Television

Netflix's Messiah is a great concept undermined by implausible politics

25 January 2020 9:00 am

Sky’s latest bingewatch potboiler Cobra can’t quite make up its mind whether it wants to be an arch, knowing House…

Undeniably eye-popping: BBC2’s Louis Theroux – Selling Sex reviewed

18 January 2020 9:00 am

Victoria, a single mother in her early thirties, is getting her children ready for school — ensuring an equitable distribution…

Did everyone in punk sell out?

11 January 2020 9:00 am

For many people of a certain age (full disclosure: mine), punk has been a weirdly persistent presence. These days, we…

The only way to survive Christmas TV is to avoid anything seasonal and watch Giri/Haji

21 December 2019 9:00 am

The key to surviving the next couple of weeks of TV is to avoid like the plague anything that smacks…

Why on earth did Glenda Jackson give up acting? BBC1’s Elizabeth is Missing reviewed

14 December 2019 9:00 am

Watching BBC1’s Elizabeth Is Missing made one of the more puzzling decisions of recent decades seem more puzzling still. Entirely…

The only bearable TV series these days are the ones with subtitles, like Der Pass

7 December 2019 9:00 am

True to the Andrew Roberts rule that the only bearable series on TV these days are ones with subtitles, I’ve…

Is the patriarchy as all-powerful as it’s cracked up to be? The Baby Has Landed reviewed

30 November 2019 9:00 am

Anybody who watched the opening episode of The Baby Has Landed (BBC2, Wednesday) might have found themselves wondering if the…

War of the Worlds is as bad as Doctor Who

23 November 2019 9:00 am

Edwardian England deserved everything it got from those killer Martian invaders. Or so I learned from the BBC’s latest adaptation…

Patronising, clichéd and corny: BBC1’s Gold Digger reviewed

16 November 2019 9:00 am

Some last taboos, it seems, can remain last taboos no matter how frequently they’re confronted. Grief, the menopause, masturbation, mental…

God awful: BBC1’s His Dark Materials reviewed

9 November 2019 9:00 am

‘Here’s your new Sunday night obsession…’ the BBC announcer purred, overintoned and mini-orgasmed, like she was doing an audition for…

BBC wildlife documentaries are just a chance to tell us all off

2 November 2019 9:00 am

Older readers may remember a time when landmark BBC wildlife documentary series were joyous celebrations of the miraculous fecundity of…

Praise be to Mary MacLeod Trump. [Photo: The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images]

If we do get a good Anglo-American trade deal, we should thank Trump’s mother

26 October 2019 9:00 am

In an uncharacteristic fit of almost-robustness, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan has said she is ‘open-minded’ about scrapping the BBC licence…

Should we be playing the surveillance state for laughs? Celebrity Hunted reviewed

19 October 2019 9:00 am

One of the many great things about The Capture was that we could never be sure whether the British authorities’…

Pure, undiluted genius: Succession reviewed

12 October 2019 9:00 am

I have never ever watched a TV series I have enjoyed more than Succession (Now TV). There’s stuff I’d put…

A solid costume drama but Dame Helen has been miscast: Catherine the Great reviewed

5 October 2019 9:00 am

It’s possibly not a great sign of a Britain at ease with itself that the historical character most likely to…

Gloriously un-PC: Ronan Bennett’s Top Boy reviewed

28 September 2019 9:00 am

Sir Lenny Henry, the former comedian, is wont to complain to anyone who’ll listen that there isn’t enough ‘diversity’ on…

Abba, Twitter vs Instagram, and papal selfies: the modern face of the Catholic Church

21 September 2019 9:00 am

As a lifelong Catholic, I’ve often thought that two of the Church’s chief characteristics are a) how weird it is…

With these documentaries, the BBC has lost any claim to impartiality

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Because the rise of the Nazis is a topic so rarely mentioned these days, least of all in schools, the…

I have no clue what's going on but can't wait to find out: BBC1's The Capture reviewed

7 September 2019 9:00 am

How did the police ever solve any crimes before CCTV? That was the question which sprang to mind watching the…

I like Brassic but the reason it's getting such glowing notices is depressing

31 August 2019 9:00 am

Brassic (Sky One) feels like the sort of TV comedy drama they last made about 15 years ago but would…

Heidi’s changing-colours-and-textures routine never failed to delight

The Octopus in My House left you with an overwhelming sense that octopuses are astonishing

24 August 2019 9:00 am

Professor David Scheel, the presenter of a BBC2 documentary on Thursday, instantly brought to mind that American scientist in The…

Amnesia rave, Coventry, 1991. Image: Tony Davis / Pymca / Shutterstock

Jeremy Deller's right: acid house changed Britain forever

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Jeremy Deller’s Everybody in the Place: an Incomplete History of Britain 1984-1992 (BBC4) began with some footage of kids queuing…

Patrizia (Cristiana Dell’Anna) in Series 4 of Gomorrah

The reason Gomorrah is one of the best series ever shown on TV is its fidelity to truth

3 August 2019 9:00 am

My favourite epithet about my favourite TV series was the headline in a review by the Irish Times: ‘Gomorrah. Where…

A badly missed opportunity: How the Middle Classes Ruined Britain reviewed

27 July 2019 9:00 am

BBC2’s How the Middle Classes Ruined Britain (Tuesday) began rather promisingly. ‘I’m a working-class comedian who voted Leave,’ announced presenter…

The BBC’s Extinction Rebellion doc is pure hagiography

20 July 2019 9:00 am

I’m beginning to feel like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers: almost the last person on Earth who…