sat 27/02/2021

tv

Stand Up and Deliver, Channel 4 review - how to make a comic

Veronica Lee

Everyone (well, almost everyone) can tell a joke. But being a comic – holding an audience rapt, getting a roomful of strangers to like you and laugh at your material – takes real talent.

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Bloodlands, BBC One review - ghosts of the Troubles return to poison the present

Adam Sweeting

Belfast-based thriller Bloodlands comes from the pen of first-time TV writer Chris Brandon, though he may find some of his thunder being stolen by the show’s producer, Line of Duty supremo Jed Mercurio. Line of Duty is filmed in Belfast too, though it doesn’t advertise the fact on screen.

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Framing Britney Spears, Sky Documentaries review - the rollercoaster ride of the former teen icon

Adam Sweeting

She became one of the most successful pop stars in history, but Britney Spears has also become a paradigm of the horrors and pitfalls of life in the white heat of showbusiness.

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Whirlybird: Live Above LA - Storyville, BBC Four review - rise and fall of the first couple of airborne TV news

Adam Sweeting

A story of obsession, media madness and the price of fame, as well as a filmic incarnation of Jim Morrison’s “bloody red sun of fantastic LA”, Matt Yoka’s film Whirlybird is a strange and fascinating hybrid.

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ZeroZeroZero, Sky Atlantic review - how drug money makes the world go round

Adam Sweeting

Based on a book by Roberto Saviano, author of the Neapolitan gang saga Gomorrah, ZeroZeroZero (Sky Atlantic) is an account of the international drugs trade and the way its tentacles wrap themselves around the...

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The Drowning, Channel 5 review - unbelievable

Adam Sweeting

The theme of a parent haunted by the loss of a child can have powerful dramatic potential, and this is the premise behind The Drowning, Channel 5’s new four-night mystery. Nine years earlier, Jodie and Frank’s four-year-old son Tom vanished during a family outing to a local lake.

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Spiral, Series 8 Finale, BBC Four review - justice is done in stormy climactic episodes

Adam Sweeting

If this had to be the end of Spiral, the final episodes of Series 8 (BBC Four) at least ensured that justice was done.

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Marcella, Series 3, ITV review - Anna Friel returns as the defective detective

Adam Sweeting

Anna Friel’s unstable detective Marcella Backland has been on the brink of existential burn-out ever since her first appearance on ITV in 2016, but it seems audiences have a perverse desire to see what psychological black holes she might plummet down next.

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It's a Sin, Channel 4 review - poignant, funny, vibrant masterpiece

David Nice

Finally, it seems, the time is right for a major British TV drama about how the AIDS crisis hit the early 1980s London gay scene.

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Call My Agent!, Series 4, Netflix review - the final bow for the Parisian showbiz saga?

Adam Sweeting

Sad to report, this fourth series of Call My Agent! (Netflix) will be the final outing for this caustically addictive saga of actors and their agents. The show’s unique trademark has been its success in attracting an impressive roster of A-list French actors and getting them to behave in outlandish and ridiculous ways, but maybe they’re just running out of suitably recognisable names.

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