Only goodwill will get you through this reboot: Paramount+’s Frasier reviewed

Remember the groans of dismay, possibly including your own, which greeted John Cleese’s announcement in February that he was reviving Fawlty Towers? Happily, there appears to be much more goodwill behind the return of Frasier – the bad news being that, judging from the first three episodes, it might well need it. Kelsey Grammer’s entrance – 39 years after Frasier Crane showed up in Cheers – received a huge audience ovation. All references, however straightforward, to his earlier incarnations got a guaranteed laugh. Nonetheless, for those of us desperately hoping the new series won’t be a letdown, the result so far has required an increasingly effortful keeping of the faith.

Subtle, psychologically twisty drama: BBC3’s Bad Behaviour reviewed

Bad Behaviour is a decidedly solemn new Australian drama series with plenty to be solemn about. It was billed in Radio Times as ‘slow-burning’ – which feels a little tactless, given that the opening scene featured a girl in a boarding-school dormitory setting herself on fire (and burning quite quickly). We then cut to the same girl, Alice, ten years later looking surprisingly well as she gave a cello performance in a venue where the catering staff included a fellow ex-pupil called Jo, who greeted her warmly. Perhaps understandably, though, Alice was reluctant to reminisce about the old days at Silver Creek. It’s one of those shows where you can’t

An extraordinary tale: BBC2’s The Countess and the Russian Billionaire reviewed

There can’t be many programmes that bring to mind quotations from both Henry Kissinger and Boney M., but BBC2’s The Countess and the Russian Billionaire was one of them. While Kissinger’s idea that ‘power is the ultimate aphrodisiac’ may be a little out of fashion in the #MeToo age, it was hard not to think it played a part in the eye-popping events that Wednesday’s documentary laid out with some relish. As for Boney M., rarely has ‘Oh, those Russians’ from ‘Rasputin’ felt so penetratingly insightful. The programme began filming in 2015, with the apparent aim of providing a ringside seat at a fight between an excitingly wealthy British-based couple

Five TV sitcoms that are ripe for banning

So we’ve come to it once again: busybodies fretting about what the kids are watching on TV. It’s one of those things that comes around at least once every decade, alongside video games, rap music, pornography and social media — a medium that needs to be strictly controlled, lest it infest the suggestible lesser minds of those who consume it to the detriment of wider society. This generation’s Mary Whitehouse is a TV writer by the name of Daisy Goodwin, responsible for the twee Downton Abbey tribute act Victoria. Goodwin, in the Radio Times, has called for the BBC to stop showing repeats of the favorite sitcom Dad’s Army, for