Impersonations are the work of the unfunny, slightly creepy guy you don't want to get stuck next to at the works do, as anyone who has heard my Nelson Mandela will confirm. Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan do them constantly throughout both seasons of The Trip not, I think, because that's what they revert to when improvising with each other, but because it suggests that they are slightly tedious company in real life, while simultaneously being funny to watch. Which seems to me pretty much the whole point.
Having shed the freak-show tenor of his early work, Louis Theroux has become a documentarian you trust implicitly - even when the film ends on an implausible high note.
Yes, that six-minute long shot at the end of True Detective
's fourth episode was amazing. But in episode five of Line of Duty, there was something just as groundbreaking.
The marked increase in comic touches in the New Year's Day episode pointed the way and tonight we got it: a flat-out Sherlock comedy. A wedding comedy, no less, with a bungling best man to boot. I enjoyed it a lot, but I couldn't help thinking it's hard to get away with this sort of thing when you're only doing three episodes every two years.
According to the internet, every series finale is either the greatest thing in recorded history or the worst thing ever visited on the commenter's eyes, undoing all the good work that came before it. Consensus on Dexter's swansong seems to be the latter. But I'm here to tell you that finales aren't as important as all that, and that this one, while flawed, was better than everyone seems to think. And you should take note, because like everyone else's on the internet, my opinion matters gravely. (Spoilers follow.)
Much like Ed did a year ago in his review of Community season two
, I find it a tricky, almost daunting prospect to review an entire season of something, even more so when I haven't had time to watch all 22 episodes. Look, I've just been super busy lately (catching up with Breaking Bad
). But if the rest of the third season of Community is as sharp, original, and self-knowing as what I've already seen, then hell, my job's already half done.
Women's prison fiction has a proud tradition of providing jollies for the adolescent male. But Orange is the New Black, Netflix's latest original series, missteps horrifically in its positive depiction of women as rounded characters whose concerns extend further than lezzing each other off in the shower.
Though Netflix have some thinking to do around how they take advantage of social media TV discussion when they release a series with no regular episode schedule, they've chosen a superior flagship in House of Cards.
With only eight episodes to go, I have no idea whatsoever how Breaking Bad's going to finish this year, and even less how I'm going to fill the empty shell of a life it'll leave behind for me. Maybe I'll try and recreate key scenes in the shed.
I know you have to reckon BBC4's amazing if you're middle class, but in the main I could do without hour-long documentaries about iron filings on a Thursday night. If I get a say how my licence fee's spent, though, I'm happy to sign off on Parks and Recreation.