Lead Balloon

Thursday, November 22, 2007 by · Comments Off 

History does repeat itself. It’s not that long ago I was going around raving to people about the US version of The Office. I remember reiterating that, if they could just forget about the UK version and avoid spending the whole time imagining Gervais and co delivering the lines, then they’d soon come to see what a great show it is. Read more


Friday, November 2, 2007 by · Comments Off 

From early incarnation as embarrassing great uncle to latterday guise as sassy grandmother, the status of Countdown in the Channel 4 family has always been at odds with that of the clan as a whole. Read more

30 Rock

Thursday, October 11, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Sometimes you don’t want to work hard to enjoy television. Sometimes all you want is for the programme you’re about to watch to not leave you in any way exhausted, be it through frustration, tension or sheer exuberance. Sometimes all you need is television that leaves you exactly as it found you. Read more

Robin Hood

Saturday, October 6, 2007 by · Comments Off 

“We are the spirit of England,” cried the cleanest set of teeth the wrong side of the Renaissance, “and that is this country’s only hope.” Read more

Michael Palin’s New Europe

Sunday, September 16, 2007 by · 1 Comment 

A few days ago several newspapers took great glee in revisiting the second most over-egged story of the summer: TV “fakery”. Read more

Grandad’s Back in Business

Monday, September 10, 2007 by · Comments Off 

So what counts the most – youthful exuberance or aged experience? Read more

A Bucket o’ French and Saunders

Friday, September 7, 2007 by · Comments Off 

“Hello? Can I come in?” Read more

The Restaurant

Thursday, September 6, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Gripping reality television is all about hubris. That’s not a startling observation, but it is one that feels particularly appropriate when watching the aspirational brand. Read more

Holly and Fearne Go Dating

Wednesday, September 5, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Amidst declining ratings, ITV1 has been quick leap on other channel’s ideas and make their own version. This policy has so far brought us classics such as Fortune: Million Pound Giveaway, You Don’t Know You’re Born and the recent Britain’s Favourite View. Read more

Hell’s Kitchen

Monday, September 3, 2007 by · Comments Off 

So who won the last series of Hell’s Kitchen? This particular reviewer turned his back on the run somewhere near the beginning of week two. Read more

The IT Crowd

Friday, August 24, 2007 by · Comments Off 

For all that certain commentators might have claimed to feel “betrayed” by the thought of erstwhile hard-hitting satirist Chris Morris appearing in a warm-hearted laugh track-enhanced sitcom, the first series of Graham Linehan’s The IT Crowd was an unexpected if thoroughly deserved hit. Read more

Last Man Standing

Tuesday, August 14, 2007 by · Comments Off 

It would be very easy to be cynical about Last Man Standing. The BBC has had, embedded in its DNA almost since its first day of transmission, a mission to educate and inform the nation’s youth. Read more

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Thursday, July 26, 2007 by · Comments Off 

“I have no reason to trust you; you work in television.” Read more


Wednesday, July 25, 2007 by · Comments Off 

It’s been a while since I’ve been this excited about the broadcast of a new US import – but then it’s been a while since a series has been trailed by this much critical acclaim from professionals and bloggers and professional bloggers and people with access to broadband all chanting quietly, “Watch … Watch … Watch…”. Read more


Monday, July 9, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Justin’s in the back of Peter Jones’ limo. “I’m now the boss of Tycoon Towers,” he says, in that nervy lilt. “Yeah, feeling on top of the world. I’m really excited about the challenge. So, bring it on … Elizabeth’s going to be a pain in the arse, though”. Read more

Doctor Who

Saturday, June 30, 2007 by · Comments Off 

There was a time, back when Doctor Who was on almost all year round, that all its principle cast members, including the eponymous time wizard, would go on vacation for a few episodes. Read more


Saturday, June 16, 2007 by · Comments Off 

A creature of dangerous unpredictability has returned to our screens. A person of hidden debauchery, of masked wantonness, of hitherto unexceptional virtues suddenly and dramatically revealed to possess capacity for unspeakable acts of irresponsibility. Read more

Any Dream Will Do

Saturday, May 26, 2007 by · Comments Off 

You pays your money and you likes it or lumps it. Read more

Peep Show

Friday, May 11, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Peep Show has come to occupy a curious place in the comedy landscape. Cited by many as being the funniest sitcom of its age, it performs so poorly in the ratings it probably survives only through Channel 4′s lack of other critically acclaimed sitcoms. Read more

Jonathan Meades: Abroad Again

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 by · Comments Off 

Lord Reith was a Presbyterian Scot, a Wee Free wallah, among whose folks the most timid involvement in sensual pleasures had you hellbound. Read more

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