Re) Watched
Buried on this server is the old version of OTT, the one that ran from 1999 to 2010, and was written by many hands. I counted, and there are in the region of 670 TV reviews sat in the archive.

This is the first week of my fortnight off writing about the last seven days of telly, but I wanted to maintain some reason for folk to visit the site of a Friday. And so, I’ve taken a brisk trawl through that 670-or-so pieces to pick out 10 of my favourites. This isn’t a definitive list, please don’t get grumpy. I’ve been working backwards from 2010, and only got to 2005, so there’s still plenty more to do.

Until then, why not have a look at…

Richard and Judy (Watch, 2009) – Ian Jones demolishes the duo’s last ever episode after their unsuccessful move to the higher numbers on the EPG. I particularly like the way he employs quite a lofty metaphor: “There is a Sispyhean air to proceedings.”

Grange Hill (BBC1, 2008) – And here’s Ian again marking another, equally unloved and now forgotten, ending as the once seminal school saga flounced off our screens forever.

Noel’s HQ (Sky 1, 2008) – Jack Kibble-White gets to the nub of what’s wrong here: “Right from the outset… it presumes the viewers share the programme’s central thesis – that red tape (and by extension political correctness), is suffocating this great country.”

The IT Crowd (Channel 4, 2007) – TJ Worthington communicates real joy and excitement at the comedy’s second series. “The IT Crowd has gone beyond the novelty value of being a breath of comedic fresh air, and is establishing itself – or in fact probably already has – as a great series in its own right.”

Tycoon (ITV1, 2007) – Okay, I wrote this one, which is bad form. But I link to it more because the world deserves to be reminded of Peter Jones’ ill-fated South Bank-based assault on Alan Sugar’s empire. That and Frukka.

It Started With Swap Shop (BBC2, 2006) – Steve Williams captures a more pleasing side to Noel, and manages to quantify the sheer excitement of Saturday morning telly.

Prime Suspect (ITV1, 2006) – It’s another last-ever episode. It must be Ian Jones, then, and this time he’s impressed: “This was television drama of the highest and noblest of orders.”

The Outsiders (ITV1, 2006) – Remember this one? Rob Buckley is, it has to be said, terribly kind to something that was a monstrous misfire.

The Apprentice (BBC2, 2006) – Series two, in case you need some orientation, and Chris Hughes responds to, and writes brilliantly about, the show. And that’s how you build to a neat closing line. [NB. Also see Chris’ take on The Apprentice USA]

Cheers (Channel 4, 2004) – Cameron Borland always wrote the most scathing, acerbic reviews. But also the most joyous.

  • Next Friday: I write a grumpy post about a thing. And it starts like this…

22 episodes of Pointless


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