TV PICKS OF THE WEEK
It used to be easy to choose the programmes you wanted to see from the very limited range of channels available on TV. We could all cope with having up to four or five channels to choose from. But now, the picture has completely changed, with countless channels available as well as new video on demand services cropping up everywhere.
The trouble is, all this choice is bewildering many, and because the schedules across a multitude of channels are padded out with a huge amount of fluff – reality shows, home improvement programmes, live ghost encounter stories and the like, it is easy to miss some of the real gems that are out there.
Many now rely on the habit of channel hopping, which is a very unsatisfactory and dissatisfying means of finding something half decent to watch. Scrolling through the EPG gives better results, but this is boring and tiring.
So what is the answer? How do we start to improve our TV viewing? For me, the answer is to plan ahead and to record every programme that I would like to watch – even the 10 o’ clock news! In that way, you can be totally in control and your viewing experience improves substantially. Friends of mine cannot believe that I have over 700 hours of recordings on my three boxes, the content of which is of a high standard. That’s because the recordings mount up over time until you end up having to cull some of them that you have never got around to watching to make room for stuff that’s even better – continual quality improvement!
I am not a telly addict at all – I tend to watch only about two hours on most nights when I am in (but more on my late Friday and Saturday nights, when I stay up until about 3am!).
So, I had an idea. I compile a list of programmes for my daughters every week that may be of interest to them. From that, they select the programmes that they like the look of and record them. Guess what? They now have a much better choice than they had before. The key is not to watch them live, but to record or bookmark them. This avoids programme clashes and permits you to watch them in your own time, allowing you to follow your favourite series without missing an episode while carrying on with your social life, not worrying about getting home early for that serial you have been following and don’t want to miss.
So, I thought it might be an idea to share the love. From today, I will provide some listings of new* programmes and good films being shown for the first time on TV each week that I have picked out as being of popular interest to a discerning audience and which are of reasonably good quality (excluding sport). Simply pick the programmes you like the sound of from the list and set them to record, bookmark them or add them to your watch list.
This is the last week of the silly summer season, so this is the worst time in the year for TV - a good time to start! Hopefully, next week will see some better programming coming to our screens.
I have tried to cater for most tastes while maintaining a reasonable quality standard. It is basically a mix of dramas, films, nature programmes, documentaries and music. I am sure you will let me know if I haven’t included any relevant stuff!
I hope that some of you will find this useful, but any feedback would be useful in compiling future lists!
PS – The list will be geared primarily towards Virgin Media viewers, but I will also include Sky Atlantic programming to make it relevant to those with Sky, as well as those VM subscribers who have the Now TV entertainment pack.
PPS – There may be a reduced quality of programmes this autumn at least, due to the coronavirus emergency, which has caused a TV production hiatus.
• I may add programmes shown before in a limited number of cases (eg where a film previously shown on Sky Cinema is later shown on a non-premium channel or where it is otherwise of particular interest). For the benefit of those who have not watched much in UHD yet, and now want to, I have also listed 4K programmes that are being repeated at the start of a series and selected one-off programmes.