“Mammoth has plenty of warmth to see it through any potentially choppy waters”


Mammoth, BBC2

“Once it gets the pink-custard leanings out of its system and finds a bit of plot, Mammoth becomes more charming. There is a fine line to be skirted by a sitcom of this sort. Go too far in one direction, and it risks tipping into “what’s wrong with paying a pretty lady a compliment?” territory. Go too far in the other direction, and you lose what makes it funny in the first place, or, worse, risk coming across as finger-pointing and uptight. Created by Paul Doolan and Mike Bubbins, who also stars as Tony, Mammoth has plenty of warmth to see it through any potentially choppy waters.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian

“Bubbins was a PE teacher before he became a comedian. It’s always been a job with comic potential – think Brian Glover in Kes. Tony watches football matches from the comfort of his car while enjoying a smoke. Some references to 1970s schooling may cause flashbacks. When Tony learns that the school has no woodwork department, he frowns: “What do you do with the thick kids?” At a time when every television comedy seems to be exploring issues, from mental illness (Big Mood, Such Brave Girls), menopause (The Change) or alcoholism (The Dry), it’s nice to have a show that offers uncomplicated fun.
Anita Singh, Telegraph

Feud: Capote vs the Swans, Disney+

“High-society feuding and gossip can be entertaining of course, but, whoa, over nearly eight hours? This tale of the toxic fallout between Truman Capote and his bevy of “swans” — coutured New York socialite women with a thirst for high-end white wine — is gorgeously shot, spikily written and far too long. But it is worth your time, if only for the performance of Tom Hollander as Capote, one so grimly hypnotic it is hard to take your eyes off him.”
Carol Midgley, The Times

“If every unfaithful husband were shot, there’d be no men left in New York. Capote’s violent boyfriend John is a married man, played by Russell Tovey — in heavy-rimmed spectacles and sideburns that make him look disconcertingly like Richard Osman. All this should be electrifying. Instead, it’s soulless, frequently crass, repetitive, confused and (by far the worst sin for a drama about gossip) downright dull.”
Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail

“Arguably, no gay writer since Oscar Wilde has exerted such fascination as Truman Capote. Hence those two London buses in the Noughties. Capote (2005) won Philip Seymour Hoffman an Oscar, unjustly occluding Toby Jones in Infamous (2006). Tom Hollander’s turn in Feud: Capote vs the Swans (Disney+) may be the truest Truman yet. Over eight episodes telling of Capote’s curdled friendship with New York’s highest society dames, Hollander mewls and miaows, scowls and squeals in 50 shades of fey. Wrists flecked, neck tilted, a dapper little laugh accenting every bon mot, it’s such an immersive performance that you’ll feel as if you’ve moved in with this compelling Capote.”
Jasper Rees, Telegraph

“Above all, it simply isn’t fun. Lange aside, it isn’t even camp. It’s cautious, dry, almost worthy in parts (the Swans are much given to anachronistic sounding soundbites about men’s power and women’s suffering) with a handful of good lines scattered about. Just enough to spike your flagging interest and keep hope alive that the Murphy magic will arrive. But it never does.”
Lucy Mangan, The Guardian