I fancy the writers of Finding Alice (STV, Sunday) are fans of Grand Designs. Why else would they set their darkly comic drama in one of those concrete and steel homes that look like a hot and cold running nightmare to live in?

We met the titular Alice (Keeley Hawes) as she was frantically trying to find a cunningly concealed fridge. She was not having much luck with the voice-activated curtains either.

This “smart home” had been designed and built by her property developer husband, Harry. Only Harry had done something very silly in installing a staircase with no bannister. He “didn’t really like” bannisters, explained Alice.

She was talking about him in the past tense because Harry had duly taken a tumble down the apples and pears on the family’s first night in the house. An accident, or – and you knew this was coming – was it something more sinister?

Finding Alice, being all about death, grieving, and whether anyone really knows anyone, had a tricky comic path to walk, and just about made it home safely. The humour, being as bleak as the third week in January, might not be everyone’s idea of cosy Sunday night viewing. But with a cast that includes Kenneth Cranham, Nigel Havers and Joanna Lumley (the latter as Alice’s parents), it deserves a chance to find its feet.

Strange things happen by the seaside, beside the sea. We knew that already from the first series of The Bay (STV, Wednesday), when police family liaison officer Lisa Armstrong (Morven Christie) had an, ahem, “date” with a stranger only to find find he was a prime suspect in her next case. Awkward.

Excessive contrivance being no reason to deny the makers a second series, the Morecambe-set crime drama was back, with yet more oddness. First, Christie, a Scottish actor, was playing a Lancashire lass. In her latest case the victim’s father-in-law had a Lancashire accent but was played by a Scots actor (James Cosmo). Ditto the victim’s wife (Sharon Small) and his brother-in-law (Steven Robertson, Shetland). Perhaps there are no native actors in Lancashire and they have to be mini-bussed in from Scotland.

The opening episode was commendably restrained, and all the better for it. With five more episodes to go, and Armstrong’s other half turning up, everything crossed it stays that way.

A good week for TV drama was topped by It’s a Sin (Channel 4, Friday). Russell T Davies’ look back at the 1980s opened on the Isle of Wight with Keeley Hawes, her again, preparing to send off her son Ritchie (Olly Alexander) to London and a university course in law.

When Ritchie arrived he found there were far more interesting things to do in the capital than learn about contract law. Roscoe (Omari Douglas) already knew this, having been kicked out by his family for being gay, while Welsh Colin (Callum Scott Howells) was just a beginner in the ways of the flesh, but he was awfully keen to learn.

As the three danced the nights away to poptastic 1980s music they were the picture of joyous youth and freedom. Even the whispers about some mystery illness from America, a “gay flu”, was not enough to turn the music down on the party.

The obvious comparison was to Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, but It’s a Sin was both uniquely British and unmistakably Davies in its humour, pace, and daring. No other writer on television at the moment stretches the limits of what is possible like Davies, most recently with Years and Years and now this. If he had a coat of arms it would surely say, “Go big or go home.”

The end of the first episode was a case in point, when he blended the youngsters talking about their definitely fabulous futures with another scene being played out in a hospital. As we watched the doors to three lives fly open another slammed shut with cruel finality. I sense many tears before bedtime with this one.

Back (Channel 4, Friday) returned with less of a bang and more of a tempting sizzle. Robert Webb and David Mitchell play Andrew and his foster brother Stephen, a warring duo that make the Mitchell bruvvers on EastEnders look as sweet and mild as Fran and Anna. But Andrew and Stephen fight to middle class rules, which means fewer punch ups and more delightfully withering put downs. Webb and Mitchell are the Morecambe and Wise of snarky comedy. Long may they sneer together.

On Coronation Street (Monday), Yasmeen continued the long slog back to self-confidence after the departure of Geoff the loathsome bully.

Having intervened to warn Asha that her boyfriend was a wrong ‘un, she was starting to function as a one woman Thelma and Louise. This week it was Ray the rat (apologies to rats) who was trying to ruin her day and she was not having it.

“Now,” said Yas, freezing him to the spot with an imperious air, “as I think my grandaughter would say, jog on”. You go girl.