wed 12/12/2018

TV drama

Care, BBC One review - a blunt but powerful polemic

You wouldn’t turn to Jimmy McGovern for a drawing-room comedy, but there’s no doubting his gift for seizing big issues and turning into them raw, bleeding chunks of drama. You’re either for him or against him, but if you’re against him he’d love to...

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The Little Drummer Girl, BBC One, series finale review - Le Carré drama comes to the boil at last

Was The Little Drummer Girl commissioned by algorithm? Those who liked The Night Manager might reasonably have been supposed to enjoy another le Carré adaptation. The two dramas had DNA in common. Both steered away from the Cold War, and told of a...

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Kidding, Sky Atlantic review - tears of a clown

There’s no one right way to grieve. It cuts through everyone differently, whether reverting to childhood traits or out-of-character impulses. The person you lose might mean one thing to you, and something completely different to someone else; it can...

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Death and Nightingales, BBC Two, review - slow, lyrical, slightly dull

And now for something completely different from The Fall. The nerve-shredding drama from Northern Ireland was written by Allan Cubitt and featured, as its resident psychopathic hottie, Jamie Dornan (pictured below). It seems the two couldn’t get...

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The Last Kingdom, Series 3, Netflix review - idylls of the king

Destiny is all. The first two series of The Last Kingdom debuted on BBC Two, but for series three it has been fully embraced by Netflix. Global domination surely looms, since these latest exploits of Uhtred, the warrior who was born a Saxon but...

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My Brilliant Friend, Sky Atlantic review - rich revelations of childhood

This opening episode of My Brilliant Friend was a stunning symphony in grey. For any viewers concerned that HBO’s long-awaited Elena Ferrante adaptation might be tempted to sweeten the visual experience of the writer’s impoverished 1950s Naples...

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Strangers, Series Finale, ITV review - Eastern promise goes unfulfilled

After seeming to spend an interminable amount of time wandering around in a daze and blundering up blind alleys, Strangers finally gathered its wits and cantered towards the finishing tape with a renewed sense of purpose in the final two episodes....

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The Little Drummer Girl, BBC One, review - latest Le Carré just passes audition

When after six novels John Le Carré turned away from the Cold War, he turned towards another simmering post-war conflict, between Israel and Islam. The Little Drummer Girl was published in 1983, and filmed a year later with Diane Keaton and Klaus...

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There She Goes, BBC Four review - mining disability for family comedy?

What do you do after playing Doctor Who, the dream dad of the nation, quirky and compassionate, the adult who every child knows will be fun?  Does it seem like a good idea to play the beleaguered father of a child with special needs? It must do...

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Informer, BBC One review - keeping tabs on terror

Thanks heavens not all police officers spend their time trying to find “hate crime” on Twitter, or not going to the assistance of colleagues in peril. Take Gabe Waters, for instance, the central character in BBC One’s new undercover-policier.Gabe (...

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Press, BBC One, series finale review - scarcely credible but highly entertaining

It’s difficult to tell whether Press (BBC One) came to praise newspapers or to bury them. The slugfest between preachy liberal do-goodery and mucky market-led skulduggery ended in a score draw, with the main protagonists living to fight another day...

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Wanderlust, BBC One, series finale review - you can't have your cake and eat it

So Wanderlust (BBC One) has ceased wandering and its angsty parade of characters have left a sentence unfinished for the last time. In the end, where were we, compared to where we’ve been? The final episode opened with Joy, like King Alfred, burning...

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