mon 06/07/2020

Channel 4

A Very British Hotel Chain: Inside Best Western, Series Finale, Channel 4 review - let's hear it for Alasdair the hotel inspector

It’s impossible to tell whether this reality-doc series (C4) came to praise Best Western hotels or kill it off entirely. Some viewers have been weeping with laughter at the David Brent-style antics of the company’s Aussie CEO Rob Paterson and his...

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Philharmonia, Channel 4 review - death on the podium

Great idea to use a symphony orchestra as the basis for a TV drama, because all of human life is there. Not to mention death, since this entertaining, though melodramatic, new French import (Channel 4) began with the dramatic collapse on the podium...

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A Very British Hotel Chain: Inside Best Western, Channel 4 review - requiem for the hospitality industry?

Do TV companies get some sort of financial incentive to use the phrase “A Very British…” in their programme titles? This now-meaningless descriptor has been applied to airlines, brothels, political coups, the Renaissance, Margaret Thatcher, sex...

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Grayson's Art Club, Channel 4 review - too many clichés and platitudes?

The national treasure that is Grayson Perry, CBE, RA, is hosting a six-episode national art club on Channel 4 for professional artists, amateur artists and the public. Since Perry came to national attention when he won the Turner Prize he has been...

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The Steph Show, Channel 4 review - magazine show debuts from host's front room

As we are learning each day during lockdown, necessity is the mother of invention. In Channel 4's case, it is learning how the wonders of modern technology can save a situation: to wit, The Steph Show was meant to come live daily from a shiny...

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Batwoman, E4 review - can Bruce Wayne's female cousin fill his bat-costume?

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been saturating the globe with its multi-format superheroes, leaving its DC rival looking clumsy and disorganised by comparison. However, DC’s “Arrowverse” – a roster of TV shows including Arrow, The Flash and...

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Putin: A Russian Spy Story, Channel 4 review - inside the mind of a man without a face

Director Nick Green’s new three-parter follows on the heels of his A Dangerous Dynasty: House of Assad and comparisons are sure to be made between his two subjects. Though the finer degrees of political power-play – and the sheer quantity of...

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Feel Good, Channel 4 and Netflix review - a fresh, bingeable comedy that digs deep but feels mild

“I am not intense.” That declaration arrives early in Feel Good, the new Channel 4 and Netflix romantic comedy fronted by comedian Mae Martin, who plays a fictionalised version of herself. Over Mae’s shoulder, we see a literal trash fire. She’s lit...

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Five Guys a Week, Channel 4 review - lemming-like contestants make spectacles of themselves

Channel 4 loves to walk the line between the compulsive and the repulsive, and this new dating show, complete with fake-salacious title, is a peerless specimen. The set-up is simple – one woman asks five guys who are “looking for love” to move in...

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The Windsors, Series 3, Channel 4 review - perfect timing for return of the bogus royals

The rage and bitterness surrounding the Brexit brouhaha have made it immune to comedy and satire, but perhaps change is in the wind. Channel 4’s bogus royal family is back after a two-year gap, charged (as an introductory voice-over explained) by...

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How To Stay out of Jail, Channel 4 review – a bold rehabilitation programme from Durham police

With prison overcrowding reaching chronic proportions, police in County Durham have developed the Checkpoint programme to try to keep offenders out of jail with rehabilitation in the community. It’s like Felons Anonymous – candidates have to sign a...

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Baghdad Central, Channel 4 review - thriller set in the aftermath of the Iraq war

Inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji of the Iraqi police may be set to become one of those classically dog-eared, depressed and down-at-heel detectives who have proliferated in crime fiction. He could join a lineage that includes Martin Cruz Smith’s battered...

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