Appetite for Distraction

What to watch, listen to and play this week: James Nesbitt stars in a new detective show

Suspect, based on a Danish series, brings Detective Danny Frater face to face with his daughter’s alleged suicide, while How to Hire a Hitman meets some real-life characters with murderous intentions

James-Nesbitt stars among a strong cast in Suspect, Sunday night 9pm, Channel 4

Reviews and previews by Emmanuel Kehoe, Nadine O’Regan and Jennifer Gannon

TV Picks of the Week

Suspect, Tonight, 9pm, Channel 4

In the opening of this new series, Detective Danny Frater (James Nesbitt) is called to a mortuary where the body on the slab is that of his estranged daughter. The pathologist calls it a suicide, but Frater can’t accept that. A strong cast includes Richard E Grant, Anne-Marie Duff and Irish actor Niamh Algar. Based on the Danish series Forhøret, Suspect will be shown in two half-hour episodes a night over the next four nights. EK

Yinka Bokinni in How to Hire a Hitman, Monday, 10pm, Channel 4. Picture: Des Willie

How to Hire a Hitman, Monday, 10pm, Channel 4

In this two-part series, presenter Yinka Bokinni dives into the dark web to see if it’s possible to anonymously get a killer from a murder-for-hire site to kill someone you’d like out of the way. In this two part series, Bokinni, the North Peckham-raised daughter of an Irish mother and a Nigerian father tries to come to grips with why seemingly ordinary people want to be rid of friends, work colleagues, even their partners. EK

Baz Ashmawy with his mother Nancy in Glendalough: Baz and Nancy’s Last Orders, Monday, 9.35pm, RTE One

Baz and Nancy’s Last Orders, Monday, 9.35pm, RTE One

Baz Ashmawy, busy these days persuading Ulster Bank and KBC customers to sign up with Bank of Ireland, has had success with popular shows such as DIY SOS: The Big Build Ireland and the three seasons of 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy. Here he gets down to brass tacks with his Mammy about the subject of death. While Baz is wary of discussing the business of death with his mother, Nancy, a former nurse, has no such inhibitions about discussing life’s inevitable last journey. EK

Blocco 181, Tuesday, 10.05pm Sky Atlantic, Now

Blocco 181, Tuesday, 10.05pm Sky Atlantic, Now

Milan might be the fashion capital of Italy, but this eight-part series is set far from the glamorous houses of Versace, Prada and Armani. Set in the fictional Block 181, the series follows the story of residents Bea (Laura Osma), Ludo (Alessandro Piavani) and Mahdi (Andrea Dodero) who are all from very different backgrounds. A dangerous triangle forms that challenges their social identities, as they negotiate love, family, drugs and gang violence. Expect fireworks. EK


Chris Hemsworth as Abnesti in Spiderhead, Netflix

Spiderhead, Netflix

In this sci-fi satire, visionary Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth) runs a state-of-the-art penitentiary in which inmates wear a surgically attached device that administers doses of mind-altering drugs, the result being that prison bars aren’t required. But when two subjects, Jeff (Miles Teller) and Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett) form a bond, matters change, fast. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, the saga is based on George Saunders’ short story Escape from Spiderhead. NO’R

Nat Faxon, Ron Funches, Joel Kim Booster, Michaela Jaé Rodriguez and Maya Rudolph in Loot, Apple TV+ from Friday. Picture: Colleen Hayes

Loot, From Friday, Apple TV+

While the limp opening episode in this new comedy series from creators Alan Yang (Master of None) and Matt Hubbard (30 Rock) doesn’t inspire confidence – seeming more slow-moving than a collective of turtles – you have to hope that it will improve, and certainly the premise isn’t the worst: in this comedy, Molly (Maya Rudolph) is a billionaire who wants for nothing, except for meaning in her life. Hoping to redeem her empty existence, she begins trying to do some good, with mixed results. NO’R


Isa Medina and Amanda Montell, Sounds Like A Cult, podcast networks

Sounds Like A Cult, available on podcast networks

This weekly podcast from comedian Isa Medina and author Amanda Montell has become a kind of cult in itself, drawing in dedicated followers with a lively and incisive take on the obsessions that fill the ‘God hole’ in our lives. From those who think that Minimalist living is the way forward to the curious case of Disney-loving adults, foot fetishists, toxic ‘stans’ and Elon Musk bros, it’s a zingy look at those zeitgeisty distractions we hold dear and whose influence have perhaps infected our brains in a deeper way, especially during lockdown. With the rise of wellness scammers, the deification of celebrities and the ever-present megalomaniacal moguls, cults are embedded in culture and although we might not realise we subscribe to one, Sounds Like A Cult discusses how we are all willing disciples – even to our favourite podcasts. JG

Davina Devine and Victoria Secret, Petty Little Things, podcast networks

Petty Little Things, available on podcast networks

The podcast market may be flooded with shows created around ‘friends’ having freewheeling chats and a good ol’ gossip, encouraging the listener to form that ever important parasocial relationship, but no one does it quite like the howl-inducing Petty Little Things. A salacious, hilarious and surprisingly thoughtful trip through the lives of Irish Drag Queens Davina Devine and Victoria Secret. Together they discuss the small moments like their neighbours’ bin day behaviour, tragic Pride parties and being ‘caught rapid’, but also big issues around coming out, Irish LGBTQ+ history and trans rights. With guests including Derry Girls’ Nicola Coughlan, celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons and pop icon Samantha Mumba, it’s an uproarious and insightful look at modern Irish life served with a slice of side-eye. JG