wed 19/06/2019

Channel 4

The Virtues, Episode 4, Channel 4 review - a bitter redemption

Shane Meadows has said that he always wanted to make a film where people didn’t talk. It’s homage to the European cinema he loves, with its preference for atmosphere over action, ambiguity over resolution, but it is also a way to confront an...

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The Virtues, Channel 4 review - close and personal with stunning Stephen Graham

The Virtues (Channel 4) sees director Shane Meadows (Dead Man’s Shoes, This Is England) reunite with actor Stephen Graham in what is certainly their most raw and emotionally bruising project to date. Meadows returns to familiar territory, with...

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Chimerica, Channel 4 review - fake news, true drama

Chimerica is a stage-to-screen adaptation that has certainly kept up with the times. When it opened at the Almeida back in 2013 – a West End transfer followed, along with an Olivier award for Best New Play – Lucy Kirkwood’s drama was (very...

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Derry Girls, Series Two, Channel 4 review - welcome back, gang

When Derry Girls premiered on Channel 4 in early 2018, there was little fanfare. But it’s been a whirlwind year for the four girls from Derry (and the wee English lad), capturing British hearts before conquering the US through Netflix...

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Traitors, Channel 4 review - Cold War thriller fails to reach room temperature

It’s 1945 and World War Two is nearly over. Somewhere in England, Fiona Symonds (“Feef” to her friends) is training to be a spy and be dropped behind enemy lines. Her training involves such amusements as being woken in the night by having a bucket...

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Catastrophe, Channel 4, series 4 finale review - sitcom saves the best till last

When the third series ended with a car crash, I did wonder whether Catastrophe (Channel 4) should maybe think about calling it a day. The previous half-dozen episodes had gone to a dark place in their exploration of alcoholism, but stealthily, as if...

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Pure, Channel 4 review - sex, OCD and the single girl

“No one wants a pervert for a daughter,” thinks Marnie (delightful TV newcomer Charly Clive), a 24-year-old from the Scottish Borders, who has intrusive thoughts. Don’t we all? But relentless graphic images about “fucked-up sex” have been messing...

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Screenwriter Adam Price on 'Ride Upon the Storm' - 'If we discuss faith, we will possibly not kill each other'

Apparently in Denmark they pronounce screenwriter Adam Price’s surname as “Preece”, but its English-looking spelling stems from the fact that his ancestors moved from London to Denmark in the 18th century. He came storming back into the British...

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Catastrophe, Series 4, Channel 4 review - final series starts strongly

Some may have thought that Catastrophe (Channel 4) had neared the end of the road with the third series, but I disagree. It was still managing, with some deftness, to pull off the difficult trick of mixing broad humour with serious themes of love,...

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Brexit: The Uncivil War, Channel 4 review - Benedict Cumberbatch gets the best tunes

One day this all will be over. Give it half a century. In 50 years' time, there will be documentaries in which today’s young, by then old, will explain to generations yet unborn exactly how and why Britain went round the twist in 2016. Much as we...

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Best of 2018: TV

Bruce Springsteen once sang about there being "57 channels and nothin' on". Those were the days. Now we have so much to watch (including Netflix's Springsteen on Broadway) that all the world's remaining elephants couldn't remember them all.But...

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Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage, Channnel 4 review - making meaning in death

Grayson Perry is at it again. The Turner Prize winner, Reith lecturer, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, curator, writer, British Museum trustee, CBE, RA – plus Britain's and the art world’s favourite transvestite – is trying to find sense...

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