“I like cats, but the relentlessly twee narration left me in a mood to drown a sackful of them.”

Secret Life Of Kittens

The Secret Life of Kittens, Channel 5

“I don’t think I learned a single mysterious thing about kittens or their day-to-day business. I like cats, and I’m as susceptible as the next man to images of sleeping kittens piled on top of one another in a cat hammock, but the relentlessly twee narration left me in a mood to drown a sackful of them.”
Tim Dowling, The Guardian

“The Secret Life Of Kittens is hypnotic TV, the sort of programme that I can stare at till my wife comes to drag me away by the shirt collar. It doesn’t matter that the script was apparently written by an enthusiastic nine-year-old, since nobody is listening to the words… it’s the pictures that enchant us. Less TV-by-numbers, please, and more kittens.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

First Dates Abroad, E4

“The Australian version has a sliver of ice in its heart. Where the original was unexpectedly sweet, this one is a little bit pitiless. When it comes to First Dates Abroad, believers in the fairytale ending should probably look elsewhere.”
Tim Dowling, The Guardian

“I’m not sure if all these first-daters are quite what they say they are. Lauren told her date what to order and introduced him to a strange, private, date-classification system involving Stage Five Crazies and Seven Unicorns. She may have been slipped a Mickey Finn. She may have been an actress. I can’t bring myself to believe she might have been real.”
Matt Baylis, Daily Express

The Great British Sewing Bee, BBC2

“Not even the ruler-exact judging of Patrick Grant or Esme Young’s cold stare can mask the show’s niceness. The overall tone was of laughter and hugs. I couldn’t predict a winner, but the hijab-wearing Rumana — fun, attractive, gives the most charming reaction shots — is surely a dead cert for the final.”
James Jackson, The Times

“Good telly cannot be constructed to a pattern, and The Great British Sewing Bee is proof of it. The amateur seamstress contest follows the Bake Off template to the smallest detail, yet fails to captivate. There are no edge-of-the-sofa, heart-beating-double-time moments — just a succession of home-made dresses with minor mishaps.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

Food Unwrapped, 
Channel 4

“The diet whims of today’s ‘foodies’, fuelled by social-media trending, do warrant inquiry, so fair do’s to Food Unwrapped. It’s just that with the show’s ‘fun’ style (the magaziney onscreen graphics, a mock call centre) and all the jauntry globetrotting, it did take an exhausting approach, telling you in an hour what might be explained in half the time.”
James Jackson, The Times

Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport, ITV

“Mostly this series was a bit like staring at a wallpaper sample book: colourful surprises interleaved with dull dross. It would have been more fascinating if it had focused longer on the best narratives, rather than flit from one vignette to the next.”
Jasper Rees, The Telegraph