The week in UAE TV: July 26-August 1
The summer months are usually dead time for decent TV in the rest of the world, but with the vastness of the packages available to subscribers in the UAE, it's impossible not to stumble across something worth watching. In fact, we find it difficult to keep these lists as short as they are. From cricket to comedy, here are some of our highlights.
Series: Community (final episode)
When: Thursday 30, 20:30
The finale of the last season of a sitcom (first broadcast online via Yahoo!) that became a cult favourite, not least for bringing 80s comedy megastar Chevy Chase back to television. The fans issued a rallying cry of “six seasons and a movie”, and there may yet be a film to come, but this ties things up rather sweetly for a comedy that was, at its peak, one of the best things on TV, but has started to feel a little self-parodic of late. Here, at least, it goes out on a good note with its meta tongue firmly in cheek.
Channel: OSN First Comedy
Drama: David Copperfield (episode 1)
When: Tuesday 28, 21:55
The first of the two-part BBC adaptation of Charles Dicken's novel, originally shown 15 years ago and starring a young pre-Potter, Daniel Radcliffe as Copperfield the boy. It’s also one of the biggest collections of familiar British actors in one cast, from Ian McKellan and Maggie Smith to Paul Whitehouse and Nicholas Lyndhurst every scene is star-packed. So if your exposure to Dickens adaptations begins and ends with The Muppet’s Christmas Carrol then this is a good place to start.
Channel: BBC Entertainment
The match: England vs Australia, Third Test, Day One
We accept that this might be considered a niche taste, but cricket is a big deal for roughly 75 percent of the UAE and it doesn’t come too much bigger than England versus Australia. The five-match Ashes series is delicately poised at one Test apiece, although the momentum is well and truly with the Aussies after their demolition of England’s limp batting line-up at Lords. Much might depend on Jonny Bairstow, recalled after a string of huge scores for Yorkshire, solidifying the middle of the order.
When: Wednesday 28, 2pm
Channel: OSN Sports Cricket HD
Modern film: Blue Ruin
When: Wednesday 29, 22:45
Award-winning film that was funded via Kickstarter and made for just $420,000. Don’t let the scant budget put you off, it wowed audiences at the Cannes Film Festival and press screenings alike. Essentially a revenge story about a man returning to his rural Virginia hometown to settle scores it sits tonally with the likes of No Country For Old Men or Drive. Dark and violent with black humour, its director Jeremy Saulnier could well go on to be this decade’s Quentin Tarantino.
Channel: OSN Movies Festival
Classic Film: Singin’ In The Rain
When: Friday 31, 15:20
The famous titular song and dance routine makes up just four and a half minutes of this film but it’s one of the most life-affirming things ever committed to celluloid. Furthermore, Donald O'Connor's Make 'Em Laugh runs it a close second, but frankly the whole of this musical is light, fun and pretty much guaranteed to put you in a good mood. Never has a film been better suited to a Friday on the sofa with a big bowl of popcorn.
Channel: Turner Classic Movies