WHEN you’re a TV critic, or just a person with sense, it doesn’t take long to learn that the best sitcoms are on BBC2, Channel 4 or Sky Atlantic. I don’t know enough about the minutiae of programme scheduling and planning to be able to say why this is so. It just is.

My case is currently proven by Motherland (BBC2, Tuesday) and Man Down (C4, Wednesday).

This fourth series of Man Down seems to be operating on a system whereby one week is excellent and the next is merely very good. Sadly, this coming week offers a “very good” episode – but even in its weaker moments it’s still miles ahead of its BBC1 and STV rivals. But I’ve told you before how much I love the anarchic, weird Man Down, so let’s look at Motherland.

It’s a brave comedy. These days, motherhood is sanctified. Who the hell is driving this unsettling campaign where women seem to have all the personality sucked out of them at childbirth, and are told they should be content to spend their days in a noisy cafe clique with Emily Rose and Lily Sofia and other names echoing ghostly Victoriana?

Some even change their names on social media, literally wiping out their identity, to rename themselves “Emily’s Mummy”. Oh, how it makes me boak!

Thankfully, it makes the writers of this sitcom boak, too. And what great, nauseous writers they are. Motherland is written by a team including Sharon Horgan and Graham Linehan, so what more inducement do you need to watch?

Anyone who has felt smothered, irritated, bored, or uneasy at the current cult of mumsiness will love this sitcom, and feel grateful that their iconoclastic feelings are shared by others.

It features Anna Maxwell Martin as Julia, a middle-class mum in a nice big house who should, according to the hordes of Facebook mummies, be having a permanently wonderful time teaching her children origami and introducing them to vegan food.

But Julia is the anti-mummy, and seems constantly about to put down the children, the car keys, the shopping, and just scream, scream, scream. If she did, if she finally cracked and surrendered to it all, this would be less a comedy and more a hard-hitting documentary.

Instead the painful comedy lies in seeing Julia wobble, tremble, quaver – but never actually crack. Perhaps that’s being saved for a spectacular season finale?

THURSDAY brought a documentary with a very unsettling title: Donald Trump: Scotland’s President (BBC1, Thursday). I hate the fact that some politicians and businesspeople are desperate to hitch our wagon to Trump. These people seem proud that he’s of Scottish ancestry.

That’s simply an accident of birth; it doesn’t mean he cherishes Scotland, or reads Walter Scott, or is keen to contribute something to the country. Scotland is just another scrap of real estate he can pile hotels and apartments on to. So when he arrived here and began planning to build a golf course, some people objected, and others, quite starstruck, bent over backwards to help him.

However, this programme suggested his golf course has been built on fragile land of shifting sand dunes, and has arguably done some environmental harm. Scotland is not short of golf courses. Did we so desperately need another that we had to bow down to this man? The question at the heart of the golf course debate was local government versus Holyrood. When the locals refused planning permission, the big boys stepped in and knocked their concerns aside.

This didn’t make Scotland look bold and enterprising. It made us look like we’d do anything to have the important American notice us.

So while two of our former First Ministers discussed their dealings with the Trump circus, the background hum was obvious – pay attention to the little, insignificant local people, who obviously knew best all along.

THE comeback of Sheridan Smith in Sheridan (STV, Sunday) was all nicely predictable. She was glammed up, sang some well-known tunes, and occasionally had a chat with the host. It was old-fashioned and comfortable TV, the type you might have watched with your gran on Saturday nights in the 1980s after Every Second Counts and ’Allo ’Allo. The only discord came from Twitter – and isn’t that often the case these days?

Smith has been through a difficult time recently, with a terrible bereavement and stress, and that surely would take its toll on anyone.

So when she made her appearance and it was obvious that she had put on a tiny bit of weight, the Twitter trolls pounced. Her weight gain was attacked, as were her hair, dress and make-up. She looked old, she looked fat, she looked terrible, they whined.

No, she looked healthy and strong and glad to be back in the swing of things. If only those trolls had a fulfilling career to absorb them. Perhaps then they’d have less time and less bitterness.