“Amateurishly awkward, funny in a desultory kind of way at one moment, startlingly clunky at others.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.

Family Tree

“Family Tree ambles along, amiably enough, unmemorably, a bit sillily – but never surprisingly or outrageously. Like a neighbour you’re happy to bump into at the corner shop and exchange some lighthearted banter with but you don’t want to spend an evening with them.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“It came across in this first episode as amateurishly awkward, funny in a desultory kind of way at one moment, startlingly clunky at others.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“Guest’s previous films focused on subjects about which documentaries actually do get made – rock groups, dog shows, folk festivals. But a sad, under-motivated nobody pointlessly – and not very credibly – indulging his random curiosity? It just didn’t work.”
Gerard O’Donovan, The Telegraph

“Tom’s journey has so far taken us to some predictable sitcom characters: an eccentric antiques expert, a loser best friend and a really dim blind date. Only Tom’s father, who gets his kicks from watching a spoof of The Kumars at No 42, really amuses… Like Ray Donovan, this pilot sped from scene to scene as if aware none of them was worth dwelling on for too long.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“I wondered where the tack-sharp observation of Spinal Tap and Best In Show had gone: that talent for homing in on real eccentricities of real people and just turning them up a notch or two. More than that, I wondered if Tom’s story would be better told without the comedy disguise.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

Ray Donovan, Sky Atlantic

“Donovan is played by Live Schreiber, who responds to a script that awards him precious little dialogue, with a performance that rewards us with precious little acting… Do we care about Donovan? Like the series itself, he is a grubby, unlovable let down, and no, we don’t.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“It’s an awful lot to cram into an opening episode. But it’s well packed, it’s tight, it’s fast, and I can see that it wouldn’t take an awful lot more to get you properly hooked. That’s if you’ve got room in your life – and your veins – for another high-grade US import.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“Flawless acting was not enough to make Ray Donovan flawless drama… Tonight’s instalment spewed out a few too many clichés and caricatures… These quibbles aside, however, Ann Biderman has succeeded in conjuring a sharp, noirish drama, with plenty of promise.”
Patrick Smith, The Telegraph

Princess Diana’s Dresses: the Auction, Channel 4

“As the Duchess of Cambridge trembles on the brink of delivery, it provided a timely reminder of the masturbatory hysteria of the British press when in pursuit of a royal story. If Kate is still unsure about how over-excited, vicious and inconsistent it can get, this should put her right.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“At times, you sensed that the show was overinterpreting this relationship between the person the country felt Diana was and her wardrobe. Every sequin and seam was an insight into her life… Nevertheless, it was refreshing to watch a programme about Diana not centred on her death.”
Nadia Khomami, The Telegraph