IN The War of the Roses, that savagely funny morality movie about the break-up of a marriage, the baffled husband asks his wife why she wants a divorce. Says Kathleen Turner, screen spouse of Michael Douglas: “Because. When I watch you eat. When I see you asleep. When I look at you lately, I just want to smash your face in.” Oh dear.

The parting couple in Us (BBC1, Sunday) are far more civilised. “You’re great,” said Connie to Douglas (Saskia Reeves, Tom Hollander). “I just don’t think I can spend my whole life with you.”

Which is the best, most honest way to bring a relationship to an end? Over the course of David Nicholls’ adaptation of his novel I think we are going to enjoy finding out.

Though set in summer as the couple and their son set off on one last hurrah holiday, Us had a nicely melancholic, autumnal air. Reeves and Hollander slipped easily into their roles, her determined to be kind even as she turned his world upside down; him, frantically drowning, not waving, as he tried to work out how to change her mind.

In flashbacks to the early days we saw the way things once were, which made the current distance between the pair more poignant. All the details were just right, from him sobbing at the dump (his “fortress of solitude” said Connie), and the tender awkwardness between father and son. In much the same way that Normal People captured the wonder of young love, Us was a pitch perfect portrait of marriage in middle age, complete with the stuffing knocked out. One to savour.

Only Connect (BBC2, Monday), the quiz show hosted by Victoria Coren Mitchell, was back and jolly pleased about it. Even the continuity announcer was thrilled. “Monday nights haven’t been the same without her,” he said. Don’t know about that, but I do like VCM. Talking about the new series of All Creatures Great and Small, she revealed that Samuel West, who plays Siegfried, was an old boyfriend of hers. “But then who isn’t?” she added. You could never imagine Paxo, whose University Challenge followed, being so endearingly self-deprecating. Long may her quiz mastering, and hosting of Have I Got News for You, continue.

My heart sank at the start of Grayson Perry’s Big American Road Trip (C4, Wednesday, above). He had been to test the temperature of the US as it headed towards the “crunch time” of the 2020 election. So far, so topical. But it was plain within seconds that he was there last summer, before the mass protests over police brutality and Covid. If a week is a long time in British politics, it is an age in American affairs. So much had happened Perry’s film looked as though it would be jarringly dated.

It wasn’t. The introductory narrative covered recent events and Perry’s skills as an interviewer took care of the rest.

His first stop was Atlanta, “the capital of black America” and the subject was race.

Unlike some other celebrity travellers, Perry does not think he is the most interesting person present. Here were people we had not seen before, with original things to say. It was Perry’s job to make that happen. “I always want to talk about the elephant in the room,” he said.

So he asked some young, middle class African-Americans whether black people were happier and more successful the less they had to deal with white people. Gasps. He met three young women performance poets, let them rip and made them laugh. He heard about “white extinction anxiety”, the fear that when white people become a minority they will be as ill-treated as black people are. After an hour you felt that you had genuinely learned something, but that there was such a long way still to go. Any good travel doc should open the door for further exploration.

If only he could have landed an interview with the current commander-in-chief. When Grayson met Donald. A girl can dream.

Did you stick with Harlots (BBC2, Wednesday)? Some people, I know, were put off by the bare scuds, heaving bosoms and ripe humour of the opening episodes of this tale of prostitutes trying to eke a living in 18th century London. There was a lot of mud and boils, too. Especially boils.

Once past that, the story became bleaker and more satisfying, and the performances from the largely female cast, led by Samantha Morton and Lesley Manville as rival madams, came into their own. By the end of series two everyone had to choose which side they were on, and reckonings were due for good deeds and bad.

As was shown by the story of Lady Isabella Fitzwilliam (Liv Tyler no less), kept on an invisible chain by her wicked brother, women in general were treated as second class citizens, their only hope resting in solidarity among themselves. What clever ladies they were, working all that out long before feminism came along. Third series please, Auntie.