mon 04/03/2024

tv

Best of 2022: TV

theartsdesk

It may be the lack of old-fashioned blockbuster movies that explains the staggering success of Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick, and the explanation for the lack of blockbuster movies may be that all the money and effort are being poured into television.

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Doc Martin Christmas Special, ITV review - Santa comes to Portwenn as the final curtain falls

Adam Sweeting

In 10 series stretching over the last 18 years, ITV's Doc Martin unobtrusively became an enduringly popular household name, but it finally reached the end of the road with this Christmas one-off. Unless, of course, there’s a prequel, a sequel, an origin story or a transformed internationalised version from Netflix.

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All Creatures Great and Small Christmas Special, Channel 5 review - life during wartime with the Yorkshire vets

Adam Sweeting

As the third series of All Creatures… ended a couple of months ago, Britain had just declared itself at war with Germany and the men of Darrowby were queuing resolutely in the town square to join the armed forces. Intriguingly, as the credits rolled, it seemed that among them was one of our headlining vets, Tristan Farnon (Callum Woodhouse).

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Harry & Meghan, Netflix review - at home with the Harkles

Adam Sweeting

There’s no stopping Harry and Meghan. Logic, reason and facts can’t stand in the way of their “war on oppression and injustice” and determination to become “advocates of healing”. Even though their notorious interview with Oprah Winfrey was littered with demonstrable untruths, it seems their target audience buys into the notion of them telling “their” truth, surely the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card.

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George & Tammy, Paramount+ review - alcohol, violence and heartache in Nashville

Adam Sweeting

Some may consider country music to be corny, sentimental and a relic of a forgotten era. If so, this six-part dramatisation of the lives of Tammy Wynette and George Jones is a reminder of how powerful and soulful the best country music can be, fuelled by raw emotions and personal turmoil.

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Slow Horses, Series 2, Apple TV+ review - Mick Herron’s spies make a welcome return

Helen Hawkins

Apple TV+ is using the arrival of season two of Slow Horses to offer a generous three-month free trial to its streamer service. Ample time to catch up with season one and watch it multiple times before all of season two is available at the end of December. Go for it.

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Tokyo Vice, BBC One review - murder, extortion and corruption in the Japanese capital

Adam Sweeting

There was originally a plan to make Tokyo Vice a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe, but it has ended up as a TV series starring Ansel Elgort. It’s almost certainly the better for it, because the eight episodes of this first season – the way it ends, or rather doesn’t, makes a second helping inevitable – give it space to explore Japanese culture and its often mutually uncomprehending relationship with American or European values.

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1899, Netflix review - Atlantic voyage turns into cosmic nightmare

Adam Sweeting

Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese won delirious acclaim for their previous Netflix series Dark, a labyrinthine and fantastical account of children vanishing from a small German town. Anyone familiar with its baffling events and leaps across different timelines will probably feel at home with 1899, the duo’s similarly mind-bending follow-up.

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Blood, Sex & Royalty, Netflix review - yo, bros, get down with the GOAT, Henry VIII

Helen Hawkins

“It was like Woodstock on steroids,” opines an expert in Netflix’s new release about the doomed marriage of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn (yes, another one).

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The White Lotus, Season 2, Sky Atlantic review - the sizzling hit drama moves to Italy, but with less fizz

Helen Hawkins

Why did Maui work better than Taormina? Mike White’s second series of The White Lotus, which has relocated for its second season from an upscale Hawaiian resort to the fleshpots of Sicily, is still a worthwhile watch, but it’s hard not to wonder where that special savour has gone this time. 

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