If you can stand the stress, The Bear is still possibly the best thing on TV

The Bear has been called ‘the most stressful thing on TV’ and I think that’s probably a fair description. It’s set in a Chicago restaurant and – as has become de rigueur in all films and TV series about restaurants – the kitchen scenes are invariably fraught, jerkily shot, uptight, pent-up, explosive, inflammable, past boiling point, chaotic, horrific and generally conducive to the prevailing notion that while war might be hell it’s an absolute picnic when compared to being a chef. It’s also, if you can bear the stress part, possibly the best thing on TV. At least it has been for the first two series, which have built on

Why did C.J. Sansom approve this moronic Disney+ Shardlake adaptation?

What would C.J. Sansom have made of the Disney+ version of his novel series about 16th-century crookback lawyer Matthew Shardlake? Sadly, because he died just a few days before its release, we’ll probably never hear the full story. But this comment from the show’s producer offers a hefty clue: ‘Chris [Sansom] has been enormously generous and he wants more people to read the books, and this is such a good way.’ Sounds very much like Sansom accepted this atrocity of an adaptation as a necessary evil: his books had been stuck in development hell for nearly two decades (possibly, because his labyrinthine whodunits about monastic reform and court politics in

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

Vital, damning docudrama about the Sacklers: Disney+’s Dopesick reviewed

One of my first jobs in journalism was as the arts correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. I’d hop on my motorbike in my greasy leathers (which I used to wear around the office, much to my then editor Max Hastings’s consternation) and zoom off to all manner of exhibition and gallery openings, many of them somehow related to the name Sackler. The Sackler family at the time were the world’s greatest arts philanthropists, with galleries and museums and rooms named after them from New York, London and Paris to the Far East. Like almost everyone, I had no idea of the source of their apparently limitless wealth. But I knew

Half the fun of the animation – and much longer: Mulan reviewed

Mulan is Disney’s latest live-action remake, coming in at 120 minutes, compared with the 1998 animation, which ran to 80. So it’s a third longer, and very much seemed it — and half the fun, if that. No songs. No jokes. No crazy grandma. No Eddie Murphy. Instead, this is a workaday action-adventure that is unlikely to entrance a new generation and won’t cut it for nostalgic adults either. I watched with two twentysomethings who had adored Mulan growing up and were genuinely excited but who wandered from the room after 40 minutes. So I was lonely as well as bored but couldn’t come up with a reason to summon