Appetite for Distraction

What to watch, listen to and play this week: True crime series probes mystery killings in the Alps

Speculation is still rife over the shooting of a British family holidaying near Annecy ten years ago

New three-part series shown on consecutive nights looks at the strange case of the British family murdered in the French Alps near Annecy. Murder in the Alps, Sunday, 9pm, Channel 4

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

TV picks of the week

Murder in the Alps

Sunday June 26, 9pm, Channel 4

Cashing in on the proven appetite for true crime stories, this new three-part series shown on consecutive nights looks at the strange case of the British family murdered in the French Alps near Annecy in September 2012. Was a hit squad involved in the killing of Saad al Hilli, an Iraqi-born engineer, his wife Iqbal and his 74-year-old mother-in-law Suhaila al-Allaf? A French cyclist, Sylvain Mollier, unlucky to have arrived on the scene, was also shot to death in the attack. Saad al Hilli's brother Zaid was arrested on suspicion of murder in 2013 but was released without charge, as was a local man, arrested last January. Speculation that it was a professional hit (the reason for which remains equally speculative) hasn’t gone away. EK

Bog Amach

Monday June 27, 8pm, RTE One

Tesssa Fleming hosts this new series, another lightly camouflaged RTE property show, about city dwellers who want to move to the country. Superficially not dissimilar to Maggie Molloy’s Cheap Irish Homes, this series has properties ranging from doer-uppers to perfectly habitable, furnished homes. In this, the first of six episodes, Will and Don are shown three houses in Connemara to see if the west is really where they want to nest. EK

Luke Hornsby in Aids: The Unheard Tapes, Monday, 11.15pm, BBC Two. Picture: BBC/Wall to Wall Media

Aids: The Unheard Tapes

Monday June 27, 11.15pm, BBC Two

This new three-part documentary series lends voices to those who were at the heart of HIV/Aids in Britain during the 1980s, with young actors speaking their recorded testimonies. The first episode features the testimonies of four young men hearing rumours that a mysterious disease had crossed from New York to London. EK

Jane Seymour in Harry Wild, Wednesday, 9.35pm, RTE One. Picture: Bernard Walsh

Harry Wild

Wednesday June 29, 9.35pm, RTE One

Jane Seymour plays retired professor Harriet ‘Harry’ Wild, whose literary knowledge helps her solve crimes. Having been mugged, she moves in with her son Charlie (Kevin Ryan) a Garda detective who is puzzling away at an unsolved murder which has similarities to an obscure play. With a cast including Amy Huberman and Stuart Graham, the show was created and written by David Logan with author Jo Spain. EK

The Main Stage

Friday July 1, 9.30pm, RTE One

Singer and recent Business Post Magazine cover star Erica Cody co-hosts this music show alongside Danny O’Reilly of The Coronas. Each week expect live performances from artists in a variety of genres. NO’R

Streaming picks of the week

Snowflake Mountain, Netflix. Picture: Pete Dadds

Snowflake Mountain


This somewhat anachronistically titled reality show takes a bunch of cosseted young adults and puts them through their paces at a wilderness survival retreat. At stake is a transformative cash prize for the winner. NO’R

Man vs Bee


A new Netflix comedy series in which actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson plays Trevor, a bumbling dad who lands a new job as a housesitter in a luxurious mansion. Matters get complicated, fast, when a bee lands on the scene, leading to problems of an absurd nature for Trevor. NO’R

Stranger Things, Neflix, from Friday

Stranger Things

From Friday July 1, Netflix

Hallelujah: after what feels like a very long wait, the final two episodes of season four of Stranger Things drops on July 1. The fourth season of Stranger Things has been a bumpy but brilliant ride for fans of the series, with Eleven having lost her powers, and certain members of the once closely knit group of friends in Hawkins having fallen out with each other. Plus there’s the not inconsiderable matter of monsters from the Upside Down returning. Sci-fi at its best. NO’R

Love Island’s ‘disposable celebrities’. Unreal : A Critical History of Reality TV, podcast networks

Podcast pick of the week

Unreal : A Critical History of Reality TV

Available on podcast networks

In this ten-part series, journalists Pandora Sykes and Sirin Kale tackle the cultural behemoth that is reality television. They cast a critical eye over the most vilified genre of entertainment of the past thirty years, examining the quaintness of the early days of Big Brother as a social experiment to the savvy, influencer-drenched enclave that is Love Island. Unreal poses questions about programme makers' ethical responsibility to these newly minted celebrities who are thought of as disposable and the pressures on the mental health of these ordinary people plucked from obscurity.

Although this is no condescending, scolding analysis, as the duo were ardent viewers of everything from Made in Chelsea to X Factor – they also fondly reminisce and share stories with journalists, fallen stars and reality telly icons about our deep passion for these shows that hit our televisual sweet spot, more mundane than drama and more thrilling than our everyday existence. JG