fri 22/03/2019

sitcom

After Life, Netflix, review - Ricky Gervais's grief emoji

The limitless goodwill generated by The Office earned Ricky Gervais the right to do and say as he pleased. Thus, hosting the Golden Globes, he was toweringly rude to Hollywood royalty. In Extras he gleefully portrayed celebrities as vain and ghastly...

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Derry Girls, Series Two, Channel 4 review - welcome back, gang

When Derry Girls premiered on Channel 4 in early 2018, there was little fanfare. But it’s been a whirlwind year for the four girls from Derry (and the wee English lad), capturing British hearts before conquering the US through Netflix...

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Fleabag, Series 2 review - a standing ovation

What a super-talented woman Phoebe Waller-Bridge is. Hot on the heels of the success of her adaptation of Killing Eve, she now spoils us with a second series of Fleabag (BBC Three, then BBC One) that opened with an episode so gobsmackingly good that...

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Catastrophe, Channel 4, series 4 finale review - sitcom saves the best till last

When the third series ended with a car crash, I did wonder whether Catastrophe (Channel 4) should maybe think about calling it a day. The previous half-dozen episodes had gone to a dark place in their exploration of alcoholism, but stealthily, as if...

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Camping, Sky Atlantic, review - Lena Dunham's tentative British export

When British sitcoms head west anything can happen. For every success – The Office had a happy second life with Steve Carell – there are half a dozen others that got lost in translation, including Coupling, Getting On, Gavin and Stacey, The It Crowd...

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Catastrophe, Series 4, Channel 4 review - final series starts strongly

Some may have thought that Catastrophe (Channel 4) had neared the end of the road with the third series, but I disagree. It was still managing, with some deftness, to pull off the difficult trick of mixing broad humour with serious themes of love,...

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There She Goes, BBC Four review - mining disability for family comedy?

What do you do after playing Doctor Who, the dream dad of the nation, quirky and compassionate, the adult who every child knows will be fun?  Does it seem like a good idea to play the beleaguered father of a child with special needs? It must do...

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The Bisexual, Channel 4 review - joyless comedy drama

Write about what you know, every nascent novelist is told. So you can't fault writer/director/actor Desiree Akhavan, Iranian-American creator of Appropriate Behaviour (2015) and The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018), which explore divergent...

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Peter Kay's Car Share: The Finale, BBC Two review - happy ever after?

Would it be happy ever after for John and Kayleigh? Would they or would they not drive off into the sunset? By the end they weren’t driving off anywhere. Thanks to an errant hedgehog, the finale of Peter Kay’s Car Share (BBC One) turned into Peter...

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Friday Night Dinner, Channel 4 review - predictable but fun

The Goodmans are back - for a fifth (and rumoured possibly to be the last) series of Friday Night Dinner, Robert Popper’s deliciously daft comedy set in a secular Jewish household in north London and based on the Peep Show producer's own upbringing....

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Home From Home, BBC One review - Johnny Vegas as everyman hero

Home From Home, written by newcomers Chris Fewtrell and Simon Crowther, first saw life as a pilot in the BBC’s Landmark Sitcom Season in 2016, the channel's search for new and original content for its schedules. Well, new it may be, but original it...

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Mum, BBC Two, series 2 finale review - the perfect way to go

Should Mum end here? There have been only two series on BBC Two, and it closed the second with all the characters poised for the next step. A third series has been commissioned, so there will be the opportunity to see what happens next for Cathy and...

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