“As a love letter to New York in the 70s it is heartfelt, touching, genuine. BUT… what a mess..”

The Get Down

The Get Down, Netflix

“As a love letter to New York in the 70s it is heartfelt, touching, genuine. BUT… what a mess. The Get Down is meandering, rubble-strewn. It has very little direction, purpose, drive, momentum. There’s too much going on for any of it to matter very much.”
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian

“Netflix’s The Get Down is a letdown. Perhaps a series costing $120 million that has been produced and, in the case of the first 90-minute episode, directed by Baz Luhrmann was always going to be. Someone, someday, will tell Luhrmann to reign in his ambitions, but that won’t be Netflix.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“The Get Down is narratively messy, frequently caricatured and tonally all over the shop. It is also a work of Class A magic and wonder. The show vibrates with the kind of life and energy that no amount of wackness can quench.”
Tim Martin, The Telegraph

Dragons’ Den, BBC2

“I always enjoy Dragons’ Den but I am marking down yesterday’s edition for unseemliness. The show has introduced a ‘reaction room’ in which friends and relatives may be overheard offering encouragement that the pitcher in the den cannot hear. This was a vulgarity that would have made even Baz Luhrmann wince.”
Andrew Billen, The Times

“However pointless some of these start-ups seem, they couldn’t compete with presenter Evan Davis. What is he doing there? He doesn’t meet the candidates, he doesn’t interview the Dragons: he adds nothing, except a wittering voiceover crammed with schoolboy puns.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“The Dragons have become more dragon-like, the Den seems to have got darker and a gladiatorial edge has crept in, by having the friends and loved ones of the victims watching the dismemberment in another room. It is quite a lot more fun than watching the Olympic men’s lacrosse semi-finals.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

Monkeys Make You Laugh Out Loud, Channel 5

“Laboured puns were a blight that left Monkeys Make You Laugh Out Loud almost unwatchable. Narrator Iain Lee, sounding like a cutprice Jonathan Ross, couldn’t have scraped the barrel harder for jokes about ‘gorilla warfare’ and ‘first chimpressions’.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“Who taunts a monkey by giving it a piece of fruit in a plastic bottle? Who drives through a safari park with a peeled banana placed on the inside of the windscreen? Humans without humanity and without windscreens too.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

“It was fun then and still is. The chief pleasure is the commentary of Jonathan Pearce. He brings a knowing, tongue-in-cheek flavour to explosive hyperbole.”
Jasper Rees, The Telegraph