to Last Of The Summer Wine, "Them Nora" - or perhaps he's a Radiohead fan who just wants to get "Near Thom". Whatever, he's clearly a bit of a nutter, and has managed to take Charlie and Claire prisoner. Cripes!
If your digibox is broken, hey, at least you get to watch Hidden Lives: Super Size She (Mon 9pm Five), about the fascinating/disturbing world of female bodybuilding. There can't be a single Londoner who has failed to see the enormous Tube posters, newspaper ads and billboards Five has rolled out to support the Hidden Lives series, and the way in which they mess with our gender expectations. Joanna, the programme's subject, has bucked society's "you can never be too thin" pressure to transform herself into almost pure muscle; like a Sainsbury's Be Good To Yourself cereal bar, she's 97% fat-free. It's odd how subversive and challenging the idea of a muscle-bound woman is in our supposedly gender-equal times; tune in to see her side of the story (and a hell of a lot of dodgy lycra outfits, too).
There are more programmes about London during WWII on this week (People's War: London Calling, Tue 7pm BBC2; City At War, Thur 7.30pm ITV1); anyone would think there had been a major anniversary or something recently. Err ...
After such an emotional rollercoaster of a week, chill out of Friday Night With Jonathan Ross (Fri 10.35pm BBC1) - Katie and Peter Andre are his guests - after the season finale of Scrubs (Fri 8pm C4), when Carla and Turk finally tie the knot (without sting ray boots or fifty million Swarovski crystals, we're willing to bet). Oh yes, the wonderful Jimi Mistry guest stars in Spooks (Thur 9pm BBC1) - it's yet more terrorists this week. Then on Saturday it's the first studio concert for the X Factor (Sat 6pm/8.35pm ITV1), and one act will be sent packing by the judges. Who needs a social life, anyway?
One final note: all you
rich lucky sods out there with access to satellite/cable are to be treated to the third series of Kath And Kim (Wed 10.30pm LIVINGtv). Please, BBC, if you're reading this (ha!), hurry up and get series two on our screens ASAP - we need a new fix!