Television

Exhilaratingly original, C4’s Flowers is much more than just a ‘dark comedy’

16 June 2018 9:00 am

On Wednesday, BBC Four made an unexpectedly strong case that the human body is a bit rubbish. Our ill-designed spines,…

Why is this Israeli drama such a hit with Palestinians? Because it tells the truth

9 June 2018 9:00 am

‘The rule in our household is: if a TV series hasn’t got subtitles, it’s not worth watching,’ a friend told…

The terrific cast of BBC2's King Lear (BBC/Playground Entertainment/Ed Miller)

Understated and heartbreaking: BBC2’s King Lear reviewed

2 June 2018 9:00 am

I recently came across a theory of the American poet Delmore Schwartz’s that Hamlet only makes sense if you assume…

Magisterial: BBC1’s A Very English Scandal reviewed

26 May 2018 9:00 am

Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little, so you can imagine how sickened I was by the magisterial…

Living the high life: Benedict Cumberbatch as Patrick Melrose

Sky Atlantic’s Patrick Melrose adaptation is triumphant

19 May 2018 9:00 am

Warning: if you haven’t seen it yet, the first episode of the much-anticipated Patrick Melrose (Sky Atlantic, Sunday) contains scenes…

Which now unbearable TV show has been ruined for ever by political correctness?

12 May 2018 9:00 am

Twenty years after it first appeared, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? is back for a brief, week-long anniversary run…

From now on you can assume that every TV-drama cast is female-led

5 May 2018 9:00 am

From time to time, a TV show comes along which is so thrillingly original, so wildly imaginative, that you can’t…

Law & Order, made – and banned – in 1978, puts most recent crime series in the shade

5 May 2018 9:00 am

It’s not every day that a television screenwriter is threatened with a trial for sedition, but G.F. Newman was after…

What’s the point of Philomena Cunk?

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Because I’m a miserable old reactionary determined to see a sinister Guardianista plot in every BBC programme I watch, I…

Jaw-dropping: My Year with the Tribe reviewed

21 April 2018 9:00 am

For a while now, the Korowai people of Western Papua have been the go-to primitive tribe for documentary-makers. The Korowai…

Wild Wild Country makes me want to set up my own cult

14 April 2018 9:00 am

I have decided to set up a cult, which you are all welcome to join, especially those of you who…

Portentous, po-faced but also highly imaginative: The City & The City reviewed

7 April 2018 9:00 am

BBC2 has a new drama series for Friday nights. The main character is a world-weary middle-aged police inspector with an…

The genius of This Country

31 March 2018 9:00 am

Sometimes — really not often but sometimes — a programme that’s good and honest and true slips under the wire…

Shamelessly undemanding: ITV’s The Durrells reviewed

24 March 2018 9:00 am

For as long as I can remember, Sunday nights have been the home of the kind of TV drama cunningly…

Babylon Berlin is so brilliant I’d advise you not to start watching it

17 March 2018 9:00 am

Babylon Berlin (Sky Atlantic), the epic German-made Euro noir detective drama set during Weimar, is so addictively brilliant that I’d…

Intriguing but also baffling: The Assassination of Gianni Versace reviewed

10 March 2018 9:00 am

By common consent, including Bafta’s, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was one of the best TV dramas…

I didn’t realise Petra was an ad for Merkel’s immigration policy: Civilisations reviewed

3 March 2018 9:00 am

Most of the history I know and remember comes from my inspirational prep school teacher Mr Bradshaw. History was taught…

Troy managed to descend into cliché even when nobody was actually using any words

24 February 2018 9:00 am

ITV’s Marcella (Monday) represents another triumphant breakthrough in the portrayal of female cops on television. Of course, thanks to more…

David Hare is the kind of second-rate artist who flourished under Stalin

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Shortly after my rave review of McMafia eight weeks ago, I got a long message from an old friend chastising…

Channel 4 marked women’s suffrage with an episode of the Secret Life of Five-Year-Olds

10 February 2018 9:00 am

To mark the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage — if a little oddly — Channel 4 on Tuesday brought us…

The worst thing about Piers Morgan is that he deserves his success

3 February 2018 9:00 am

Perhaps you missed the fuss because there has been so little publicity about it. But last week, at Davos, the…

Ainsley Harriott is still unaccountably amused by almost everything: Costa Del Celebrity reviewed

27 January 2018 9:00 am

These days, when it comes to people who used to be on the telly, the answer to the classic newspaper…

Is Britannia really in the Game of Thrones’s league?

20 January 2018 9:00 am

It’s a terrible thing for a TV critic to admit but I just don’t know what to make of Britannia,…

Channel 4’s Kiri is already shaping up to be one of the TV highlights of the winter

13 January 2018 9:00 am

These days a genuinely controversial TV drama series would surely be one with an all-white, male-led cast that examined the…

I wish the BBC made more dramas like McMafia – but it’s too busy virtue-signalling

6 January 2018 9:00 am

My third most fervent New Year wish — just after Litecoin goes to £20,000 and Jacob Rees-Mogg becomes PM —…