Oh, those sparklingly clear skies, dusty blue shutters and warm, gently rustling olive trees – we'd watch The Durrells on ITV even if it was just silent shots of the island of Corfu, like one of those Norwegian 'slow television' programmes.
Set on the idyllic Greek island, where the writer Gerald Durrell's family really did set up home in the 1930s to escape grey old England and its soulless schools and pernicious teachers, season one began brilliantly but then started to go off the boil. But now it's back, and it's perfect – and you really must watch it.
In episode one of the new season we rejoin Louisa Durrell (Keeley Hawes) a few weeks after the separation from her (very clearly, obviously gay) fiancé, totally broke and unbuttoning her shirt to help sell a few scotch eggs at a market. She soon discovered that there's a reason that eggs wrapped in sausages aren't big sellers in the sweltering heat, and poisons the entire island.
Keeley Hawes and Callum Woodhouse in The Durrells ITV
Mrs Durrell's eldest son, the novelist Lawrence Durrell (Josh O'Connor) is suffering from writer's block, and has taken to searching for inspiration high up in trees. The middle boy, Leslie Durrell (Callum Woodhouse) is still wandering around shooting everything that moves (including the family pets), and Margo Durrell (Daisy Waterstone) has fallen in love with a chaste monk.
There's a sexy new villain on the prowl too: a new landlady who has taken ownership of the Durrells' house and confiscated all their furniture until they can pay the rent. She marauds around the island in dark lipstick and short summer dresses, and finds the size of Lawrence Durrell's 'fingers' leave a lot to be desired.
Keeley Hawes and Errika Bigiou in The Durrells ITV
The secret of The Durrells is in its lightness: the more frivolous and fluffy the goings-on of the Durrell family, the better. The problem with season one was that scriptwriter Simon Nye began to offer us something by way of actual tension and significance half-way through the season, and all that initial joy was left behind. If we wanted to watch a drama, we'd tune into something like Guerrilla on Sky Atlantic where they really know how to twist the thumb-screws. But that's not what's required of Corfu.
Give us light, love and lashings of laughter and bring on season two.
The Durrells is on ITV at 8pm on Sundays
|What||The Durrells season two, episode one:|
|Where||ITV 1 | MAP|
30 Apr 17 – 30 Jun 17, The Durrells is on ITV at 8pm on Sundays