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The Week in UAE TV: August 9-15

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This week our screens are packed with household names, from Billy Crystal in the light-hearted mockumentary, The Comedians, to Michael Caine and Steve Martin in the classic heist movie, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It may be heavily weighed on the male side (these picks have very few female characters), but with classics like this, we’re sure you wont mind.

Series: The Last Man on Earth (season 1, episode 1)
When: Sunday 9th
A deadly virus seemingly kills all bar one man on the planet – a lazy slob who spends months drinking and doing very little. As he’s about to kill himself from loneliness he encounters a woman, who turns out to be shrill and annoying. These scenarios usually lend themselves to sci-fi or horror but the writers have made this comedy work despite the obvious size limitations of the cast. While there’s a touch of Lister and Rimmer from Red Dwarf about the personalities, this is well observed and a surprisingly quirky show for a Fox Channel comedy.
Channel: OSN First Comedy

Series: The Comedians (season 1, episode 1)
When: Sunday 9th
Billy Crystal and Josh Gad play exaggerated versions of themselves in a behind-the-scenes mockumentary of fiction sketch series The Billy & Josh Show. While the format is not original – The Larry Sanders Show still sets the high-mark – the writing here is sharp and both leads play exceptionally well off each other. Essentially a culture clash between old-school and modern comedians, it’s lovely to see an old master like Crystal send himself up in this way.
Channel: OSN First Comedy

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Classic film: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
When: Monday 10th, 20:10
Originally written for Mick Jagger and David Bowie, the lead roles thankfully went to Michael Caine and Steve Martin. This comedy about conmen trying to scam an American heiress out of $50,000 is one of the decade’s great comedies. From the south of France setting to the cross and double-cross, this screwball romp doesn’t have a dull scene in it. Sadly one of Martin’s last decent films, it is also arguably his finest performance alongside the wonderfully caddish Caine.
Channel: AMC

Modern film: Odd Thomas
When: Tuesday 11th, 02:15
Set the DVR to record this one, it’s a real underrated gem. Based on the series of novels by Dean Koontz, a young teen (the excellent Anton Yelchin) is a short-order cook with clairvoyant abilities. He starts to notice and increased presence of evil in his small town and sets out to fight it. Despite the description, it’s by no means a horror – more a cross between The Sixth Sense and The Frighteners – and far more moving and emotionally involved than this type of caper usually is.
Channel: OSN Movies

Series: Mad Dogs (season 3 episode 1)
When: Friday 14th, 21:45
A superior drama about four lifelong friends (solidly played by John Simm, Philip Glenister, Marc Warren and Max Beesley) who become accidentally involved in crime and corruption. Even if you haven’t seen the first two seasons — it was on every Virgin Atlantic flight for years — it’s easy to pick up and there are only four parts to this run. It’s a little bit “oi geezer” at times but the central foursome are solid actors and the story holds interest.
Channel: BBC Entertainment

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