Appetite for Distraction

What to watch, listen to and play this week: More summer shenanigans as Love Island returns

Laura Whitmore introduces a new crew of love hopefuls, while RTÉ takes a nostalgic look back at Irish rock in the 1970s

Outrageously buffed singletons from Britain and Ireland in their quest for romance: Love Island, Monday, 9pm, Virgin Media One. Picture: ITV


Love Island, Monday, 9pm, Virgin Media One

Whether you approach Love Island with dislike or delight, there’s no doubt that it’s become a staple of the Irish televisual summer calendar. This season around, Irish presenter Laura Whitmore is back at the helm, popping into the Love Island villa from time to time to help guide outrageously buffed singletons from Britain and Ireland in their quest for love. If they pair up successfully, they’re in with a chance of netting themselves a £50,000 prize in the final, not to mention potentially millions in endorsement deals. Ian Stirling returns as the witty and acerbic narrator, ready to put a likeable spin on even the most ridiculous of scenes. Quality viewing? Perhaps not. But that doesn’t mean you won’t watch it. NO’R

Horslips on stage in 1973. How Ireland Rocked the 70s, Monday, 6.30pm, RTÉ One Picture: Michael Putland/Getty

How Ireland Rocked the 70s, Monday, 6.30pm, RTÉ One

First screened late last year, How Ireland Rocked the 70s examines the evolution of the festival circuit in Ireland, featuring rare archival footage and extensive interviews with some of Ireland’s best known figures in music, including Barry Devlin (Horslips), Christy Moore, Moya Brennan, Donal Lunny, Mike Hanrahan and Mungo Jerry. While it would have been welcome to have had more female contributors in the line-up, the portrait that emerges is nonetheless a fascinating one, showing the evolution of a music scene that would create some world-beating artists. NO’R

Everything I Know About Love, Tuesday, 11.10pm, BBC One. Picture: Matt Squire

Everything I Know About Love, Tuesday, 11.10pm, BBC One

This new series takes the work of Sunday Times advice columnist Dolly Alderton and spins it into a show about relationships, with a side-order of comedy. In the opener, childhood best friends Maggie and Birdy move in together into a London house which they are sharing with some people from university. It’s not long before drama ensues. Bel Powley, Emma Appleton, Aliyah Odoffin and Marli Su co-star. NO’R

Baltimore is rocked by the Freddie Gray protests. We Own this City, Tuesday, 9pm, Sky Atlantic. Picture: HBO

We Own This City, Tuesday, 9pm, Sky Atlantic

This new crime series has an excellent pedigree, coming from the pens of David Simon (The Wire) and George Pelecanos (The Deuce). Based on the book by Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton, We Own this City is a six-hour series chronicling the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force. The cast includes Josh Charles (The Good Wife), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) and Jamie Hector (Tee Wire). NO’R

Headmaster Kevin McArevey: deploys the wisdom of Greek philosophers to encourage pupils to confront prejudice and the legacy of sectarianism. Young Plato, Thursday, 10.15pm, RTE One

Young Plato, Thursday, 10.15pm, RTÉ One

This observational documentary follows the work of headmaster Kevin McArevey of the Holy Cross Boys School in the Ardoyne area in Belfast. Convinced that critical thinking can lead primary schoolchildren to see beyond traditional boundaries in their own lives, he deploys the wisdom of Greek philosophers to encourage pupils to confront prejudice and the legacy of sectarianism. Directors Neasa Ní Chianáin and Declan McGrath chronicle the work of McArevey and his teachers. “Violence breeds violence,” he tells the boys, as they watch historical videos of civil unrest and bloodshed. “But you have the power to stop it.” EK


Kaley Cuoco in The Fight Attendant, Season two, Sky, Now TV. Picture: HBO

The Flight Attendant, Sky, Now TV

The first season of The Flight Attendant was utterly gripping – and this new season is almost as good, returning us to the world of flight attendant Cassie Bowden, who is attempting to live a newly sober life in Los Angeles while also moonlighting as a CIA asset. Bowden, wonderfully played by Kaley Cuoco, is an anxiety-ridden mess, desperate to get back to the bottle, and terrified by a fleet of new enemies that she has brought down on herself. While the tone of the series is often comic, and it’s all extremely fast-paced, there’s a dark heart buried in the narrative: Cuoco’s portrayal of alcoholism is pitch-perfect and moving. NO’R

The Midwich Cuckoos, Sky Atlantic, Now TV. Picture: David Appleby

The Midwich Cuckoos, Sky Atlantic, Now TV

This is the latest version of the 1957 science fiction novel by John Wyndham which has been twice brought to television under its own name and to cinema twice as Village of the Damned in 1960 and 1995. The village of Midwich is at the receiving end of a mysterious alien visitation, after which all women of child-bearing age are found to be pregnant. The children, when born, have strange silver skin, blonde hair and orange eyes and grow faster than normal. In this adaptation, Keeley Hawes’s character is gender-swapped with the novel’s pivotal character Gordon Zellaby, to become child psychotherapist Dr Susannah Zellaby, whose daughter is one of those who becomes pregnant. EK

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Disney+

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, Disney+

Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi was played by Alec Guinness in the first Star Wars film and later, as a younger man, by Ewan McGregor in Revenge of the Sith. This new venture is a neat six-episode back story with McGregor again giving a solid performance as Obi-Wan, hiding out on planet Tatooine and being hunted by Imperial inquisitors bent on exterminating all Jedi. In this story Princess Leia (Vivien Lyra Blair) is a child kidnapped on the instructions of inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram) whose penchant for brutality shocks even her fellow inquisitors. Two episodes are available at the time of writing, with Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan, a little rusty in The Force department, having been in hiding for years. However, he exhumes his sabre from its cache in the desert and sets out to free Leia. EK


The 2 Johnnies Podcast, Spotify

Ep 222: the GAA Catfish: The 2 Johnnies Podcast, Exclusively on Spotify

If you haven’t heard this podcast episode from Irish duo the 2 Johnnies, you’re in for a treat – in this episode, the 2 Johnnies sit down to tell the gloriously unhinged story of host Johnny B’s experience of being catfished by a woman on Instagram who called herself Cora O’Donovan. By turns surreal and hilarious, the podcast is extremely well produced and a feat of good storytelling. Listen to the episode from the point where the tale begins, at about 22 minutes into the programme. NO’R


Loot River, PC and XSX/S

Loot River, PC and XSX/S

Loot River is a title that has been impressing many gamers as of late. It is an inventive and deeply satisfying roguelite, tinged with Dark Souls difficulty. Players must navigate their way through a series of dungeons: sound familiar, right? But in Loot River, each dungeon is made of floating, interaction tiles that the player must utilise while hacking and slashing their way through a bevy of nasty foes. Simply mashing buttons, hoping to brute force your way through each level won’t achieve much here – only a mind-numbing amount of frustration – instead, players must consider their next move, otherwise it’s game over. JMB