“This was largely an upbeat, unpretentious 70 minutes, Evaristo appearing to be refreshingly unaffected for a writer so fêted”

Imagine… Bernardine Evaristo: Never Give Up

Imagine… Bernardine Evaristo: Never Give Up, BBC1

“This was largely an upbeat, unpretentious 70 minutes, Evaristo appearing to be refreshingly unaffected for a writer so fêted. Aside from the racism her family suffered as she grew up in Woolwich, it was mostly uplifting stuff, a documentary that showed Evaristo to be exceptional and very normal at the same time.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“Imagine… Bernardine Evaristo was a profile brimming with positivity. Even if you had never heard of her, or had no plans to read any of her books, the programme served a purpose as a sort of inspirational self-help guide. Racism was present in Evaristo’s story too but the programme was never downbeat. One of the strengths of Imagine is that the tone of each film is shaped by the personality of its subject. This one had a lively intelligence and a sense of fun.”
Anita Singh, The Telegraph

“It’s meant to be a knockabout version of Watchdog, an hour-long sally into consumer affairs with plenty of comedy. If either part of the format was strong, Joe might have a hit. But the endless toilet jokes aren’t funny and the crusades are pathetic.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

Sixteen: Class of 2021, Channel 4

“If I ran a teachers’ union I would secretly set money aside each year to fund documentaries such as Sixteen: Class of 2021. Whenever I watch a factual programme set in a school with sullen teenagers slumped over desks refusing to do polygons and being told they might get a level four if they try really hard, all I can think is: ‘Nope. Couldn’t do it. Whatever teachers are paid, it isn’t enough.’ The full damage that lockdown has had on children’s education can probably never be quantified, but here was a small glimpse.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

Q Force, Netflix

“The cultural references are so dated I started to wonder if it was deliberate, a retro choice, like midcentury modern sideboards or moustaches. It’s as if someone pressed pause on queer culture in 2005. There is nothing wrong with that. But it is not particularly funny, and that is more of a problem. When it finally takes off the feather boa and goes rogue, it starts to settle in to something worth watching.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian

Money Heist, Netflix

“If Money Heist has a parallel, it’s the Fast & Furious franchise, where pensive pseudo-villains likewise defy the laws of physics as they pull off daring feats. Money Heist admittedly has fewer exploding cars but is just as relentlessly incendiary and cheerfully silly. There’s oodles of tension too. Chuck in a blaring soundtrack and evocative camerawork reminiscent of early David Fincher and the net result is a thriller that proves a blast from start to finish.”
Anita Singh, The Telegraph