sun 21/07/2024

tv

Blue Lights Series 2, BBC One review - still our best cop show despite a slacker structure

Helen Hawkins

The first season of Blue Nights was so close to police procedural perfection, it would be hard for season two to reach the same heights. Overall, it doesn’t, though there are still special moments.

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Baby Reindeer, Netflix review - a misery memoir disturbingly presented

Helen Hawkins

Richard Gadd won an Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2016 with material about being sexually abused by a man, in a set called Monkey See, Monkey Do that he performed on a treadmill with a gorilla at his back. 

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Anthracite, Netflix review - murderous mysteries in the French Alps

Adam Sweeting

Ludicrous plotting and a tangled skein of coincidences hold no terrors for the makers of this frequently baffling French drama. Nonetheless, its story of a bizarre cult, a rapacious medical corporation and a trail of dead bodies stretching back through 30 years of history does somehow keep you coming back for more, if only to wonder how much more berserk proceedings can become.

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Ripley, Netflix review - Highsmith's horribly fascinating sociopath adrift in a sea of noir

Helen Hawkins

There would have to be a good reason for making another screen version of Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel The Talented Mr Ripley, already successfully adapted by Anthony Minghella in his 1999 film. 

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Scoop, Netflix review - revisiting a Right Royal nightmare

Adam Sweeting

What with the interminable Harry and Meghan saga, the death of the Queen and the recent health scares for Kate and King Chuck, this is just what the Royal Family needed – the exhumation of Prince Andrew’s catastrophic 2019 Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis which probed his alarm-bell-jangling relationship with serial sexual abuser Jeffrey Epstein.

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RuPaul’s Drag Race UK vs the World Season 2, BBC Three review - fun, friendship and big talents

David Nice

In the finale of the latest RuPaul extravaganza to make it to the BBC, our hostess asks each of the competitors “why does the world need drag now more than ever?” The question needs detailed answers as increasingly more intense hate is hurled against the age-old art around the world, and it’s clear that the finals, at least when not all-American, are more a love-in than a competition.

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This Town, BBC One review - lurid melodrama in Eighties Brummieland

Adam Sweeting

Industrious screenwriter Steven Knight has brought us (among many other things) Peaky Blinders, SAS: Rogue Heroes and even Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?, but This Town may not be remembered as one of his finest hours. Here, we find Knight revisiting his Midlands background for a story that begins in 1981, during Margaret Thatcher’s first term as Prime Minister.

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Passenger, ITV review - who are they trying to kid?

Adam Sweeting

The screenwriting debut of actor Andrew Buchan, Passenger ends up resembling a bunch of ingredients looking for a cake.

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3 Body Problem, Netflix review - life, the universe and everything (and a bit more)

Adam Sweeting

From Game of Thrones producers David Benioff and DB Weiss, in cahoots with Alexander Woo, 3 Body Problem is Netflix’s daring attempt to dramatise Liu Cixin’s novel The Three-Body Problem. A mind-bending sci-fi epic spanning multiple decades, while also reaching centuries into the past and future, it can scarcely be faulted for lack of ambition, but sometimes there's just too much going on to digest properly.

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Manhunt, Apple TV+ review - all the President's men

Adam Sweeting

President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on 14 April 1865, five days after General Robert E Lee’s surrender at Appomatox signalled the end of the American Civil War. The ensuing chase to catch his killer, John Wilkes Booth, is the basis of Manhunt (based on James L Swanson’s book).

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