“For a man associated with a shallow reality TV show, this was deep.”

Joey Essex Grief and Me

“Watching Essex have therapy for the first time about the mother he still worships was both moving and mildly discomfiting. He found it so hard to release the pain bolted inside, as if letting it go would erode what he had left of her, that the camera in the room felt intrusive. But grasping the nettle of his grief and talking to someone was the entire point of the programme. For a man associated with a shallow reality TV show, this was deep.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“Because he is so completely at ease around cameras, he made an ideal subject for therapy on TV. For young people who are considering therapy but feel scared to take the plunge, Joey’s example could be valuable. But it was mostly a shallow hour, padded out with stilted conversations between Joey and his sister Frankie or cousin Chloe — both reality TV performers.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“This film was a tremendously moving portrait of a man coming of age and reckoning with his past, deftly weaving together themes of mental health, reality TV, relationships, abandonment, family and fame, and was made doubly striking by Essex’s forthright honesty. Its power lay in keeping its focus close and often devastatingly personal.”
Sarah Carson, The i

Sweet Tooth, Netflix

“I cannot for the life of me tell if it is the worst thing I have ever seen, or the greatest work devised for the entertainment of humankind. Sweet Tooth is part fantasy, part sci-fi, part whimsy, part cold-eyed realism and most points in between. It is either warmly eccentric or hysterically crazy, perfect entertainment or a horrifying attempt to parlay the pandemic into a commercially palatable mashup.”
Lucy Mangan, The Guardian

“It’s a big ask for a young actor to carry a series, but Christian Convery manages it: as sweet as the title suggests but, crucially, not cutesy or annoying. There is a great deal of jeopardy along the way, but the scenes always come back to something reassuring, and there is no gore. It’s reminiscent of Steven Spielberg’s 1980s output.”
Anita Singh, The Telegraph

Feel Good, Netflix

“It is sensitive and smart in its portrayal of PTSD, and deals in shades of grey, examining events with the kind of complexity that is often absent from public debate but is very much the bedrock of private discussions. Mae Martin and Joe Hampson have made a delicate comedy and a tender love story, grafting both on to an undercurrent of pain, without ever being maudlin about it. Feel Good is a beautiful achievement, kind, human, as clever as it is funny.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian

“The self-deprecating (and world-deprecating) wit runs along at a clip but, like many modern dark comedies, it only sometimes tips into being laugh-out-loud funny. The most humorous bits are mostly those in the trailer. But if you’re only looking for funny from this, then you’re coming in with the wrong expectations. Feel Good runs far deeper, holding up a mirror to everything from the well-meaning therapy-speak of millennials, to the complexities of the Me Too movement, to the exploration of gender binaries, to the realities of living with addiction and trauma.”
Catherine Gee, The Telegraph