PICK OF THE BOX; Mum's the Word for Susie

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Real Women (BBC1, 9.30pm)

A WELCOME return for the drama series about five female friends who share their joy and misery with one another.

It is 18 months since we left the women at the tumultuous wedding reception that changed their lives at the end of the first series. Tonight, they are rather more subdued as they each face up to the changes in their lives.

Their varying degrees of happiness and frustration are brought into sharp focus by the birth of Susie's baby.

Michelle Collins spends the first few minutes of the drama with her feet in stirrups and screaming at the top of her voice. Later, she plays the contented Susie, who looks as though nothing could ruin her state of bliss.

Pauline Quirke is brilliant as the downtrodden Mandy, who desperately tries to rebuild her personal and working life. There is a great scene where Mandy and Anna get drunk as they discuss their failed love lives.

The drama, based on the novel by Susan Oudot, begins in quite a low gear after the high-octane ending to last series. But the four-part tale promises some fireworks as the friends' love lives become increasingly tangled.


Shockers (Channel 4, 10.00pm)

A NEW three-part series of psychological dramas kicks off with this dark tale about two people caught in a living nightmare.

Each one-hour story is penned by a young writer and explores the dark side of human obsession, mistrust and fear.

This one stars Shallow Grave actress Kerry Fox and Lennie James as a couple, Jessica and Mark, who lose their five-year-old son in a car crash.

Six months later, just as the pair are rebuilding their lives, they have another car crash with far more severe consequences. …