sat 25/02/2017

sitcom

The Great Indoors, ITV2

The main attraction of this new US sitcom for a UK audience is that two British actors - Stephen Fry and Susannah Fielding – appear in it. The basic premise is that Jack Gordon, a famed reporter, has led a thrilling outdoorsman life, writing about...

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Divorce, Sky Atlantic

Divorce opened on Sarah Jessica Parker inspecting the work of time in the mirror. Goodbye Carrie, hello Frances, upstate New Yorker, mother of two and wife to a man who demands equal time in the bathroom. “I was forced to take a shit in this coffee...

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The wisdom and wit of Carla Lane

Carla Lane, who has died at the age of 87, was the first from Liverpool. Before Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell, long before Jimmy McGovern, hers was the loudest Liverpudlian voice on television portraying ordinary working people's lives. From The...

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Rovers, Sky1

Football seeps into every cranny of British culture, but it's hard to name a great comedy or drama about the game of two halves. The history of fictionalised football is mainly a catalogue of failure. The liveliest portraits of the game have come at...

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Mum, BBC Two

The comedy of widowhood is the brave territory of Mum. Lesley Manville plays Cathy, whom we meet on the day she is burying her husband Dave – although not literally doing it herself, as has to be explained to the nice but dim new girlfriend of her...

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The Windsors, Channel 4

There’s little chance, I would guess, that the Windsors were gathered on the sofa to watch The Windsors last night. The show, thankfully, is not another attempt to oil up the collective fundament of the British royal family (and goodness knows...

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Two Doors Down, BBC Two

With a slightly changed cast and set-up from its Hogmanay-themed pilot, screened on New Year’s Eve 2015, this was the first of a six-part sitcom (written by Simon Carlyle and Gregor Sharp) about the residents of a street in suburban Glasgow.At its...

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Albums of 2015: Squeeze - Cradle to the Grave

They say there are no second acts, but in the world of contemporary dad rock there’s little else. This year Squeeze became the latest band to re-form, not in quite the original line-up, but in an incarnation which patched up previous cracks between...

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We're Doomed! The Dad's Army Story, BBC Two

The sclerotic culture of dithering that afflicts the higher-ups at the BBC has been mercilessly exposed in W1A. It turns out that fear of failure was always a managerial thing at the corporation. How else did Dad’s Army have such a bumpy ride to...

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Warren Mitchell - ‘If you could be Welsh and Jewish you really couldn’t miss’

“He has been in poor health for some time, but was cracking jokes to the last,” read the statement from Warren Mitchell’s family following news of his death today, at the age of 89. That will come as no surprise for those who remember the actor...

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Catastrophe, Series 2, Channel 4

There’s a baby boom in sitcom. This week two of last year’s best comedies return for second helpings, each with a child in tow. In Detectorists (BBC Two on Thursday) Andy is out in the field panning for gold with a small sweet addition. But first...

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Cradle to Grave, BBC Two

Turning autobiography into comedy gold is an alchemy that has often been tried. Among them Caitlin Moran’s Raised by Wolves, Kathy Burke’s superb Walking and Talking, and the mooted but, as yet uncommissioned story of Jeremy Clarkson’s childhood,...

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