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TV Critics: Dancing on the Edge; Richard III; The Year of Making Love; Being Eileen

“Possibly a bit pompous, but also intelligent, original drama with personality.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.

 “Dancing on the Edge is a return to form. Most refreshingly, instead of halting the drama to interpret it, Poliakoff [writer-director] immerses us in it, allowing us to discover its meanings. If he continues to distrust his instincts, and rein himself in, he will have another classic on his filmography to join Strangers on a Train and the Lost Prince.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“Dancing on the Edge is without pretty much everything I want from a TV drama, apart from looking nice on the telly. People are introduced with a word or two and perhaps a line or a glance in a single scene then shuffle back into obscurity. I, for one, will not be hanging around to see what happens.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

“There’s a theatricality about Dancing on the Edge. Of course there is, it’s Poliakoff. I think I’ll ring a little bell five minutes before tonight’s second episode is due to begin. Time to take to the sofa please, ladies and gentlemen. Possibly a bit pompous, then, but also intelligent, original drama with personality.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“In between footage of news anchors in shiny studios around the world announcing the staggering discovery, we watched a small group of variously peculiar and in some cases amateurish historians (ably assisted by professional scientists, it should be added) embark on what all experts initially seemed to consider a glorified wild goose chase. Given the outcome, Channel 4 can rightly brag about having got its cameras in there first. At the time, it must have felt like an amateur production of the Da Vinci Code set in a council car park.”
Andrew Marszal, The Telegraph

“In The Year of Making Love, 600 lonely people are paired up, via science. What, is it a molecular thing, or something to do with chemicals? Sadly, they don’t really explain how it’s done at all, and I’m beginning to wonder how much “science” is actually involved.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

 BEING EILEEN, BBC1

 “Being Eileen is a spin-off of Michael Wynne’s Christmas drama Lapland, about a Merseyside family finding healing and reconciliation on a Christmas jolly. Now it’s been more tightly focused on Sue Johnston’s character, a widow wistfully hankering after some grander meaning in life. It’s alright, I guess, if effortful implausibilities for comic effect aren’t a deal-breaker for you.
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

 “Not much happens in Being Eileen but being a downbeat British situation comedy, it doesn’t matter. The point is the interplay of authentic characters in banal situations. Under the pen of Michael Wynne, the results are funny and touching.”
Adrian Michaels, The Telegraph

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