An enjoyable new Ageing Dad drama: Disney+’s The Old Man reviewed

We men all think we’ve still got it, even when we’re well past 50 and young women look straight through us and every time we get up or sit down or lift something off a shelf we sigh or grunt with the effort. But sure, if push came to shove and we had to defend our loved ones, we’d definitely be able to fight off our attackers with our bare hands, no problem. It’s for people like us that The Old Man was created. It belongs to that venerable tradition of Ageing Dad movies which stretches from Taken (featuring Liam Neeson and his particular set of skills) through to James

Incoherent and conspiracy-fuelled: Adam Curtis’s Can’t Get You Out of My Head reviewed

‘History,’ wrote Edward Gibbon, ‘is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.’ In this respect, though, history has nothing on the work of Adam Curtis, whose latest documentary Can’t Get You Out of My Head has now arrived on BBC iPlayer — all six episodes and eight and a half hours of it. Anybody who’s seen Curtis’s previous series (including The Century of the Self, The Power of Nightmares and The Trap) will know what to expect. Once again, he mixes terrific news footage, short clips of more or less anything, mood-inducing songs and a lordly commentary to remind us just how hopeless

The power of cheap music: pop podcast round-up

Noël Coward was so right that his words have become a cliché: it is indeed extraordinary how potent cheap music can be. Its potency, however, is not innate. Amanda Prynne, from Coward’s Private Lives, would not have been especially struck by ‘Some day I’ll Find You’ had it been playing on a wireless in a shop; its impact came from hearing it as she again encountered her ex-husband. For cheap music to be potent, context is everything. Without a wider meaning, a cheap little pop song is just notes and chords. With meaning, the most throwaway frippery can become an object of fascination. That’s often true of the best known