TV Review

TV Review: Peter Kay's Car Share Unscripted, BBC1

Peter Kay is not known for pushing artistic boundaries, so it was certainly interesting to see an improvised episode of his hit sitcom Car Share. Whether it worked, however, was another matter.

Even the scripted episodes have a loose feel, with large chunks of each instalment often consisting of John (Kay) and Kayleigh (Sian Gibson) shooting the breeze as they travel to and from work. But the exchanges have presumably been worked on and honed and only the best bits left in.

TV Review: Taskmaster, Series 5, Episode 1, Dave

The problem about making more than one episode available to view online before a series has aired is that idiots like me might not watch the show in the right order. That's why I posted a review of the second episode and not the first one earlier today. The Brucie bonus is that I was able to watch a second edition of this hugely enjoyable series today before it airs on Dave as well. Hardly a chore. 

TV Review: Comedy Playhouse, Mister Winner, BBC1

Spencer Jones is certainly having a busy 2017. He has picked up a Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination for his latest Fringe show and has filmed three sitcoms. He was in last week’s Tim Vine pilot, he pitches up in the imminent new series of Upstart Crow and this week he had his own one-off showcase for his clownish talents, Mister Winner.

TV Review: The Mash Report, BBC2

So is it third time lucky then? After The Nightly Show and Host The Week could TV 2017 crack the seemingly simple concept of a topical show? The Mash Report is slightly different from those other two examples, which were part-chat and part-impro respectively. The role model here was probably The Daily Show with a bit of John Oliver for good measure. Pretty ambitious and, so far, flawed but pretty good.

TV Review, Blind Date with Paul O'Grady, 5

Blind Date used to be part of my Saturday night getting-ready-to-go-out ritual. I don't go out as much on Saturday nights now. Can the new Blind Date, fronted by Cilla Black’s chum Paul O’Grady become part of my staying in ritual? The theme tune was the same, but would it still be a lorra lorra laughs?

TV Review: The Outcast Comic, Sky Arts

Others remember where they were when they heard that Princess Diana had died. I remember where I was when I read Andrew Lawrence’s famous Facebook post about the state of modern comedy and the state of the nation in October 2014. I thought it was, erm, interesting, and messaged him quickly to ask if I could post it on beyondthejoke. I then got on a train and when I logged back on he had replied, politely saying: “Good to hear from you, but I’d rather you didn’t”.

TV Review: Unspun With Matt Forde, Dave

Matt Forde’s new political series nearly hit the buffers before it had even been recorded. Forde’s first guest was scheduled to be Labour leadership contender Owen Smith, but he pulled out. Forde suggested on the show that Smith was concerned about appearing laddish. It was a shame, but his stand-in, former Home Secretary Alan Johnson was good value for money anyway.

TV Review: Fleabag, BBC Three, Episode 6

I’m reluctant to review the final episode of Fleabag. I don't want to give anything away. All I should really say is that you should watch it. And if you haven’t watched the first five episodes catch up immediately.

But very briefly this episode finds Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) hitting the emotional, existential buffers. Despite the usual wry asides this is all smudged make-up and sadness. Her love life is in tatters, her friendships are in ruins and her family life is disintegrating before her tear-stained eyes. 

TV Review: Fleabag, BBC Three, Episode 5

It has taken me a while to get round to writing about the fifth episode of Fleabag. I don’t know what the journalistic equivalent of being speechless is but that’s how I felt after watching it. It’s not quite the same as writer’s block, it’s just when you see something that is so visceral and powerful on a gut level as this it is hard to find the right way of expressing your response to it.

TV Review, Mrs Brown's Boys Live, BBC1

Apparently 40,000 fans applied for the 400 tickets for this live sitcom broadcast. 40,000 people can’t be wrong can they? Well, 17 million voted for Brexit and we all know what a fecking mess that has got us into, as Agnes Brown might say. 


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