tue 01/12/2020

BBC Two

Harlots, BBC Two review – sublime, ridiculous, and always entertaining

Back to Georgian brothels, now – at least, for those of us who don’t have a Hulu subscription. The BBC’s airing of the second series of Harlots over the summer felt strangely timely. Barely an episode in and an angry crowd was hammering at the local...

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Enslaved with Samuel L Jackson, BBC Two review - ambitious history of the slave trade falls short

Enlisting Hollywood giant Samuel L Jackson to host a series about the history of slavery, his own ancestors having been trafficked from West Africa to the Americas, was a headline-grabbing move, and scenes where we travelled with Jackson to the...

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Our World: Colombia - Saving Eden, BBC Two review - the war is over, but can they save the rainforests?

Stories of the destruction of the natural environment are depressingly common, but Frank Gardner brought a fresh slant to this punchy account of a botanical expedition to Colombia (BBC Two). Best known as the BBC’s security correspondent, Gardner...

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The Unbelievable Story of Carl Beech, BBC Two review - a stomach-turning swamp of lies and incompetence

The story of the malignant fantasist Carl Beech is one of the more iniquitous episodes in British legal history, a stomach-turning swamp of lies, gullibility and heinous incompetence. It shook faith in some of our supposedly most robust institutions...

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Mandy, BBC2 review - Diane Morgan's new creation

Mandy started life in the Comedy Shorts season last year, and has now been given a six-part series. Diane Morgan, who has a solid CV in other writers' work including Philomena Cunk, Motherland and After Life, here writes, directs and stars as the...

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Bears About the House, BBC Two review - uphill struggle to save hunted animals

Sun bears and moon bears are probably doomed, so why bother? Wildlife trafficking is a hugely profitable worldwide criminal enterprise, with small charities (fingers in the dyke, anyone?) doing their best to stem the flow.The international charity...

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The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty, BBC Two review - how the Aussie tycoon acquired huge political leverage

As an opening line to BBC Two's new three-part series, “Rupert Murdoch is an enigma” failed to set pulses racing. It rather implied that after three hours of documentary TV, we may end up none the wiser about what makes the scary Australian media...

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The Choir: Singing for Britain Finale, BBC Two review - stirring songs from a garden shed

Once again the incredible healing powers of Gareth Malone swung into action, as his quest to find a universal anthem for the Covid crisis boiled up to a climax (BBC Two). Considering that he’s been masterminding his Home Choir and his songwriting...

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The Kemps: All True, BBC Two review - more self-promotion than self-mockery

The spoof “rockumentary” always sounds like a great idea, but it’s hard to pull off. Largely this is because rock stars are so divorced from reality that an element of self-parody is already built in, albeit unwittingly (“everybody’s so different, I...

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The Choir: Singing for Britain, BBC Two review - the pandemic versus the power of song

Singing in a choir can be terrific therapy for anxiety, depression or loneliness, but one of the cruellest effects of the coronavirus is the way it has restricted normal human interaction. The notion of social distancing might have been designed to...

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A House Through Time, Series Finale, BBC Two review - timely series reaches uneven conclusion

Setting his third series of A House Through Time in Bristol (BBC One) was a stroke of inspired prescience for historian and presenter David Olusoga. His chosen house, Number 10 Guinea Street, had been built in 1718 by the slave-trafficking Captain...

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A House Through Time, Series 3, BBC Two review - Bristol under the microscope

David Olusoga’s A House Through Time concept (BBC Two) has proved a popular hit, using a specific property as a keyhole through which to observe historical and social changes. After previously picking sites in Liverpool and Newcastle, this time he’s...

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