The Week in UAE TV: July 5-11
The streaming generation might be averse to the regular TV but one of the beauties of cable is the sheer amount of surprises on there. Sometimes it’s not about what you want to watch but what you don’t think you do… that’s why surfing through the channels is still a great way to find great TV. Like this lot.
Documentary: How Superman Defeated the KKK
When: Sunday, July 5, 19:20
Post WWII, the Superman radio series was hugely popular in America. Unfortunately, so were the Klu Klux Klan. This brilliant one-hour documentary tells the story of how activist Stetson Kennedy went undercover in the Klan, then persuaded the makers of the radio series to let him write episodes in which Superman fought the KKK and exposed their secrets. Superman needed a new enemy now the Nazis were defeated and so the Klan were ridiculed weekly on national radio. Membership plummeted as a result.
Channel: Discovery World
Classic film: 633 Squadron
When: Wednesday, July 8, 13:40
The theme tune is one of the all-time greats, but this WWII tale of an RAF bombing raid is also a stirring and hugely influential as a piece of cinema. George Lucas hugely based the briefing and final attack in this film for the Death Star raid in Star Wars to the point where you can overlay the audio from Star Wars onto this film and it fits. 633 Squadron, however, is based on actual missions and despite the film’s age it holds up perfectly today.
PS: Some clever spark dubbed the Star Wars audio over 633 Squadron... and it's uncanny!
Classic Series: Prison Break (season 1, Episode 1)
When: Friday, July 10, 17:00
This series has been passed around on DVD box sets in Dubai for almost a decade now, but if you still haven’t seen it (or fancy a re-watch) here’s a chance to start from the beginning as genius Michael Schofield gets intentionally sent to prison so he can help his death-row brother to escape. And while it gets daft in later series, the 22 episodes that make up the first prison-bound season are among the most addictive popcorn-viewing you’re ever likely to see. And ladies, the lead star is prime eye candy.
Channel: OSN First More
Modern Film: Robot & Frank
When: Friday, July 10, 18:00
A retired jewel thief (Frank Langella) is bought a home-help robot buy his son, and soon realises that he can train it to help with one last robbery. Weirdly charming and gentle story that’s as much about our perception of old age as it is a slow-burning heist caper. And being made for just $2.5 million, it’s proof that a good story is always more important than big budget.
Channel: OSN Movies Drama
The Series: The Astronaut Wives Club (Season 1, episode 1)
When: Friday, July 10, 20:00
Set in the 1960s, this new drama follows the wives of the Mercury Seven astronauts at the height of the space race. Based on Lily Koppel’s book it’s a short-run summer series with 10 episodes and from the two episodes we’ve seen (it’s just started in the US) it’s a great period piece that’s more about gender politics of the era than space rockets. Ideal if you’re missing Mad Men.
Channel: OSN First