“All laugh-free longeurs. Truly, this is the age of austerity.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.

Episodes, BBC2

“I think my review of the opening episode still holds up: the problem lies with our very own Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan, whose banter – as very English husband-and-wife scriptwriters relocated to Hollywood – never quite convinces, probably because it was written by Americans.”
The Independent, Brian Viner

“Episode four, possibly because of Mervyn King, was all laugh-free longeurs. Truly, this is the age of austerity.”
Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian

Outside the Court, BBC4

“It was sad, but also in many ways deeply compassionate; an opportunity for the viewer to stop and contemplate the kind of small personal tragedies that all too often go unnoticed.”
Sarah Vine, The Times

“It could have been exploitative, but was mostly tender, occasionally beautiful and had me crying for an hour.”
Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian

“I suspect that there must have been more than a little jigging and poking, or cutting and splicing, or however they do it these days, in the making of last night’s edition of this riveting series.”
Brian Viner,The Independent

Baking Made Easy, BBC2

“Lorraine Pascale, is a genuine find. She’s lovely to look at – which I don’t think is a sexist observation…  – and has a nice, easy manner in front of the camera, which should stand her in good stead for a few more series and maybe even national treasure status somewhere down the line.
The Independent, Brian Viner

Horizon: The Secret World of Pain, BBC2

“The film’s greatest pleasure was that each painful story was narrated without exploitativeness aforethought, but with the aim of teaching us some science.”
The Guardian, Stuart Jeffries

“All this mind-body stuff is interesting but what makes it important and therefore good TV is the way scientists are turning it into useful treatments.”
Matt Baylis, The Express

The Battle for Bomb Alley, BBC1

“The reportage was gripping, but highlighted the limitations of Panorama’s reduced time slot. After 30 minutes from the frontline, we needed 20 minutes analysing this apparently Sisyphean exercise in futility.”
Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian

Coronation Street, ITV1

“The whole John Stape/Colin Fishwick identity theft saga has been going on for so long that I sometimes have to remind myself how it started.”
Matt Baylis, The Express