mon 27/02/2017

tv

The Swingers, Channel 4

jasper Rees

Can something be gained in translation? From its title The Swingers promises much. Much more than the original Dutch title Nieuwe Buren, which the caption in the opening credit sequence translates as The Neighbours. Someone in syndication has asked themselves the question: who the hell watches Dutch TV dramas called The Neighbours (aside from captive Dutch audiences...

Read more...

Roots, BBC Four

david Nice

Those of us who saw the first, 1977 TV adaptation of Alex Haley's Roots in our teens still remember the shock and horror at its handling of a subject about which we knew little, American slavery. We know a lot more now, but the visceral reaction to inhumanity and injustice is no less strong.

Read more...

The Halcyon, Series 1 Finale, ITV

Mark Sanderson

A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now…

Read more...

Storyville: Life, Animated, BBC Four

Saskia Baron

Slipped out in the Storyville slot without much fanfare, Life, Animated is the Oscar-nominated documentary which won a theatrical release and rave reviews in the US and UK last year.

Read more...

SS–GB, BBC One

adam Sweeting

“What if the Germans had won the war?” has been a recurring theme in fiction, from Noel Coward’s Peace in Our Time to Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle and Robert Harris’s Fatherland. There was even a predictive pre-war “future history” version, in the form of Katherine Burdekin’s 1937 novel, Swastika Night.

Read more...

The Kettering Incident, Sky Atlantic

Mark Sanderson

Tasmania, Down Under is like Canvey Island (although somewhat larger): everyone knows where it is but no one wants to go there. The Kettering Incident reveals why: the bleak but beautiful landscape is blasted by Antarctic gales and the natives, with few exceptions, are ugly devils, resentful of strangers and quarrelsome with their neighbours. And that’s just the humans.

Read more...

Life of a Mountain: A Year on Blencathra, BBC Four

jasper Rees

Two years ago BBC Four had a film about a year in the life of Scafell Pike. Arriving at glacial pace is the sequel: Life of a Mountain: A Year on Blencathra. The star this time round is more of a best supporting character actor than a headline performer. It’s only the 18th highest of England’s peaks.

Read more...

Arena: Alone with Chrissie Hynde, BBC Four

adam Sweeting

Despite having been a rock star since the late Seventies, Chrissie Hynde seems to be an introverted, elusive sort of person. If this Arena profile was anything to go by, she lives as a virtual recluse, positively revelling in solitariness. Like the film, her last album was called Alone.

Read more...

Unforgotten – Series 2 Finale, ITV / After Brexit: The Battle for Europe, BBC Two

adam Sweeting

From Jimmy Savile to the Rotherham scandal, child sexual abuse has become a recurring nightmare of our society, and thus is inevitably grist to the TV dramatist’s mill.

Read more...

The Moorside, BBC One

Mark Sanderson

It takes a certain kind of perversity to make a true-life drama about a missing girl (Shannon Matthews) who wasn’t missing at all – the danger is that drama will be the only thing that’s missing. Neil McKay’s answer to the problem is to take a leaf out of Shane Meadows’s book of tricks and treat the whole sorry affair as a black comedy.

Read more...

Pages

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?

latest in today

Oscars 2017: Moonlight and La La Land go toe to toe

If only the recent American election had been similarly rectified. That was surely the thought on many people’s lips as the 89th...

10 Questions for Director Gurinder Chadha

Gurinder Chadha is still best-known for directing...

Miles Jupp, London Palladium

Miles Jupp starts by telling us he’s trying to fathom the kind of...

Hansel and Gretel, Opera North

Opera North’s updated version of Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel takes place in what looks like a down-at-heel Leeds housing estate, the...

CD: Temples - Volcano

Temples’ debut album, 2014’s Sun Structures, was an instant and surprise success. Within weeks of its release, the Brit-psych outfit were...

Speech & Debate, Trafalgar Studios

There's something to be said for encountering a playwright fresh out of the starting gate. Since his debut play Speech & Debate...

Sunday Book: Yiyun Li - Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to...

Yiyun Li’s fiction comes garlanded in praise from authors and journals that don’t ladle it out carelessly, so it feels almost churlish to cavil...

Reissue CDs Weekly: George Jones

In May 1956, the Texan label Starday issued a wild rockabilly single by Thumper Jones. Its top side, the kinetic “Rock It”, was primal,...

Tanita Tikaram, Barbican

There’s scarcity value in a Tanita Tikaram gig these days. Like seeing a rare bird, you feel special for simply having been there. Last...

The Best Films Out Now

There are films to meet every taste in theartsdesk's guide to the best movies currently on release. In our considered opinion, any of the films...