Monday, 13 June 2011

ITV vs BBC ... and a bit of E4

I find it strange that at times there seems very little from terrestrial TV that's really worth watching. Perhaps it's what they call 'seasonal', I don't know. However, IMHO, there's been quite a bit worth watching of late.

I've recorded 'Camelot' (C4 - Saturdays) but have yet to watch it Sadly, though, most of the Arthurian interpretations leave more than a little to be admired. I really do wish that this isn't one of them.

BBC ... and predominantly on BBC2

The Shadow Line - written, produced and directed by Hugo Blick (in an interview Chris Eccleston said that Hugo would also have done the catering if he could) - brilliant in its build up and with a stellar cast which includes Mr Eccleston, Chewitel Ejiofor, Rafe Spall, Anthony Sher and Steven Rea. The last episode is this week. Will all the strings be tied up? Or is there a second series on the cards?

Physchoville 2 - Okay, it may have ended already but considering that they didn't know if they were going to get a second series, and with pretty much all the characters potentially dying at the end of the first, I thought that the mix of out-and-out comedy, mad surrealism and scary freakiness meant this was a must watch to fans of Mssrs Pemberton and Shearsmith. Brilliant, and will be added to the DVD collection.

Also, Luther returns tomorrow (14th) for a second series - always worth watching for Idris Elba, alone.

ITV

Scott & Bailey - starring Suranne Jones, Lesley Sharp (also in The Shadow Line), Amelia Bullmore (shark attack ... everyone loves a shark attack) and the superbly subtle Rupert Graves. This programme had (apparently) eight millions viewers for its opening episode and, although it does have some faults, is a solid female-led police drama. Much better than 'Vera' which should have been cracking but was simply Brenda doing a Columbo impression and doing it badly, I'm sorry to say.

Injustice - the five-episode series broadcast over one week. Now normally the one-week 'mini-series' that ITV broadcast aren't normally anything to get too excited about but with a top-rate cast (headed by James Purefoy) and written by Anthony Horowitz it kept my attention right to the end. The 'unreliable accounts' of some of the characters placed doubt as to the reality of actual events and, I thought, handled really well.

One of the flagship programmes for me on E4 is Misfits. I was late coming to this - probably because of the channel - but it is brilliant and now in its third series. Very, very clever scripting. The acting is first rate and equally well directed. It's now in its third series and will no doubt carry on for more.

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