What to watch: Friday 15th July – Sunday 17th July

It's been a hard week.

What to watch 14-17th July

by Hannah Mellin |
Published on

Being able to snuggle down on the sofa, with all your loved ones, is a blessing that most of us take for granted.

So this weekend, chill out, enjoy the weather, tuck into some lovely grub and take advamtage of what the world of telly has to offer.

From hairy hobbits to a BRAND NEW series of The Only Way Is Essex - there's so much going on.

Not so sure what to watch? We've (tried) to narrow it down.

Friday 15th July

**Stranger Things, Netflix **

Some Netflix series can be a bit ‘meh’. This one; not so. It’s entirely gripping and has a touch of The Goonies / ET about it, only way scarier. Set in the 80s (cue fab soundtrack, great wardrobe and interesting décor), it’s all about four dorky young lads (The Goonies bit).

Then one night, one of them goes missing. His poor mum (the ace Winona Ryder) is distraught, and we know from shots of weird alien activity that something fishy is going on, especially when a terrified young girl with a shaved head wearing a hospital smock appears out of the blue…Gulp.

Celebrity First Dates, 9PM, C4

Scarlett “Gogglebox” Moffatt takes a table at the First Dates eaterie this evening – looking for a lad who can see her “without her fake tan on”.

Popstar Preston (as in “used to be married to Chantelle Houghton”) tries on his charm, along with Jo Wood and Ashleigh Butler (of BGT Pudsey fame). Let the love talk commence.

**Celebrity Masterchef, 8/8.30PM, BBC1 **

What to watch 14-17th July

Gleb - aka the hot one off Strictly - plus TV presenter Cherry Healey and Jimmy Osmond are part of the celeb crew in the kitchen, where the stress levels are high at a trendy Asian fusion eaterie - and at the end of the week they have to cook for the likes of Christine Hamilton and Christopher Biggins –both ex-Celeb MasterCheffers!

Saturday 16th July

You've Got Mail 6.40PM, ITV2

It’s time to dust down this classic romcom, and remind ourselves why it was so good the first time around. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are the irressible pair who can’t quite get it together. In real life they can’t stand each other but over the internet – which was a new-fangled thing back in the late 90s – they can’t get enough of each other. Stand by for some will-they-won’t-they-come-on-hurry-and-get-together shenanigans.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 7.45PM, ITV

the hobbit

ITV’s hairy-footed Hobbit fest continues with the second film in the prequel trilogy. The dwarves and Bilbo have made it over the Misty Mountains and journey into Laketown (look out for Stephen Fry as an evil mayor), and, eventually the Lonely Mountain and the dragon himself. Eek!

**Sunday 17th July **

**The Only Way Is Mallorca/Essex, 10PM, ITV2 **

As snaps plastered all over Instagram may suggest, the TOWIE cast have been on their hols – Majorca to be precise, and this is where we join the bronzed lovelies as a new series of TOWIE kicks off.

Episode one comes at us from Mallorca, while in Wednesday’s (July 20) ep, it’s all back to Essex for the usual shenanigans. Arg and Lydia come to blows in episode one, while Kate reveals she has split with Dan. Bobby Norris even described it as 'drama in palma'.

The Secret Agent, 9PM, BBC1

What to watch 14-17th July

The last spy drama we became addicted to was The Night Manager (Tom Hiddleston, oh yes) but while this is of that ilk, it’s also very different. Toby Jones may not be T-Hidd, but he’s always worth a watch.

Here he plays Victorian chap Mr Verloc, who runs something of a seedy shop in 1886 London – and he’s also a secret agent. He’s paid by the Russian embassy to orchestrate a bombing (with one month to pull everything together and carry it out), and at home his missus Winnie (the excellent Vicky McClure) doesn’t have the foggiest what her hubby’s up to – and the whole thing looks likely to push his moral compass to its limits…

DYK? The three-part drama is based on the Joseph Conrad novel and also stars Stephen Graham of Boardwalk Empire fame.

