Worth Watching: "Days That Shook the BBC with David Dimbleby," "Bad Sisters" and "Hobby Man"
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Welcome to Worth Watching. Hope you had a great week.
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THE BEST HOUR OF THE WEEK
Days That Shook the BBC with David Dimbleby (BBC iPlayer - all three episodes) - Typical for the BBC to celebrate its centenary by broadcasting a programme looking back at some of their most notable failures. It almost makes you proud to be British.
In this three part BBC series, David Dimbleby looks at whether the public service broadcaster has truly learnt from its past mistakes. The appeal of the documentary is how it explores some rather big issues, such as whether the BBC reports on the Royal Family with adequate scrutiny, with countless clips from the BBC’s rich archive. It has the same level of constant archive material as Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution. If you liked that you’ll love this.
And you’ll learn that issues that some of the issues the BBC are currently facing, such as issues surrounding due impartiality are hardly new issues too.
A DARK COMEDY DELIGHT
Bad Sisters (Apple TV+ -new episodes every week) - Apple TV+ have been having a higher hit rate than rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime Video for a quite long time now. This new comedy drama starring and executive produced by Sharon Horgan reflects that.
The drama opens with the death of John Paul (Claes Bang), the partner of Grace (Anne-Marie Duff) and a much hated brother-in-law to Eva (Horgan), Becka (Eve Hewson), Bibi (Sarah Greene) and Ursula (Eva Birthwistle). It soon becomes apparent that John Paul’s death was not natural and that some of the sisters might have been behind it.
The series is a joy because it perfectly balances humour and good plotting, whilst also dealing with this central question: how far protect your loved ones?
AN INTELLIGENT THRILLER
The Capture (BBC iPlayer - new episodes weekly) - The first series of this drama delving into the intelligence services debuted in 2019. I know what you’re thinking. Who can remember a television show from 2019? In fact, who can remember anything from 2019?! Thankfully, there’s a pretty lengthy recap at the very start to remind you everything that happened and the second series is pretty accessible if you can’t be bothered to rewatch that first.
At the show’s heart is a technology that can fake CCTV footage in real time, making things appear that they have happened when they haven’t. As series two develops, you’ll learn that the technology has improved to the extent that you can have fake interviewees on television programmes, without the actual interviewee being there. The plot can verge on the surreal but as a result I like it even more.
A SHOW FOR YOUR DOWNTIME
Hobby Man (Channel 4 - all episodes) - From the same makers of Travel Man comes this simple but delightful television that explores hobbies you should be considering in your downtime, from birding to brewing your own beer.
It might compel you to try something out of your comfort zone. And it celebrates process of trying something out, falling in love with it and then wondering why on earth you didn’t get into it earlier.
ONE MORE TELEVISUAL DELIGHT.
The band Public Service Broadcasting did a Prom celebrating the BBC’s Centenary earlier this week. The band are known for mixing together archive news clips with contemporary music.
BBC Four will be airing the Prom later tonight but you can listen back on BBC Sounds.
There’s been a string of reboot announcements in recent weeks, most notably Big Brother returning to ITV2 and Gladiators returning to BBC One. One of the most interesting reboots announced this week is the reality show The Osbournes, which is returning to BBC One of all places. I’m as confused as you.
Some dates for your diary: Bake Off will be back Channel 4 on Tuesday 13th September, Strictly 2022 will be back on BBC One on the 17th September and Drag Race UK will be returning on Thursday 22nd September.
WHERE TO FIND ME THIS WEEK:
I wrote for Broadcast Magazine about why the number of reboots coming to traditional television (such as Gladiators and Big Brother) could give a competitive edge to the big streamers such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
On Must Watch this week we reviewed The Capture, Disney+’s Welcome to Wrexham and ITV’s Ridley. Subscribe on BBC Sounds.
Thanks so much for reading and see you next week.
Scotty / @scottygb