TV: Nathan Barley – Series One

The cast/crew bit: written by Charlie Brooker & Chris Morris, starring Nicholas Burns, Julian Barrett and Claire Keelan

The 10-word synopsis: Sombre journalist wages his own private war against ‘The Idiots’.

There’s a part of my brain that thinks that Nathan Barley may be the best sitcom ever made. It’s a buoyant, bizarre concoction of wandering ideas and stray characters. Every second of Nathan Barley feels out of place, like the show isn’t suppose to fit together. Each actor seems to give a performance that feels like it’s in a different program to the next. There’s a lack of consistency that seems to characterise the series. Almost everything good about Nathan Barley can equally be seen as a criticism and, for this feat alone, you can’t help but praise the team behind it. Continue reading

TV: The Inbetweeners – Series One

The cast/crew bit: Written & directed by Iain Morris & Damon Beesley, starring Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley and Blake Harrisson

The ten-word synopsis:┬áMisadventures of four Sixth Form boys who don’t fit in.

The Americans have spent the past 50 years doing variants on the high school theme. For too long, they’ve been pigeonholing and overexadurating characters that just don’t feel real. So it’s alarming that in what is virtually Britains’ first high-profile shot at an equivalent series, they seem to have fixed the problems that so often linger in similar programs over the pond. Continue reading

TV: Maid Marian and Her Merry Men – Series One

The cast/crew bit: written & directed by plus starring Tony Robinson, also starring Kate Lonrgan and Wayne Morris

The ten-word synopsis: An alternative take on Robin Hood, where Marians’ in control.

You know your scripts an absolute winner when you can make a program that remains funny despite a distinct inability to act from your lead actress. Maid Marian and her Merry Men is possibly the funniest childrens TV show ever made, but it’s no thanks to Marian herself, Kate Lonergan. Originally broadcast in 1989, the program is the brain child of Blackadders’ Tony Robinson, with Richard Curtis also involved less prolifically Continue reading

TV: The IT Crowd – Series One

The cast/crew bit: Written & directed by Graham Linehan, starring Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade & Katherine Parkinson

The 10-word synopsis: Computer-Illiterate woman gets job in IT with two geeks.

Graham Linehan is clearly a man with genius in his blood. In a world awash with unfunny sitcoms and so-called ‘comedies’ that couldn’t raise a laugh if they wore those glasses with fake moustaches attached over their nose and their nans’ pants on their head, Linehan has struck gold for the second time, following up the brilliant Father Ted with 2006’s equally fantastic The IT Crowd. Continue reading