Thursday, 22 August 2013

Stacey Dooley Investigates: Journalism-lite docos for people who probably don't watch Dispatches


Plucky young BBC Three reporter Stacey Dooley, from Luton, is an international investigative journalist and makes a living visiting different parts of the world and reading out the script of her producer.

But to criticise young Stacey's sincere efforts is like kicking a defenceless puppy - a defenceless puppy with its own film crew making hour long documentaries about drug trafficking, that is; and our Stace is so likeable in her journalism-lite documentaries, circumnavigating the edge of serious issues in a simplified way, that it's inevitable you warm to her personally if not as a reporter.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Southcliffe: A bleak drama with an identify crisis that promised much but delivered less

So what exactly was Southcliffe trying to be, exactly? Pitched as a story of a town coping with the aftermath of a gun massacre, the four-episode Channel 4 drama turned out to be far less straightforward than its simple-sounding premise.

And that would be fine of course - who doesn't love a bit of non-linear storytelling and a broody grey colour palette. If The Killing and other Scandinavian dramas have taught us anything, is that directors love to turn the colour settings down. It's a shorthand for 'moody', which in turn is a shorthand for 'serious'.

But although Southcliffe started strongly - watchable characters,  a nice build up of tension and the development of a convincing motive for the killer before the horrific rampage itself - the second half almost lost the plot, literally.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger: The possessor of the biggest mouth on television, which is nice

Tell me, reader, are you familiar with the name of Patti Stanger? She is a 'third generation' matchmaker, and has her own television programme called The Millionaire Matchmaker.

You can watch it here in the UK on ITV2 every weekday at 5.05pm. It's probably quite popular with the lonely and/or unemployed, and offers a nice 'comedown' after the tension-filled thrills of Deal or No Deal but, if truth be told, the standard definition picture of ITV2 is quite the letdown after the crisp HD of Noel Edmonds' shirt on Channel 4 HD.