IN response to Theresa May’s request for rival parties to “contribute and not just criticise”, I, as a representative of The Royal Regiment of TV Reviewers (mascot: Peppa Pig), would like to make the following suggestion to boost police numbers: ban all new detective shows. The actors who would have starred in them, having already researched their way into the roles, could then be transferred to do the job for real for a while, thereby taking the heat off ministers. Easy peasy, this politics.

There is one bluebottle in the ointment, though: TV ’tecs are generally so consumed by their own problems they have no time for other people’s. DI Helen Weeks, the central character in new drama In the Dark (BBC One, Tuesday, 9pm), is a case in point. First, she is pregnant, but not sure who the father is. Second, the husband of her

old pal has been accused of a heinous crime. As if all that wasn’t bad enough, the wardrobe department have given her what looks like fellow telly ’tec Vera’s old raincoat, a giant green number that resembles a field hospital tent with sleeves.

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Learning of her chum’s strife, Weeks (MyAnna Buring) decamps from Manchester to Derbyshire to see what help she can offer. She has not been back for years and via flashbacks to her childhood, writer Danny Brocklehurst, adapting the tale from Mark Billingham’s novel, hints at reasons why. Something wicked that way came, and after this intriguing set up viewers will be back to find out what it was.

60 Days in Jail (Channel 4, Monday, 10.25pm) showed crime and punishment US-style. Or rather fake crime and punishment. Innocent people volunteered to go into jail undercover for two months, each for their own reasons (one has a daughter inside and wants to see what she is going through, for example). Each was apprehensive, and they had every right to be. Sure, there were cameras watching, but how fast could the guards get there if trouble broke out? All were agreed that prison in Indiana was a dangerous, frightening, filthy place. “I would never have expected an American jail to be like this,” said the disgusted mum trying to clean a cell with scraps of toilet paper.

There were grim goings-on in The British Garden: Life and Death on Your Lawn (BBC Four, Tuesday, 9pm), but since they involved non-human life only it was OK. Nowhere on British television is there such free rein to show carnage than in a wildlife show, and when the presenter is the lovely Chris Packham, the Sainsbury’s own-brand David Attenborough, the rules are relaxed even more. Back gardens are “miniature Serengetis” we were told. To find out just how much life they contained, a team of experts visited five gardens in Welwyn Garden City for a year.

The gardens were hoaching with everything from snails and foxes to bees and hedgehogs. Over 90 minutes there was too much time spent on insects, with the obvious stars of the show, the big mammals, rationed. But Packham the crowd pleaser wheeled them out eventually, with a family of fox cubs the most winning sight of all. “Who needs tigers when you’ve got foxes?” he asked. Or, indeed, Chris Packham.

Remember little Kevin from The Wonder Years, the coming-of-age show in which there was no problem, personal or global, that could not be made better by playing a cracking pop tune? Well, Fred Savage, Kevin of old, is all grown up now and looking good in the new comedy drama Friends from College (Netflix). Set in New York among a group of pals who first met at Harvard 20 years ago, it has echoes of the 1980s series Thirtysomething, with lots of midlife crises and rivalry going on, and a good sprinkling of zingers in the script to make up for the sometimes heavy-handed comedy. Perfect Friday night viewing.

You don’t need to be a graduate of Harvard to live healthily was the message of Eat, Shop, Save (STV, Thursday, 7.30pm). The focus of the first show was a widowed mother of three who wanted to do just that, but she was short of time and had to contend with fussy eaters. As her 10-year-old daughter told presenter Ranvir Singh, “I like peas but I’d prefer not to eat them.” O-kay …

The advice was obvious (hide vegetables in sauces, buy own-brand goods etc) but it was delivered in such an upbeat, non-preachy way by Singh and her experts that it never felt patronising. ITV are the best at consumer programmes like this. Now, if Ms Singh would like to come to Scotland and be health minister we can promise her a warm welcome complete with a cup of tea, a pizza supper and a cream doughnut the size of her head. Kettle’s on, Ranvir.