The only people who enjoy school are sociopaths. Then again, people who didn't enjoy school are quite likely to be sociopaths, too (Zero Hour: Massacre At Columbine High School, Mon 11pm Five). Even teachers hate school - well, wouldn't you? In such an environment of hate, hormones and whooping cough, it's amazing anyone makes it out alive, and even more amazing that, for some people, love manages to blossom in such sere and toxic surroundings. In the case of Sleeping With Teacher (Mon 11pm C4), the miraculous - and somewhat icky - relationships are those between tutor and tutee. Given that at TV Troll's school, all the teachers were at least as aesthetically unpleasing as the world's ugliest dog (WARNING: link contains picture of the world's ugliest dog, and you'd better believe it really is the ugliest dog in the world), and the rest of TV Troll's fellow students were even worse, and smelled of salt and vinegar crisps to boot, such relationships never came out into the open. Well, there was that chemistry teacher who everyone knew shagged sixth formers, but he didn't actually shag sixth formers ... did he? Ugh. In any case, as with doctor-patient affairs, there's something troubling about the implicit abuse of power, position and authority.
Speaking of power, position and authority, we still can't believe that Simon threw the drippy Conways off X Factor (Sat 8pm ITV1 - hooray, it won't clash with SCD [Sat 6.25pm BBC1] this week!). Now his last, best hope to win the show are two brothers from the Midlands somewhere, one of whom bears a positively frightening resemblance to Luke Goss, aka 'him out of Blade 2. Over on Strictly, it was sweet but clod-footed Bill who performed his last dance. TV Troll is facing a dilemma: we really like Zoe, and of course Colin is a darling, but it's Darren who is leaving us open-mouthed with admiration. OK, so Zoe is better technically, but for a strapping Yorkshire son o' the land, Darren is incredibly nimble. Maybe cricket confers transferable skills other than the ability to withstand very looooong periods of utter boredom after all - who knew? So, a Darren-Zoe-Colin
threeway final would be absolutely lovely - voting public, get to it!
Title of the week? Death By Sex (Thur 11.20pm C4). It's mostly about auto-erotic asphyxiation - Fox Mulder's peccadillo of choice - but here's hoping they find time to fit this magnificent ought-to-win-a-Darwin Award animal lover. Runner-up for title of the week is Naked Celebrity, which, disappointingly, isn't about starkers poseurs. Instead, some body-language expert (the one who writes for Heat, maybe?) analyses some stars' inadvertant signs that all is not well in La-La Land (or that they're just a bit hungover and want to be left alone). We bet madonna never gets hungover these days - she's too busy cartwheeling around in a leotard and depressing women everywhere with her refusal to give in to wrinkles, BHS cardies and visiting stately homes on the weekend. In I'm Going To Tell You A Secret (Thur 9pm C4), we get an In Bed With Madonna-style tour diary. If she fraps onstage this time, too, we'll be happy.
A couple of US oddities: freaks aplenty in Wife Swap USA (Tue 9pm C4), and is it actually true that Everybody Loves Raymond (Fri 8pm C4)? It can't be, as Raymond has the most happy-slappable face we've ever seen. Even more depressing than Born In The USSR: 21 Up (Tue 11pm ITV1), a look at the unleavened misery that is growing up in Russia.
We love the Grumpy Old Women (Tue 10pm BBC2) - we'll even get over our antipathy towards Christmas to watch their ruminations on chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and howanyone over the age of 7 who enjoys the soulless tack-fest that is the shop-worn and plasticky gimmick-fest apex of the year ought to be burned on a big bloody open fire with chestnuts stuffed up their arse. Grumpy Old Woman, us? Bah, humbug. In fact, the only thing that's angered this Londonista more than the acres of petro-chemical garbage as far as the eye can see is the horrific prospect of the MasterCard Priceless Evening (Fri 11.40pm C4), featuring Blunt, Texas, KT Tunstall (have to be careful typing that one), The Corrs, and Athlete, at the Café de Paris. Anyone with access to high explosives fancy doing the world of music a massive favour and taking one for the team? The name of this celebration of 'music' is enough to turn the stomach - they're taking full advantage of the new Ofcom rules on sponsorship, then. In fact, the "Priceless" tag just makes us think of crappy forwards (you must have received the one we're thinking of at least 20 times by now) and bad jokes; now we can add egregious music to the list, too.
After such a depressing viewing schedule, we need something a bit more light-hearted, something amusing - How To Be A Tory Leader (Sat 7.20pm BBC1) will fit the bill perfectly, as everyone knows the Tories are a great joke. What else? Britain's Psychic Challenge (Sun 8pm Five) should be worth a look, too, especially if the programme-makers want us to take it seriously. For the greatest joke of all, Robert Winston - ornery sod - tells The Story Of God (Sun 7pm BBC1). Ha bloody ha. The week's real treat (apart froma cracking episode of Lost - come back, all ye doubters!) looks set to be Big Red Bus (Thur 7pm BBC1), about buses. London buses, to be precise. Goodness knows Londonist loves buses, as any good Londoner should. Happy travels in the perilous land of TV, fellow viewers ...