BAFTA Television Awards, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Ten Pound Poms

Friday 19 May

Unreported World 
Channel 4, 7.30pm
In Tennessee, drag queens find themselves on the frontline of America’s culture war. The Republican state has recently introduced a de-facto “drag ban” law, which will prohibit drag shows in any public space where a child might see them. In tonight’s chewy Unreported World, the last in this series, reporter Minnie Stephenson travels to the Deep South to explore the deep divisions between conservative Christians and the wider LGBTQ+ community. 

The main trigger for Republicans are Drag Queen Story Hours, where drag performers read stories to children in libraries and coffee shops. According to Republican Congressman Tim Burchett, the shows involve “a grown man dressed up as a lady, rubbing his crotch in front of a prepubescent child”. Although that doesn’t quite match the reality that Stephenson finds: a children’s entertainer in costume, reading a story about broccoli and ice cream. Still, it is not uncommon for these events to be protested against, sometimes by militia with guns. The wider fear is that the drag ban is a gateway to a larger crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights. The drag queens she meets fear for their livelihoods, and their lives. SK

Amazon Freevee
Set in San Antonio, Texas, this sparky eight-part comedy follows 16-year-old Rafa (Ignacio Diaz-Silverio) as he navigates his chaotic Mexican family. It is based on the upbringing of creator Shea Serrano, who writes the family’s never-ending array of colourful uncles with pathos and wit.

Gardeners’ World
BBC Two, 8pm
Now that the risk of frost has passed, it is a good time to put tender plants in the ground. Hence why Monty Don is busy planting tropical gingers and sowing beans, and Rekha Mistry shares her secrets for growing aubergines. Journalist Rosie Kinchen also explains how horticulture helped her deal with postnatal depression.

Susan Calman’s Grand Day Out
Channel 5, 8pm
Comedian Susan Calman takes her campervan to the south coast this week. There are the usual travelogue shenanigans. She digs for fossils on the Jurassic Coast, drives a vintage tram and visits a chilli farm. But there is also the sweet moment when Calman, an Agatha Christie super-fan, is charmingly overwhelmed when she gets the chance to visit the author’s house in Dittisham. 

Hidden Treasures of the National Trust
BBC Two, 9pm
The second week takes us behind the scenes of Bateman’s in East Sussex, a beautiful 17th century house that once belonged to Rudyard Kipling. Elsewhere, another writers’ retreat: the Elizabethan Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, whose majestic gardens played host to Vita Sackville-West.

Black Ops
BBC One, 9.30pm
The third episode of the daft undercover cop comedy is its funniest yet. The incompetent duo, heavily in debt to a terrifying gang, need money. To cynical Dom (Gbemisola Ikumelo), the solution is obvious: siphon off the funds that naive Kay (Hammed Animashaun) has been raising for his church leader Pastor Tomi (Lucian Msamati), who’s “the first man to put the Gospel to Drill”. 

BBC One, from 11.25pm; NI, from 11.30pm
This tender Australian comedy-drama began as the story of an unplanned teenage pregnancy. The third series, however, jumps ahead a few years, with tonight’s brilliant double-bill following the tenacious Oly (Nathalie Morris) as she adapts to life as the youngest mother at her daughter’s school. It is as charming as it is raw. 

Maybe I Do (2023)
Amazon Prime Video  
Imagine nervously plucking up the courage to take your new love interest home to your respective parents, only to discover they already know each other… well. That’s the gist of this genial romcom, which stars Diane Keaton and Richard Gere, and William H Macy and Susan Sarandon as two respective long-term couples battling their own woes; their children (played by Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey), meanwhile, are off falling in love. Obviously, it doesn’t all go to plan.

Hereditary (2018) ★★★★
Film4, 9pm  
You’ll need nerves of steel for Ari Aster’s debut, one of the most harrowing occult thrillers in recent years. It’s not that gory, but it’s riddled with all of David Lynch’s icky bits. Toni Collette heads up a family who become haunted by a mysterious presence after the death of their matriarch, with whom daughter Charlie (Milly Shapiro) shared a special bond. Aster’s latest film Beau is Afraid, starring Joaquin Phoenix, is in cinemas now.

Halloween Ends (2022) ★★★
Sky Cinema Premiere, 10pm  
John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978) is generally fêted as ground zero for the “slasher” genre; this supposedly final instalment reunites Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode with crazed killer Michael Myers (James Jude Courtney). His entry is belated and a bit contrived, but there is no denying that the film clicks up a gear when he’s on screen – he is one of horror’s true stars and powers through the mediocrity one brutal swipe at a time.

The Proposal (2009) ★★★
ITV1, 10.45pm  
When high-flying book editor Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) finds out that she faces being deported to her native Canada, she pretends to be engaged to her useless assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds). But with his side of the bargain – she must fly to Alaska to meet his eccentric family – and a suspicious official knocking around, it soon becomes more difficult than imagined. And of course, the sparks begin to fly.

Television previewers

Chris Bennion (CB), Jack Taylor (JT), Veronica Lee (VL), Stephen Kelly (SK), Gerard O’Donovan (GO), Poppie Platt (PP) and Gabriel Tate (GT)

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