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TV & Radio Reviews

Last Night's TV: The good doctor laid it all on the table

Just don't expect me not to snigger, that's all. I know we're supposed to be grown-up about these things and that today's children are, notionally at least, growing up hideously ignorant about sexual health and that it's a thoroughly good thing that Dr Alice Roberts is giving us a brisk introduction to our reproductive organs to kick off her series Don't Die Young. But when she talked about "my user's guide to the male reproductive organ", I'm afraid I couldn't repress the unruly boy slouching on the back row who wanted Miss to explain precisely what she used it for. Was she going to offer star ratings? Handy tips for the novice handler? Small boy piped up again when she delivered one of her pieces to camera from the crotch of the Cerne Abbas giant and, I regret to say, when we were introduced to her male guinea pig, an events organiser called Mark Smallman. With a name such as that, Mr Smallman must have had a very wearying time in his teenage years, but he can now lay the past to rest. His testicles, we have it on sound medical authority, are an excellent size, and the sample of semen he had tested looked as busy as a municipal lido in the middle of a heatwave. As in the lido, there always seems to be one maniac, head down and doing a splashy sprint from corner to corner.

Inside TV & Radio Reviews

You Write The Reviews: WALL-E (U) (Rated 4/ 5 )

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Generally, I approach family films with a certain degree of caution. In my experience, while the species of the characters change, the stories of all these cleverly animated productions are pretty similar – and not very good. However, I'd heard good things about Wall-E. I'd heard that this time that it would be different. And it was.

Car bombs are popular with murderers on a tight budget because they deliver so much for so little. You can make the bomb bigger, drive it to the target and you get a disguise thrown in for free.

The Weekend's TV: Car Bomb, Sun, Channel 4
Arena: Cab Driver, Sat, BBC4

Monday, 28 July 2008

When terrorists take the driving seat

The Wire, FX
Burn Up, BBC2
John Barrowman: the Making of Me, BBC1

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Most of the hype surrounding 'The Wire' is justified. Shame the same can't be said for the BBC's attempt at an eco-thriller

The Child Migrants, Radio 4

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Wheeler: the man who gave voice to our lost children

Last Night's TV: John Barrowman: The Making of Me, BBC1
Travellers' Century, BBC4

Friday, 25 July 2008

Three questions arising from the title of John Barrowman: the Making of Me: what made John Barrowman the way he is? Could you put it in a bottle? And having put it in a bottle, could you row it out to sea and sink it? I'm not saying I'd necessarily do that, but after an hour of The Making of Me, I think I'd like to know that the option is available.

Last Night's TV: Slick moves among the oily characters

Thursday, 24 July 2008

If you've watched any polemical thrillers at all, you'll know that they generally keep at least one wide-eyed innocent to hand, so that the sort of information that would go without saying for the main protagonists actually can get said aloud at some point. The ignorance of this character is a proxy for ours, a representative cluelessness that allows us to be told what we need to know.

The Week In Radio: A tribute to the power of love

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Across the nation, throughout Between Ourselves (BBC Radio 4, Thursday), you could hear the gentle thud of jaws dropping to the floor. In the first of a new run, the common experience uniting Olivia O'Leary's guests was that they were married to people who underwent a change of sex, and the marriage had survived the alteration: Daphne's husband was now a woman; Chris's wife a man. Just that basic circumstance was enough oddity to fuel most shows, but the strangeness, the sense of the extremes to which people will go, and the extremes of pain they will put up with, kept accumulating.

Last Night's TV: Can't Read, Can't Write Channel, 4
Dragon's Den, BBC2

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Why it's wrong to write them off

Last Night's TV: Why it's wrong to write them off

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Can't Read, Can't Write, Channel 4; Dragons' Den, BBC2

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FIVE BEST FILMS

The Apartment, PG
A gleaming new print of Billy Wilder’s peerless 1960 romantic comedy, with Jack Lemmon superb as the nebbish insurance clerk in love with Shirley MacLaine. Directed by Billy Wilder. 125mins. Limited release

Journey to the Center of the Earth, PG
A renegade vulcanologist falls through the Earth’s crust and into an underground world of prehistoric beasts, floating magnetic rocks and monster-infested seas. Directed by Eric Brevig. 92mins. Nationwide

My Winnipeg, 12A
An enchantingly idiosyncratic documentary mix of autobiography and psychogeography, using found footage, home movies and new material shot in B-movie style. Directed by Guy Maddin. 79mins. Limited release

Couscous, 15
A thoroughly engrossing masterclass in film naturalism, set around the dinner tables of a fascinating extended French-Arabic family. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche. 154mins. Limited release

The Mist, 15
Shoppers trapped in a small-town supermarket in Maine after a thick mist rolls in slowly come to realise that there is something nasty lurking out there. Directed by Frank Darabont, 126mins. Nationwide