Love Island: Heading Home, 9PM, ITV2

What to watch 14-17th July

We’re pining (bigtime) for Love Island, so happily this will help (a bit) as cameras follow the Islanders as they land back on British soil. Coming face to face for the first time since leaving the villa, what will happen at the wrap party reunion? There are no beds (as far as we know – phew) but we can promise Malin getting even with Terry, Rachel’s mother grilling Rykard about his antics with Olivia (awks) and Tom’s grandparents getting in on the scene as well!

Someone Knows My Name, 9PM, FOX

This new mini-series is a must-watch, telling the story of 11-year-old African girl Aminata, who’s forced into slavery and sent across the ocean to a plantation in South Carolina. We then see her journey, which includes marriage, motherhood, tragedy and revolution. Also starring Cuba Gooding Jr.

Thor, 8PM, C4

What to watch 14-17th July

Here’s yet another superhero flick, this time starring the super-hunk that is Chris Hemsworth as the great Nordic god/superhero. Young Thor gets cast out of his supernatural realm and banished down to Earth, where he tries to conceal his buffness by becoming one of us.

It doesn’t quite work, especially when a villain from his homeworld (played by Tom Hiddleston, another reason to watch) comes looking for him. Also look out for Natalie Portman, who plays the scientist Thor falls for during his stay on planet Earth.

DYK? Tom Hiddleston originally went for the part of Thor but director Kenneth Branagh thought he would make a better baddie. Wise move Ken!

**Casino Royale, 9PM, ITV **

What to watch 14-17th July

Here’s another chance to see Daniel Craig’s first-ever outing as the suave spy. 007 goes undercover in Monte Carlo to play a poker game against super-banker Le Shiffre. Sent along for the ride is Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), who he gets on quite well with.

The best of what's to come next week (18-22 July):

**EDEN, Mon 18 July, 9PM, C4 **

It’s going to be very hard to get away from this one. The jewel in C4’s summer scheduling sees 23 extremely game men and women leave ab-so-lutely everything behind (mobile phones, computers, work, wives…) to go and fend for themselves – in the Scottish highlands, where you can’t get more remote. The group take in with them only what they can carry (is there even a handbag that size?!) – and the basics needed to “kick-start their experience” – ie any tools of their trade. How are they going to work together to put roofs over their heads, grow their own food and raise things like cows for milk. Actually it sounds quite nice; where do we sign?!

DYK? There is no winner in this show. C4 says it’s down to the contributors to “shape what success looks like over the year.” Apparently it’s going to answer the question of what we need to be happy…

Elliot Wright: Playa in Marbella, Wed 20 July, 9PM, ITVBE

Possibly a case of the-title-came-first, this sees Essex wideboy and proud dad Elliott Wright landing his very own show. “I work hard and play hard and can’t wait for people to see me in action as a businessman in one of my restaurants…”.

Mark and Jess’s cousin runs Olivia’s (named after his daughter) over there – and has a bit of a tough boss rep, demanding 110%. Let’s see if he mixes business with pleasure…

**Don't Tell The Bride, Thurs 21 July, 9PM, Sky1 **

Now on Sky (not the Beeb anymore), this is the fabulous show where (brave) brides-to-be leave the entire planning of their nuptials to their other halves. Oh my. “What reason would you possibly buy this dress for” asks one almost-married (though she does look like she has a bright orange pineapple on her head).

“The memory of this day is just horrible!” bawls another not-so-blushing bride. Yes, it’s just as great – with plenty of dodgy hen and stag dos as well, not to mention bolshy bridesmaids. Don’t miss!

**DYK? ** The first ep feature Adam and Bianca, who met on Tinder and Bianca was pregnant during filming. Expect high drama…

Long Lost Family, Wed 20 July, 9PM ITV

The tragic tale of a woman getting pregnant by a young man she met while working as a housekeeper in Zurich is grabbing Davina and Nicky’s attention in tonight’s brilliant LLF. Tragic only because the young woman in question wasn’t able to set up a life with the father of her child in Switzerland, because her own ma at home in Scotland needed nursing. “To meet my father now would be a miracle,” says Samantha, 40 – the daughter Jean Pierre Wandfluh never met. We also meet Vanda Jones, 57, desperate to find out what happened to her baby brother who vanished over 50 years ago – and she’s in for a surprise!

What are YOU most looking forward to watching? Let us know over on Facebook and Twitter.

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