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28 January 2013

TV Critics: Great British Menu; Moving On; Queen of Versailles; Girls

“Served with a garnish of reality show soundbites and format sauce”. Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV. 

Great British Menu, BBC2

“The problem was all in the format.  When the chefs are cooking recipes of such difficulty that no one at home could try to reproduce them, then the show has to sparkle. This felt like a hybrid bolted together, that will do nothing much for people who like cookery shows, or Comic Relief.”
John Grace, The Guardian

“Comic Relief is back - a dish of wild culinary delights served with a garnish of reality show soundbites and format sauce…I don’t know whether the diners will find it funny, but the chefs are certainly having a laugh.”  
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

Storyville: The Queen of Versailles, BBC4

“The brilliance in this film lay not just in its remarkable access to the Siegels’ daily lives, but also in its delicate balance between the intimate and the objective. Never once did Greenfield pass judgement on the Siegels; she let them construct and drive their own tumbrils.”
John Grace, The Guardian

“The real skill was the access. It wasn’t any wonder the Seigels wanted to share their story when they were on top, but was a wonder that they let Greenfield stay when they weren’t.”
Alex Hardy, The Times

Moving On, BBC1

“It was originally created by Jimmy McGovern, a writer with a real genius for ferreting out the small dramas that loom large in most people’s lives. He also has a talent for finding writers who can do the same thing and although his name no longer appears on the series credits, his thumbprint is still, I think, detectable in its texture – the way it can mix comic bathos with grief, and trivial embarrassments with deeper shame.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

Girls, Sky Atlantic

“Perhaps Lena Dunham should name rename her breasts beacons of truth. It seems the amount of time they spend out of clothing in Girls is directly proportionate to the amount of honesty on display.”
Alex Hardy, The Times

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