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16 Jul' 12

“What scant sociological insight there was to be derived from series one has long since evaporated.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.

THELMA’S GYPSY GIRLS, C4

“With each reformulation [of Traveller life] I’ve felt my complicity as a viewer increase. What scant sociological insight there was to be derived from series one has long since evaporated. Reality has given way to reality TV – if this wasn’t happening on television, it wouldn’t be happening at all… I for one felt uncomfortable peering down this particular peephole. Maybe it’s time to seal it up.”
Tim Dowling, The Guardian  

“It looks equally doubtful whether C4 will ever make an intelligent programme about gypsies, preferring, it seems to carry on poking fun.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

WORLD’S MOST DANGEROUS ROADS, BBC2

“The times I enjoyed least were those in which Perkins and Tarbuck did comedy banter to a backdrop of grinding poverty and unexploded ordinance…With two individuals trying their best to be funny, it felt like an eternity.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

“What would make the show infinitely more watchable would be to put – rather than chummy stand-ups – a real couple behind the wheel.”
Will Dean, The Independent

ENGINEERING GIANTS: JUMBO JET STRIP-DOWN, BBC2

“A less captivating, but completely affable non-organic version of Channel 4’s Inside Nature’s Giants. And frankly, I’ll take a dismantled aeroplane toilet over a dismantled elephant’s colon any day.” 
Will Dean, The Independent

“Tom and Rob don’t have much of a rapport, or if they do it’s been edited out…At times their earnest, deadpan enthusiasm bordered on the Partridge-esque. The joy of the programme was, of course, in watching the guts of something work with the skin off…It was strangely refreshing to watch a factual programme that contained not one note of false jeopardy.”
Tim Dowling, The Guardian  

HOLLOW CROWN: HENRY IV PART 2, BBC2

“How much these histories deserve to be watched. They are bristling with texture… As we head to next week’s finale, what an immense set of tensions they have collectively set up: including whether the BBC will dare to commission further pieces of such astonishing ambition. I do hope so.”
Alex Hardy, The Times

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