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The Remote: Normal People hype and was Italia '90 really that good? - it's your weekly TV Guide

We’ve got you covered for some shows to sink your teeth into this week.

IF YOU DON’T know the deal by now, with The Remote we’ll be trawling through the TV listings to bring you a range of recommendations each week.

We’ll focus mainly on free-to-air TV and freely available streaming services – with the occasional recommendation from subscription services too.

Something half the country will be watching…

Source: BBC Three/YouTube

You’ve probably heard a lot of talk about it already, but if you haven’t yet caught the first two episodes of new Irish drama Normal People they’re on again tonight. 

The show is made by Irish company Element Pictures for the BBC and US streaming site Hulu. The Beeb showed the first two episodes last night but RTÉ is following suit tonight. 

It’s based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Mayo author Sally Rooney and is about the relationship between two teenagers as they leave school and head for college.

We spoke to the makers of the programmes about what to expect, so here’s some more about the show to judge if it might be your thing.

When’s it on? Two episodes beginning at 10.15pm on RTÉ One tonight. (The whole series is on the BBC iPlayer if you’re north of the border and have access.)

Something to watch as a family…

Source: Movieclips/YouTube

We’ve seen warnings that the steamier scenes in Normal People may make for some awkward glances across the sitting room, but if you’re looking for some literal fun-for-all-the-family Little Fockers might be the ticket. 

The third in the trilogy after Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers sees Jessica Alba join the cast as a potential homewrecker.

The film was the least-well known of the three but still raked in $310 million at the box office, brining the trilogy to a combined $1.16 billion. 

When’s it on? Saturday at 10pm on TG4

Something to stream…

Netflix has gone all-in on true crime over the past few years and if you’re looking for another one Murder to Mercy: The Cyntoia Brown Story is released tomorrow (29 April).

The documentary looks at the story of teenager Cyntoia Brown, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2004 after killing a man who she said had paid $150 to have sex with her. 

She claimed she was the victim and she feared for her life. Her story became a touchstone for the unfairness of the US justice system and various celebrities had campaigned for her release. 

Source: Netflix/YouTube

But if it’s escapism you’re looking for, Netflix also has a new drama series beginning on Friday about Hollywood filmmakers in the post-WW2 period. It’s released on Friday (1 May).  

Something sporty…

Source: CuChoileain/YouTube

There’s been a lot of nostalgia of late about Jack Charlton’s exploits as Ireland manager and of Italia ’90 in particular, so if you’ve ever wanted to watch one of the games in full this is your chance. 

World Cup Gold begins on TG4 this week and will presented by goalkeeping legend Packie Bonner. The first match is Ireland’s 1-1 draw with England in Cagliari , with goalscorer Kevin Sheedy also on hand for analysis. 

Be advised though, while Italia ’90 may have been a cultural phenomenon back here in Ireland, the football itself was famously dour. 

Something newsy…

Scannal: Corrib. RTÉ’s Scannal series has been what you might call a sleeper hit for the national broadcaster as it has provided a look back at some of the country’s biggest controversies. 

Last week it returned with a look at the Bertie Bowl but this week it examines the Corrib Gas controversy, where Shell wanted to build an onshore gas terminal in western Mayo. 

When’s it on? RTÉ One tonight at 8pm and RTÉ2 tomorrow at 8.30pm

Something from the archives…

Bachelors Walk: The RTÉ series ran for three seasons beginning in 2001 and followed the lives of Raymond, Michael and Barry as they tried to fit in love and life around supping pints in various pubs. 

The programme was loved by critics and audiences at the time and looking at it now is like a window into post-millenium Dublin (there’s even smoking in pubs).

Some storylines have aged better than others but the dialogue between the characters is still gas and if you were a fan a the time you’ll feel some warm and fuzzy nostalgia. 

When’s it on? The entire three seasons are on the RTÉ Player and its being replayed episode-by-episode on Tuesdays on RTÉ2 at 10.10pm. 

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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