Going on holiday with the girls or the lads? Anticipating a big adventure abroad filled with jokes, joshing and random tomfoolery? Well, it probably won't live up to expectations, let's face it. The banter will run dry by the time you've unpacked in the hotel, one or more of you will get food poisoning after trying the mussels in that dodgy tourist trap restaurant, and the latter half of the holiday will just be one long woozy hangover for everyone. So why take the risk? New Tricks provides all the buzzy fun of hanging out with your besties, with the added guarantee that the jokes will always be funny and the company will never get boring. Plus, the mysteries will be rather more exciting than trying to work out the way back to the hotel after a night in an Irish theme pub.
Fact: flying is bad for the environment. Another fact: our nation's countryside is an emerald wonderland of idyllic meadows, quaint villages and people on bicycles with those cute little baskets on the front. So why not have a great British staycation this summer? Better still, have a great British staycation without the risk of great British drizzle by sitting down on your sofa and watching Father Brown doing his sleuthing in the Cotswolds. It's not just about seeing the plucky priest cracking cosy crimes in his twinkly-eyed way. No, you'll also get to ogle the honey-coloured churches and cottagey cottages, feast your eyes on flowery lanes, and enjoy the picture-postcard Britishness of it all. All this, without having to shoulder your way through scrums of tourists or gorging on so much tearoom cake that you become 76% Battenberg.
What's summer all about? Holidays, working on your tan, treating the kids to a great escape? No, of course not. It's really all about GARDENING. And if you disagree, sit yourself down for a weekend of Rosemary and Thyme, the loveable pair of green-fingered sleuths who have an uncanny knack for digging up corpses while planting their rhododendrons. Maybe it's the sly wit of the writing, maybe it's the warm charm of series stars Pam Ferris and Felicity Kendal, but the show is enough to make wannabe-Monty Dons of us all. And it'll make you realise you really should cancel the expensive trip abroad and just spend the whole of summer pottering about with some shears in the back yard (while ignoring the family members standing around glumly in the brand new swimming trunks they no longer require).
What could be more interesting than travelling to another country? Answer: travelling through time right back to the 90s. Remember the 90s? Those carefree days when everyone's clothes were slightly too big for them, Donald Trump was just the funny bloke on TV, and everyone put sun-dried tomatoes in everything. A whole weekend of Kavanagh QC doesn't just whisk you back to the good times - it also has the lovely John Thaw as the crusading barrister who isn't afraid to take on some of the toughest cases around. Immerse yourself in his world and you'll feel like you've taken a holiday from the 21st Century - and what could be more rejuvenating than that?
Whatever holiday you may have planned, five simple words really should make you reconsider your priorities. And those words are "A weekend with Martin Shaw". It isn't simply that he's the silveriest and foxiest of silver foxes - it's also the fact that his character, 60s copper George Gently, is the kind of gallant and decent chap you can't help wishing was your father/husband/best mate/brother (delete as appropriate). Yes, you'll enjoy him untangling various cases. But, to be honest, just watching him reading the paper, sipping tea and giving life advice to his sidekick, DS Bacchus, will leave you more relaxed than any amount of time on a sun lounger. Well, kind of.