Television

Fascinating but flat: Amazon Prime's Thirteen Lives reviewed

13 August 2022 9:00 am

About ten minutes in to Thirteen Lives, Boy came in and asked me whether it was any good. I said:…

The making of The Godfather was almost as dramatic as the film: Paramount+'s The Offer reviewed

6 August 2022 9:00 am

It’s hard to imagine in the wake of GoodFellas, The Sopranos and Gomorrah but there was a time, not so…

Alienatingly sweet and warm: BBC2's The Newsreader reviewed

30 July 2022 9:00 am

When TV makes shows about TV, it rarely has a good word to say for itself. In the likes of…

Why we should all be dropping acid

23 July 2022 9:00 am

Many years ago a man on the end of my cigarette stole my soul. Mr Migarette (for such was his…

Who are these pathologically liberal rozzers? Channel 4's Night Coppers reviewed

16 July 2022 9:00 am

Grizzled police officers of the old school should probably avoid Channel 4’s Night Coppers for reasons of blood pressure. Like…

A thrilling, pacy, well-acted drama: Amazon Prime's The Terminal List reviewed

9 July 2022 9:00 am

‘The Terminal List is… a dated and drably made eight-part military thriller that offers little intrigue or excitement,’ says the…

A very classy thriller indeed: C4's The Undeclared War reviewed

2 July 2022 9:00 am

The Undeclared War has many of the traditional signifiers of a classy thriller: the assiduous letter-by-letter captioning of every location;…

The sad decline of my one-time favourites

25 June 2022 9:00 am

I don’t think it’s my imagination: it really is getting harder and harder to find anything worth watching on TV.…

A masterclass in evenhandedness: James Graham’s Sherwood reviewed

18 June 2022 9:00 am

James Graham has made his considerable name writing political-based dramas of a highly unusual type: non-polemical ones. And this certainly…

Ricky Gervais is an achingly conventional Millennial posing as a naughty maverick

11 June 2022 9:00 am

Just how edgy and dangerous is Ricky Gervais? There is no one more edgy and dangerous, we learn from no…

On the brink of delivering something special: Sky's The Midwich Cuckoos reviewed

4 June 2022 9:00 am

A youngish couple leave London and drive off excitedly to make a fresh start in more rural surroundings. They demonstrate…

Oddly unconvincing: Apple TV+'s The Essex Serpent reviewed

28 May 2022 9:00 am

Having now watched it to the end, I would say that Slow Horses (Apple TV+) is by far the best…

A gentle soap opera with nudity and book chat: Conversations with Friends reviewed

21 May 2022 9:00 am

It’s official: television has a new genre. Its features include leisurely half-hour episodes, plenty of literary chat, several scenes set…

The best TV spy drama since Smiley’s People: Apple TV+'s Slow Horses reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

How thriller writers must miss the Cold War! Early John le Carré and Len Deighton had it easy when trying…

Lacks the bite and bracing malevolence of Call My Agent!: Amazon's Ten Percent reviewed

7 May 2022 9:00 am

In theory, it should be a perfect match. John Morton – the man behind the brilliantly assured sitcom W1A which…

If you're tired of Netflix's agendas, turn to BritBox's new Agatha Christie

30 April 2022 9:00 am

Netflix’s share price has collapsed and a major factor, people are saying, is its relentless pushing of agendas. I think…

The chief characteristic so far has been nervousness: Chivalry reviewed

23 April 2022 9:00 am

Chivalry – written by and starring Sarah Solemani and Steve Coogan – is a comedy drama about post-#MeToo Hollywood life.…

How did he even fool the Duke of Edinburgh? Netflix’s Jimmy Savile – A British Horror Story reviewed

16 April 2022 9:00 am

The only impersonation I can do is my Jimmy Savile impersonation. This is not uncommon among people of my generation:…

An impeccably rule-observing programme from the BBC: Art That Made Us reviewed

9 April 2022 9:00 am

Art That Made Us is an ambitious new series, firmly in the ‘history of something in a load of different…

If you want to avoid intrusive anachronisms on TV, you have to go foreign

2 April 2022 9:00 am

The iron law of TV these days is that if you want to avoid series that are suffocatingly right-on the…

Relentless and shouty: BBC2's Then Barbara met Alan reviewed

26 March 2022 9:00 am

BBC2’s one-off drama Then Barbara Met Alan(Monday) told the true story of how two disabled performers on the cabaret circuit…

Unhurried and accomplished whodunit: ITV's Holding reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

A couple of years ago, I happened to read Graham Norton’s third novel Home Stretch. Rather patronisingly, perhaps, I was…

What’ll happen next – or what’s happened so far – is anybody’s guess: The Ipcress File reviewed

12 March 2022 9:00 am

ITV’s new version of The Ipcress File began with a close-up of a pair of black-rimmed glasses just like those…

Enthralling and unusual – even if you don't care about Kanye: Netflix's Jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy reviewed

5 March 2022 9:00 am

The most disappointing pop performance I’ve ever seen – and in the course of my 15-odd years as a music…

For all its absurdity, it delivers the goods: BBC2's Louis Theroux’s Forbidden America reviewed

26 February 2022 9:00 am

In the latest episode of Louis Theroux’s Forbidden America, Louis asked a rapper called Broke Baby if ‘it’s important to…