Series two of Gentleman Jack has been fruity and frivolous – and all the better for it

‘Stop being glib.” “Well, it’s one antidote to melodrama.” Having poured her heart out to Anne Lister (Suranne Jones) and been rewarded with facile deflection, Mariana Lawton’s (Lydia Leonard) frustrations were understandable – after all, their on/off affair had endured for 20 years against considerable odds. It also applied to the script: this second series … Read more

Chivalry, review: Steve Coogan stars as sleazeball in smart satire on Hollywood and sexual politics

Steve Coogan is very good at playing a middle-aged man nervously navigating the new “woke” landscape while desperate to sleep with women half his age. In Chivalry (Channel 4), he is Cameron O’Neill, a Hollywood producer facing up to life in the MeToo era. Bobby Sohrabi (Sarah Solemani) is the right-on film director drafted in … Read more

The TV show that busts the myth that home births are for hippies

Allerton in Bradford is pronounced ‘Ollerton’. Except in Yorkshire Midwives on Call (BBC Two), where the narrator keeps saying it wrong. Look, I know it’s a little thing, but I was born in Allerton so it annoyed me. Programme-makers: please pay attention to the details. Anyway, this is a series about a team of Bradford … Read more

The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe, review: a very British crime story, superbly told

When the story of the “Canoe Man” emerged in 2007, I’d venture that the nation’s screenwriters were all sharpening their pens. You’ll probably remember it, or some of it: in March 2002 John Darwin, a 52-year-old former teacher and prison officer, was seen paddling out to sea in a canoe from the shore at Seaton … Read more

Dinosaurs: The Final Day, review: David Attenborough tried his best, but this was no Jurassic Park

I can’t have been the only one who watched a grey-haired Attenborough superimposed in front of a jungle full of meandering dinosaurs and thought, “Jurassic Park“. I’m afraid – and it pains me to speak ill of the monarch – that there was something about Dinosaurs: The Final Day (BBC One) that was so clearly striving … Read more

Julia, review: Sarah Lancashire cooks up a storm in this tasteful new drama

Everyone likes comfort food and Julia, HBO’s new eight-part drama (showing here on Sky Atlantic) about the American celebrity chef Julia Child, sticks to flavours we all know and love. In Britain, our knowledge of Julia Child comes mostly from the 2009 film Julie & Julia with Meryl Streep, but in the US Child is … Read more

Step aside Chippendales! How SAS: Who Dares Wins got sassy

It found its feet in the second half, though. The new chief instructor Rudy Reyes, scowling over his shemagh scarf like a jacked Lawrence of Arabia, was a serviceable replacement for the now-disgraced Ant Middleton. But it was the interplay between his laconic number two, ex-Navy Seal Remi Adeleke, and the British directing staff, which … Read more

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