“This is a series that wants to have its cake and eat it – and so far, it’s pulling it off”


Smothered, Sky Comedy

“While Smothered is brimming with funny and familiar faces, it is Vitalis and Pointing who really steal the show. Staging the unlikely collision of unlikely protagonists per the genre’s time-honoured formula, Smothered toes a fine line between reinventing the romcom wheel (single dads, affairs) and relying on its familiar narrative beats (boy meets girl, they make it work against the odds). Like its leading lady Sammy, this is a series that wants to have its cake and eat it – and so far, it’s pulling it off.”
Emily Watkins, The i

“The script is by Monica Heisey, who proved herself in shortform comedy writing many episodes of Schitt’s Creek. If TV has jerkier rhythms than film, because every episode must build to a cliffhanger, much of Smothered sits faithfully within the tramlines of romcom. Both lovers have snitty sidekicks who cheerlead from the wings – most eye-catching is the dry-witted Rebecca Lucy Taylor, better known as the pop star Self Esteem.”
Jasper Rees, Telegraph

“Despite the lack of friction, it feels rich and assured, as if all the maturity of not being in your early 20s any more has trickled down and blessed it with wisdom. If this is what a romcom with a twist is, then I like it a lot.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian

“As a study in emotional torture, Squid Game: The Challenge is easily equal to the 2021 Korean drama from which it is adapted. This brutal reality show has, across 10 episodes, funnelled hundreds of contestants into games of chance and betrayal, characterised by ever more extreme levels of psychological brutality. It has done so while honouring the aesthetics of the original Squid Game – from the candy-cane colour scheme to the masked guards with circles and squares on their faces. Unfortunately, the series, filmed over 16 days at Wharf Studios in East London, ultimately eliminates itself in an underwhelming finale.
Ed Power, Telegraph

Fur Babies, Channel 4

“I know this is supposed to be nice, fluffy, festive fodder, and if you just want to sit back and watch the miracle of life unfolding, then this will do it for you. There is a strong emphasis on responsibility and best practice when it comes to breeding. The vets make clear that breeding an animal is a huge undertaking and an enormous commitment, and there are even tips on how to do it properly. For me, though, Fur Babies is about people, not animals, and as a documentary, the natural balance is off.”
Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian