“It’s unflinching in its brutal interrogation of the religion”

under the banner of heaven

 Under the Banner of Heaven, Disney+

”What soon becomes clear is that, as it leaps between several timelines, the series gets bogged down in its own backstory. Historical segments about Mormonism’s founding father Joseph Smith don’t just feel surplus to requirements but with their dodgy wigs, verge on Blackadder-style spoof. Unsurprisingly, the series - like the book before it - has been subject to a backlash from the Mormon church for harshly portraying it as misogynistic, violent and cult-like. Not one but two sequences featuring cruelty to dogs are also upsetting.”
Michael Hogan, The Telegraph 

”But it’s the sifting of what separates Mormonism from the fundamentalist religions practised in its name that distinguishes Under the Banner of Heaven from the glut of true crime offerings on TV right now. It’s rare for Mormonism to get such subtle treatment in popular culture…Under the Banner of Heaven doesn’t hit the suspenseful beats we’ve come to expect from crime drama, but it has nuance the genre often lacks.”
Amanda Whiting, The Independent 

”It is an undeniably challenging series. Not only is it violent, but it’s unflinching in its brutal interrogation of the religion through flashbacks to a time when Brenda was alive and upsetting her brothers-in-law with her “unprayerful” attitude, and to the mid-19th century, when Mormonism was founded. At times, these vignettes feel too incongruous and gratuitous, taking you out of the action and into a theology lesson for no apparent reason other than they already hired the costumes. Context is king, yet Under the Banner of Heaven is sometimes so intent on conveying a grand message that it forgets to tell its main story.”
Emily Baker, The i

From, Sky Sc-Fi

“It does improve, it is beautifully shot and the horror feels distinctively American, that dread of the intrusive-dark-beyond vibe that this young country, built by pioneers, usually does so well. It also had its chilling moments, when you’re not fuming about the inelegant dialogue, haphazard structure and investing in characters who then just die. As we did with Lost, in fact.”
Ben Dowell, The Times

”Incidentally, From is a striking title. It suggests we have made so many films and TV shows that we have exhausted all the nouns and verbs and now it is time for the prepositions to shine. It is only a matter of time before Notwithstanding.” 
Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian 

Uncoupled, Netflix 

”It all goes down as easily as, well, Samantha Jones, and you could easily binge the lot in a couple of days. By the end, you’ll have warmed to the characters and be quite happy to see them again in a second series (it goes out on a cliffhanger, begging to be recommissioned). Harris is likeably awkward on his dates and you could imagine any of these situations being transposed to SATC: a man who is too keen to settle down, or who feels comfortable enough to fart in front of his new partner in the first week of a relationship, or is so well-endowed that the prospect of sex is positively alarming (that last one, obviously, would be Samantha’s territory). But it doesn’t feel as fresh as that show did when it first appeared and it simply isn’t as funny, although occasionally there are decent lines.”
Anita Singh, The Telegraph 

”Michael’s ejector-seat situation is a good premise for a TV show, but his odyssey is permeated by a kind of numbness you might associate with a joust of botox in the bunny lines. Every story beat is framed as a Sisyphean task he is being routinely punished for, which would be funny if the show was using this to sell a bigger idea about how people (gay men, but also women) feel as they grow older.”
Chris Mandle, The i 

Kew Gardens: A Year In Bloom, Channel 5

”The nearest this slow-paced and charming documentary series came to violence was a tree surgeon with a chainsaw who couldn’t fell one damaged oak because a pair of mandarin ducks had made their nest in it.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail