You know how we roll here. If it’s a Monday, we like to furnish you with a few ideas about what to watch on the box. That’s been quite difficult over the last few weeks, but now that the football’s finished broadcasters may even care to schedule some new dramas to get you through the summer months.
I think it’s fair to say that nobody quite expected last year’s oddball Channel Four drama Utopia to pick up the audience it did. The story of a group of people who become involved with an unpublished graphic novel which apparently foresees future events was quite the event, with its lurid yellow posters and absolute refusal to be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered.
The second series, once again written by Dennis Kelly, starts tonight at 10pm – with an episode set in 1974 – and continues tomorrow night at the same time.
Also returning for a second series on Sky Atlantic tomorrow night at 10pm is Ray Donovan. It’s the age old story of a celebrity fixer – a glowering Bostonian enforcer – who goes to all sorts of lengths to make the scandals of the rich and famous in Hollywood disappear, but who is dogged by his own shitstorm of problems – including a vengeful father, the FBI in pursuit and a hugely dysfunctional family.
It’s a series which takes it crime tropes very seriously, but even if its plotlines seemed overly familiar, the first season was diverting enough.
Anyway, Liev Shreiber is the titular Ray – we like him, I think – and the first set of episodes gave erstwhile employment to magnificent old beasts like Elliott Gould, James Woods and Jon Voight.