tue 22/05/2018

tv

A Very English Scandal, BBC One review - making a drama out of a crisis

Adam Sweeting

There was a time when Hugh Grant was viewed as a thespian one-trick pony, a floppy-haired fop dithering in a state of perpetual romantic confusion. But things have changed. He was excellent in Florence Foster Jenkins, hilariously self-parodic in Paddington 2, and he’s brilliant in A Very English Scandal (BBC One) as smooth, treacherous Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe.

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The Handmaid's Tale, Series 2, Channel 4 review - it's not getting any better for Offred

Adam Sweeting

Not the least startling element of Bishop Michael Curry’s house-rockin’ sermon at the royal nuptials was his quotation from the old spiritual “There is a balm in Gilead”. Evidently the Bishop was not referring to the endlessly looping nightmare that is The Handmaid’s Tale, where “Gilead” means not balm, but torture, terror, misery and misogyny.

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Innocent, ITV review - David Collins wants his life back

Adam Sweeting

Addressing the baying media on the steps of the courthouse after being acquitted of murdering his wife, for which non-crime he’d spent the last seven years in prison, David Collins (Lee Ingleby) was a bitter and angry man.

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Patrick Melrose, Sky Atlantic review - an olympiad of substance abuse

Adam Sweeting

Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels have been admired for their prose style, scathing wit and pitiless depiction of a rotting aristocracy.

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The Bridge, BBC Two, series 4 review - Scandi saga is darker than ever

Jasper Rees

In the 1990s, which brought us Morse, Fitz and Jane Tennison, an idea took root that all television detectives must be mavericks. They needed to be moody, dysfunctional, addictive, a bit of an unsolved riddle. These British sleuths were all variations on a glum theme but the scriptwriters knew the limits. Make them suffer, but don’t put them through hell.

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The Woman in White, Series Finale, BBC One review - good-looking, but flat

Tom Birchenough

Much has been made of this adaptation of The Woman in White having an especial relevance for our times.

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Homeland, Series 7 Finale, Channel 4 review - Russian roulette

Adam Sweeting

In a manner uncannily reminiscent of last year’s Season 6, this latest edition of Homeland spent at least half the series trying to get warmed up for the dash to the tape over the final furlongs.

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Ballet's Dark Knight - Sir Kenneth MacMillan, BBC Four review – hagiography and home videos

Hanna Weibye

If you came to this programme knowing nothing about the choreographer Kenneth MacMillan, you may have learned a few things. That he died, tragically and rather dramatically, of a massive heart attack during a first night performance of one his own ballets. That he was "interested" in sex and death, and frequently choreographed violent forms of both in his ballets.

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Friday Night Dinner, Channel 4 review - predictable but fun

Veronica Lee

The Goodmans are back - for a fifth (and rumoured possibly to be the last) series of Friday Night Dinner, Robert Popper’s deliciously daft comedy set in a secular Jewish household in north London and based on the Peep Show producer's own upbringing.

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Jazz Ambassadors, BBC Four review - the cool war

Matthew Wright

As the ice hardened in the Cold War of the mid-1950s, and the USSR mocked the USA for both its supposed barbarism and racial segregation, the representative from Harlem, Adam Clayton Powell Jr, had a bright idea.

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