“It worked in showing raw masculinity coping honestly with the big stuff”

“The real pleasure rested not in the incessant tour-bus banter, or the set-piece match with a French nudist team and the inevitable jokes about tackles and getting to the semis. It worked in showing raw masculinity coping honestly with the big stuff. Neil “Razor” Ruddock repeatedly led the lads to the bar and curry house, probing tensions that erupted in a showdown with old friend Paul Merson, a recovering alcoholic whose concern for Ruddock felt genuine. The dust-up was as mesmerising to watch as their reconciliation felt meaningful and moving.”

Ben Dowell, The Times

“The programme-makers know their audience, and the heavy stuff was leavened with humour and a harking back to the days when football was full of personalities. My favourite moment was Paul Merson’s look of utter bafflement when told to wear Lycra for a cycle ride. “When I was a kid I just rode a bike with a pair of jeans on and a jumper,” he protested. Simpler times.”

Anita Singh, The Telegraph

“For all the Churchillian speeches by manager Harry Redknapp about laying the ghosts of World Cup defeats to rest, it wasn’t really about football. The practice matches never rose above the standard of a garden kickabout. In reality this was a documentary about the morbidities that gang up to kill middle-aged men — heavy drinking, obesity, smoking and lack of exercise.”

Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

The Big Flower Fight, Netflix 

“Watching the innumerable contestants (the producers can’t even be bothered to show us all of them in the opening episode) descend like a plague of locusts on the nursery provided for the show and denude it of its naturally beautiful stock, then force the plants and flowers into unnatural forms to far less beautiful effect is more depressing than uplifting. It’s sometimes actively painful.”

Lucy Mangan, The Guardian

“The premise isn’t all that promising. Has anyone ever really felt that competitive flower arranging, even if it is presented by Vic Reeves and Natasia Demetriou, could get the pulse racing? But the more I watched, the more entertaining it became. The contestants slowly worm their way into your heart, ensuring that you find yourself thinking: “Oh go on then, I could just watch one more””

Sarah Hughes, The i

Monkman and Seagull’s Genius Adventure, BBC2

“Monkman and Seagull’s joy at discovery and enthusiasm for enlightenment is extremely infectious.”

Sean O’Grady, The Independent

The Changin’ Times of Ike White, BBC4

“Like its subject, [it was] a chameleon-like beast. It morphed from a musical biopic into a true-crime mystery and, ultimately, a moving meditation on healing broken lives. En route, it was never less than riveting.”

Michael Hogan, The Daily Telegraph

Steel Magnolias, Netflix

“Kicking back with it feels indulgent and mindless, an easy slide into a binge, syrupy with enough tart to keep it moving. It can range from pre-bottled to slightly distinct but is still what it is: unpretentious, with all the requisite parts, a balm for some and too ‘rosé all day’ for others.”

Adrian Horton, The Guardian