sat 01/10/2022

tv

This England, Sky Atlantic review - how Boris's No 10 got Covid wrong

Helen Hawkins

From underneath the messy ash-white thatch of hair, a strange mooing suddenly issues: Sir Kenneth Branagh is wrestling with Boris Johnson’s odd way of saying the “oo” sound. It’s a brave attempt but ultimately a bit wayward, rather like the drama series Branagh is starring in, This England, Michael Winterbottom’s six-part reconstruction of Boris’s early days as PM, Covid, lockdown and all. 

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Am I Being Unreasonable?, BBC One review - comedy thriller delivers the gags

Veronica Lee

In case you're not au fait with Mumsnet, the title of Daisy May Cooper's follow-up creation to the stupendous This Country is a nod to the parenting website's readers' questions corner, where the responses boil down to “Yes, you are” and “No, you're not” in equally judgmental proportions. (Although, it has to be said, sometimes the replies are far from that and can be funny or helpful.)

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Crossfire, BBC One review - pacy and nail-biting, the holiday from hell

Helen Hawkins

A sun-baked island resort; Keeley Hawes taking a leisurely dip in an infinity pool as we hear her in voiceover musing on how events happen unchosen, with you in them; then we are up in her room, where she is texting somebody. The sounds of gunshots and mass panic jolt her into action. She rushes for her trainers – not flipflops, she admonishes herself, you are going to need to run.

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The Capture, Series 2 finale, BBC One review - gripping ride to a barnstorming conclusion

Helen Hawkins

[Here be spoilers.] If you have been glued to the second season of The Capture, just ended, does it bother you that its content is borderline science fiction? Probably not. Writer Ben Chanan’s depiction of artificial intelligence may outstrip the reality of what it can currently achieve, but he can sure spin a gripping TV series around AI's potential for creating chaos in the wrong hands. 

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Munich Games, Sky Atlantic review - superbly crafted thriller races to prevent a terrorist attack

Helen Hawkins

A black box with a red blinking light is being stashed in a cabinet under the seating of the Olympic stadium in Munich. Then a hoodie-ed man is seen in silhouette, the stadium in the background. We are about to be plunged into the darker corners of the prosperous Bavarian city where, 50 years earlier, as the footage in the opening credits recalls, the infamous massacre of 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team by PLO gunmen took place.

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The Capture, Series 2, BBC One review - caught up in the China syndrome

Adam Sweeting

When the first series of The Capture arrived three years ago, theartsdesk liked it so much that we reviewed it three times. Writer-director Ben Chanan had successfully, and addictively, tapped into a secret dystopia of blanket digital surveillance and so-called “correction”, in which anyone might be manipulated by shadowy state agencies to serve their own hidden agendas.

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Van der Valk, Series 2 Finale, ITV review - sleaze, corruption and skulduggery in Amsterdam

Adam Sweeting

Despite the jarring effect of having British actors speaking colloquial English while purporting to be Dutch policemen working in Amsterdam, the second series of ITV’s Van der Valk arrived at its third and final episode feeling as if it had reached its comfort zone.

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Better Call Saul, Season 6 Finale, Netflix review - end of the line for TV's most celebrated con artist

Adam Sweeting

It was the end of an era, as Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s bittersweet epic of the brilliantly devious Saul Goodman wound to a close. Hints of redemption were in the air, signalled by Saul reverting at last to his real name, James McGill.

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Marriage, BBC One review - a brilliantly executed drama series with a big heart

Helen Hawkins

The gifted writer-director Stefan Golaszewski (Him and Her, Mum) has surpassed himself with his latest drama series, Marriage. Given hour-long episodes to play with, rather than the usual half-hour, he has created an unfeasibly rich four-parter out of the simplest of means.

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Shetland, Series 7, BBC One review - Douglas Henshall is back for the last time as Jimmy Perez

Adam Sweeting

The last couple of series of Shetland (BBC One) brought the previously much-loved series alarmingly close to shark-jumping territory, converting the remote and thinly-populated Shetland archipelago into a war zone teeming with people-trafficking gangs, murderers and drug dealers. Can Series 7 restore some sanity?

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