GOOD news, people. I have seen the future, and Brexit works. Or at least I have seen the final episode of State of the Union (BBC2, Sunday). In the sitcom about a husband-and-wife having marriage counselling, Tom (Chris O’Dowd, playing a somewhat unlikely other half to Rosamund Pike) compared analysis to Brexit. It was that much fun.

Ten weeks on, the series of 10-minute instalments ended with the couple deciding that the best way forward was to get drunk. Oh, and before that it was revealed that they had started having sex again. Are there any lessons here for EU leaders as they gather for a crunch summit next week? Just a suggestion.

The happy ending, with the pair deciding just to bumble on for want of an alternative, was a cop out, but it was one the viewers wanted. State of the Union worked because it was beautifully written by Nick Hornby, handsomely shot by Stephen Frears, and who doesn’t like looking at Rosamund Pike sipping white wine? The ten-minute format was definitely one other dramatists could adopt. Yes, we’re talking about you, Sanditon (Sunday, ITV), which finally reaches its conclusion tomorrow after a dreary, predictable run.

Ian Hislop has been everywhere this week. That’s a lie; he’s been in two programmes. The first was Ian Hislop’s Fake News: A True Story (BBC4, Monday). The Private Eye editor and team captain on Have I Got News for You?, which also started this week, showed that fake news is as old as newsprint. From reports of herds of bison on the moon to tall tales of leading Democrats using a Washington DC pizza parlour for nefarious activities, there has been a steady stream of fakery, some of it malicious, coming the public’s way.

Hislop tried his hand at creating some fake news. With the aid of an expert and some software easily available on the internet, he became the subject of a “deep fake” video in which his cherubic face was placed on the body of a ballet dancer. Apparently, this is the way celebrity sex tapes are made. But then, people would say that wouldn’t they? The moral of all Hislop’s tales was “stay suspicious”. And buy a newspaper, of course.

Ah, Friday nights. Blessed Friday nights. When all you want to do is collapse on the sofa and watch an impenetrable, Italian-German co-produced drama set in the 14th Century. The Name of the Rose (BBC2, Friday) was the name of the tale, with John Turturro in the role of the sleuthing monk previously played by Sean Connery in the 1986 movie.

Clearly determined to be a more heavyweight adaptation of Umberto Eco’s novel, it began with long, introductory captions setting out how Ludwig of Bavaria, the future Holy Roman Emperor, had declared the separation between politics and religion. 

Before you could say, “Quick, pass my distance reading glasses,” there was another paragraph about the French Pope excommunicating Ludwig.

More exposition followed as Turturro’s Guglielmo da Baskerville was joined by novice Adso (Damian Hardung) on his long trek to a distant abbey where a crucial summit was to take place (nothing changes). By the time Baskerville was asked to investigate the mysterious death of an illustrator it felt like several centuries had passed already. 

Famous faces kept popping up, from James Cosmo and Rupert Everett to Tcheky Karyo, aka Baptiste, each one with an accent more curious than the last, which only added to the sense of muddle. 
Friday night drama shouldn’t be this much hard work. PS: the most chilling caption of all was the one declaring the production had been “co-financed by the European Union”. For heaven’s sake, everyone keep quiet about this or there will be even more argy-bargy next week.

Motherland (Channel 4, Monday), now there’s a programme perfectly pitched at a start of the week audience in sore need of a laugh. The gang of slummy, harassed mummies, and one stay at home daddy, were back to moan about their middle class Londoners’ lot. 
A new face, Meg, had joined the crowd at the school gates. High-flying career gal, several languages, five children, hot husband (he wasn’t going through the menopause; he was Anthony Head), hapless Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) loathed her on sight. “I think you hate women,” said her friend. “Nope,” replied Julia, “I hate everybody.”

Written by Sharon Horgan, Holly Walsh and Helen Linehan, Motherland can do it all, from slapstick to political comment, without ever seeming po-faced or self-conscious. 

It turned out that Meg liked to play as hard as she worked, with a quiet drink ending in an evening of sheer carnage. Now that’s what you need to see on a school night. Just don’t try it in reality. Or not often, anyway.