thu 24/05/2018

TV drama

A Very English Scandal, BBC One review - making a drama out of a crisis

There was a time when Hugh Grant was viewed as a thespian one-trick pony, a floppy-haired fop dithering in a state of perpetual romantic confusion. But things have changed. He was excellent in Florence Foster Jenkins, hilariously self-parodic in...

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The Handmaid's Tale, Series 2, Channel 4 review - it's not getting any better for Offred

Not the least startling element of Bishop Michael Curry’s house-rockin’ sermon at the royal nuptials was his quotation from the old spiritual “There is a balm in Gilead”. Evidently the Bishop was not referring to the endlessly looping nightmare that...

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Innocent, ITV review - David Collins wants his life back

Addressing the baying media on the steps of the courthouse after being acquitted of murdering his wife, for which non-crime he’d spent the last seven years in prison, David Collins (Lee Ingleby) was a bitter and angry man. He wanted to expose the...

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The Bridge, BBC Two, series 4 review - Scandi saga is darker than ever

In the 1990s, which brought us Morse, Fitz and Jane Tennison, an idea took root that all television detectives must be mavericks. They needed to be moody, dysfunctional, addictive, a bit of an unsolved riddle. These British sleuths were all...

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The Woman in White, Series Finale, BBC One review - good-looking, but flat

Much has been made of this adaptation of The Woman in White having an especial relevance for our times. Its concern with the power dynamics of gender relations was certainly hammered home right from the beginning, as Jessie Buckley uttered its...

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The Split, BBC One, review - Abi Morgan’s densely packed divorce drama

A few years ago Abi Morgan was everywhere. For the cinema she scripted Shame, The Iron Lady, The Invisible Woman and Suffragette. On television she adapted Birdsong and created The Hour and, most recently, River. But she’s mainly been quiet for a...

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Westworld, Series 2, Sky Atlantic review - big trouble in synthetic paradise

Some critics complain that Westworld is too complicated for its own good, and you can see their point. Even on a basic level, it’s an exploration of the nature and potential of artificial intelligence, as it depicts the consequences of super-...

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The Woman in White, BBC One review - camp Victoriana

The BBC excels at a very particular kind of drama, namely one where production values overawe dramatic content. Its version of The Woman in White (BBC One) proves no exception. Our hero is Walter, a bemused sappy painter played by ex-Eastender Ben...

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True Horror, Channel 4 review - a Ronseal approach to ghost stories

As if the real world wasn’t scary enough... Ghost stories are en vogue at the moment, and after the BBC’s hit-and-miss Requiem, Channel 4 brings True Horror to the small screen – a collection of "real" ghost stories, told by witness interviews and...

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Occupied, series 2, Sky Atlantic review - political conflicts looking all too actual

Eight months have passed since the Russians invaded Norway in the first season of Jo Nesbo’s neo-Cold War thriller. Real-life events have only made Occupied seem more relevant. Like Conrad’s novel Under Western Eyes, it dramatises the clash between...

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Lifeline, Channel 4 review - Spanish sci-fi drama on speed

It is with some trepidation that the globe-trotting viewer embarks on a new drama from Spain. Last year in BBC Four stole the best part of 20 hours of some lives with its split-series transmission of the maddening I Know Who You Are. Lifeline (...

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Law and Order, BBC Four review - not a fair cop

In the late 1970s the British establishment sustained a bloody nose. Roland Huntford published his debunking of Captain Scott and Anthony Blunt was outed as the Fourth Man, while the Old Etonian Liberal party leader Jeremy Thorpe was tried for...

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