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WHAT TO WATCH 1-7 August

It's been three weeks since I last recommended some telly but as the schedules begin to pick up (albeit slowly), I've managed to find five shows to recommend. Looking further ahead, the autumn/winter is looking pretty good with a nice long list of TV shows confirmed (take a look here).

But for now, here are 5 shows you can’t miss this week...

1. EastEnders: Secrets from the Square

Monday 3rd August at 8pm on BBC One

It's coming up to seven weeks now since EastEnders was last on air, but with filming having now resumed and a start date of September almost certainly confirmed, BBC One haven't left us completely cold as on Tuesdays we're being treated to classic episodes of the soap.

But it's what Stacey Dooley has been doing every Monday night that has really kept me entertained. Through her personable style, she has been sat inside Walford East having a good ol' chinwag with a different pair of current EastEnders legends each week.

So far we've had Danny Dyer and Kellie Bright, Adam Woodyatt and Letitia Dean, Davood Ghadami and James Bye, Diane Parish and Tameka Empson, Max Bowden and Tony Clay and Adam Woodyatt again, this time with Gillian Taylforth.

This week it's the turn of Jake Wood and Scott Maslen to talk all things Max and Jack Branning as they spill the beans on their time on the Square and look back at the lives and many, many love interests of the Branning brothers. Whilst delving into the EastEnders archives, Scott tells the story of his cloak-and-dagger first meeting about joining the show, and Stacey shocks them both with a clip of Jake’s first appearance in Walford 30 years ago.


2. The Deceived

Monday 3rd - Thursday 6th August at 9pm on Channel 5

Channel 5 may not be the first play you turn to for original British drama but as they continue to push on in this area, their latestThe Deceived, a four-part psychological thriller from the writer of Derry Girls, Lisa McGee as well as Tobias Beer and starring Normal People's Paul Mescal, may just be their best yet.

Worlds apart from Derry Girls and indeed Normal People, The Deceived is a compelling, sinister narrative of lust, manipulation and betrayal. When English student Ophelia, played by Emily Reid, falls in love with Dr Michael Callaghan, her married lecturer played by Emmett J. Scanlan, she sees in him all the answers to her needs.

But when their affair is interrupted by a shocking and tragic death, Ophelia finds herself trapped in a world where she can no longer trust her own mind. Catherine Walker plays his wife Roisin, a successful, award-winning fiction writer and Paul Mescal plays local builder Sean McKeough who becomes Ophelia’s confidante.


3. Little Birds

Tuesday 4th August at 9pm and 10pm on Sky Atlantic

Sky Atlantic's new original drama Little Birds, is a visually stunning 1950s-set period drama inspired by Anaïs Nin’s collection of erotic short stories. Lead by Juno Temple, she plays troubled New York heiress Lucy Savage, who struggles with the expectations her family and the era have on young women.

We first meet Lucy as she prepares to leave the institution where she has been treated for psychological ailments, to relocate to Tangier, where she is to marry Lord Hugo Cavendish Smythe, played by Hugh Skinner. But when she arrives, she's disappointed in how her soon-to-be-husband receives her.

Although Hugo does his best to go along with what everyone is telling him is the right thing, he is involved in a passionate relationship with an Egyptian prince called Ahmed Abaza about which Lucy knows nothing. On their wedding night they encounter Cherifa Lamor, a provocative dominatrix played by Yumna Marwan, who introduces Lucy to the world of the Interzone, a place of personal secrets, sexual possibility and political strife.

With Morocco on the verge of claiming its independence, Lucy finds other ways to seek pleasure and be loved, spinning off into the surprising, diverse and degenerate world of Tangier in 1955, discovering a world in flux.

1-2/6 All episodes available

4. Semi-Detached

Thursday 6th August at 10.05pm on BBC Two

Following a successful pilot last year, which was recently repeated, Semi-Detached - the comedy which plays out in real time - is returning to BBC Two for a full series as is Lee Mack as perennial loser, Stuart. And each week we'll watch him struggle through the worst half-hour of his life.

All Stuart really wants is a quiet life as a wedding DJ, but his family seem to have other ideas. On top of barely coping with a newborn baby and a much younger partner called April, played by Ellie White, he also has to look out for his jailbird brother Charlie played by Neil Fitzmaurice and his promiscuous, drug-taking Dad Willie played by Clive Russell.

Not forgetting ex-wife Kate, played by Samantha Spiro, who lives across the cul-de-sac with their teenage daughter Madonna played by Sarah Hoare and Kate's husband Ted, played by Patrick Baladi.

In the first episode, Stuart is faced with a make-or-break date and he has to contend with disruptions from his inappropriate dad, extortionist brother and an almighty argument erupting next door.


5. Selling Sunset

Friday 7th August on Netflix

The term "guilty pleasure" was invented for shows like Selling Sunset, the reality series which follows LA's most successful female realtors as they invite us into some of the most luxe properties for sale in LA. And whilst season two only launched towards the end of May, there are literally days left to wait until season three.

Each season follows the brokers working under the same roof at the number one agency in the Hollywood Hills and the Sunset Strip, The Oppenheim Group. And this season, as a major sale closes, the agents consider career moves and one broker faces a very public breakup and they have never been more divided.

They work hard and play harder, as they compete with the cutthroat LA market and each other. These ladies will do what it takes to make it to the top of their game, all while trying to keep their personal lives intact, but trying to find out everything they can about the personal lives of others. With Christine Quinn getting married and Chrishell getting divorced, expect feuds, betrayal and a large dose of drama. All set against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful properties in the world.

1-8/8 All episodes available


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