“A programme whose art, and indeed arguments, dazzled.” Read on for the verdict on last night’s TV.

The Dark Ages

The Dark Ages: An Age of Light, BBC4

“This was yet another in a long line of first-rate BBC4 documentaries about esoteric subjects to which I had never previously imagined I would devote an hour of my life, and came away feeling as if I could just about pass myself off as an expert on it to anyone who had missed it.”
John Crace, The Guardian

“A programme whose art, and indeed arguments, dazzled. Januszczak waddled around his exhibits unable to utter a boring thought.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“This isn’t one of those programmes that assumes the audience have just stumbled in and will be driven off by anything resembling an idea.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“This was enlightening stuff, a nice PR job on the era formerly known as the Dark Ages, religion viewed through the prism of art, and a reminder that worship is entirely human.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream, BBC4

“Alex Gibney’s documentary was both fortunate and unfortunate in its timing. Unfortunate because if it had preceded the recent American election it would have had a far more incendiary effect on many viewers. Fortunate, I guess, in that your knowledge that the ideologues of unfettered capital had not succeeded in buying the presidency meant that it was unlikely to actually induce a real riot.”
Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent

“It felt like I’d been clubbed over the head again and again – even the voice-over was spoken ever so slowly and patronisingly – to make sure I had got the message… This was an American film, made primarily for an American market, so the producers must understand their audience better than me. But if the average American still needs to be educated that the American dream of equal opportunity, in which everyone has the same chance of success if they work hard enough, is not a reality, then there’s less hope for the country than I imagined.
John Crace, The Guardian

Fresh Meat, Channel 4

“Outside Homeland, I can’t think of a current TV series whose characters I care about more. Even without the jokes – which are excellent – I’d be watching. And to think last year some of us dismissed Fresh Meat as a gross-out comedy designed to scare parents.”
Andrew Billen, The Times