There’s a scene in Philippa Perry’s enjoyable history of surrealism where she sets up a modern-day equivalent of the Bureau of Surrealist Research. This was the office in 1920s Paris where the pioneers of the movement set up shop. Perry does the same, letting people come in off the street to describe their dreams and draw them. As a psychotherapist she is taken aback by the power of the exercise.
It’s a microcosm for the surrealist story she tells here. Yes, she charts the stories of Ernst and Magritte and Dalí and Ray, but she also gets across that the movement amounts to more than lobster phones and fur- covered teacups: how the surrealists opened up art to our unconscious minds can still be seen everywhere from adverts to greetings cards.
Channel 4, 10pm
It’s the series finale and, as seems to be traditional, a bleak time is had by all, starting with Sharon’s dad’s funeral in Ireland and ending with… well, the clue’s in the title. But there are some lighter moments to enjoy, including one of the last outings for the late Carrie Fisher as Mia, Rob’s mum, who is as deliciously narcissistic and ghastly as we’ve come to expect (Fisher seems to really relish the role). But she also surprises Rob Delaney’s Rob (and us) with some much-needed home truths and insight as her son is finally – finally – forced to face up to his drinking demons.
Film 4, 9pm
Think Dances with Wolves in space (and in 3D) and you’ll have the measure of this blockbuster from James Cameron, his first full feature since Titanic a dozen years earlier. Sam Worthington stars as a paraplegic US marine drafted to distant planet Pandora to gain the trust of the Na’vi, the blue-skinned indigenous race whose homeland lies above a large deposit of a rare and valuable mineral. There’s nothing ground-breaking about the plot, with many of Cameron’s favourite themes in evidence: trigger-happy marines; love in a time of chaos; man alone in a hostile environment. Sigourney Weaver is abrasive as a brash scientist, and with CCH Pounder and Wes Studi as the Na’vi clan’s matriarch and patriarch, there’s no shortage of acting talent to grapple with the lengthy script. And yet, as a motion-captured Worthington – controlling an alien body (or Avatar) through telepathy – is tutored in the clan’s mystical ways by chief’s daughter Zoë Saldana, it’s the breathtakingly beautiful CGI landscape that somehow pulls the audience in on this tale of profit and progress versus nature’s power and infinite variety.
Louis CK: 2017
Having revolutionised sitcom with Louie and how TV is distributed and consumed with the self-financed online drama Horace and Pete, Louis CK returns to the discipline he first mastered: stand-up. Among his topics in this new special are love, religion and giving dogs drugs.