TV

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TV review: Mad Men - Season 7

18 Apr 20144 stars

The 60s ad drama returns with the 70s on the horizon

The world of Mad Men has always been rich with visual metaphors. You only have to look at the opening credits to see a central character who has no identity (faceless and blank, his back to us most of the time) falling through the sky and out of…

Review: Fargo - TV series

18 Apr 20144 stars

Coen brothers classic gets a brand new life on TV with Martin Freeman and Billy Bob Thornton

For the first ten minutes you’ll wonder why the heck they bothered. The fears of anyone who couldn’t get through a day during the mid to late 90s without watching, thinking or breathing the Coen brothers snowy cult classic, Fargo, appeared to be…

Mad Men, True Detective and the rise of the TV auteur

9 Apr 2014

Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Fukunaga ensure the seminal cop noir remains true to their voices

In last year’s Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, author Brett Martin charts this period, posits that 1999 kicked off a third golden age of television, and says that the…

New Worlds

31 Mar 20144 stars

Follow-up to The Devil’s Whore ramps up the carnage and injustice

‘It’s a world where you’d be going to one of the new Restoration plays or a lecture at the Royal Society, walking past bodies in gibbets and heads on poles.’ New Worlds co-creator Peter Flannery discusses the inherent tensions of 1680s England ahead of…

Mammon

21 Mar 20143 stars

A gloomy, turgid Scandi TV drama that doesn't measure up to Borgen, The Bridge et al

It was probably only a matter of time. Those clever Danes and Swedes may have dominated the recent Nordic TV explosion towards these shores, but now Norway is giving it its best shot. The seemingly acclaimed Mammon is a sibling drama against the…

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TV comedy series The Walshes marks new direction for Graham Linehan

12 Mar 20143 stars

Graham Linehan’s new show steers away from the daft and broad work which made his name

After The IT Crowd had turned itself off for the last time, we all wondered what its creator Graham Linehan would do next. Not long after dusting himself down from an ambushed Radio 4 spat with The Guardian’s Michael Billington over his stage adaptation…

Shetland

10 Mar 20144 stars

Dougie Henshall simmers away as a Spanish-Scot crime-solver

Given the Shetland Islands’ close kinship with Scandinavia (it was a Norwegian province until the 15th century) does this returning crime show count as Nordic Noir? When Shetland first arrived last year, it was dubbed ‘the Scottish Killing’, but such…

TV review: The Smoke

18 Feb 20142 stars

A blistering opening sequence gives way to weak non-action segments in this firefighter drama

‘Tell you what: I’d rather have Kev Allison on a bad day than anyone else on a good one.’ This is what purports to be stirring dialogue in the world of The Smoke, a brand new British drama pitched somewhere between Backdraft and London’s Burning. ‘I’m…

Interview: Director Jon Baird on Filth and new TV satire Babylon

11 Feb 2014

Filth star James McAvoy delivered 'one of the great movie performances'

Can you give a brief synopsis of Filth? It's about a cop in Edinburgh who appears to be in control of his life. He is manipulating everyone around him to get a promotion at work because he thinks it'll help him get his wife and daughter, who have…

TV review: Fleming

11 Feb 20143 stars

Dominic Cooper is a suave operator as the chap who gave us Bond

You can perfectly understand why a dramatised biography would want to cover its back by declaring that some of the events portrayed might not have happened exactly the way they are being shown. In four-part mini-series Fleming, about the playboy who…

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Danny Boyle-directed pilot of Babylon TV show from writers of Peep Show and Fresh Meat is underwhelming

7 Feb 20142 stars

New police comedy-drama from Bain & Armstrong shows no sign of becoming brutal and edgy satire

A fish out of water. It’s one of the oldest storytelling tropes in the book. Babylon drags Liz Garvey (Brit Marling) out of her comfort zone as head of communications at Instagram and plunges her into some murky waters as chief spin doctor for the…

TV review: Hank Zipzer

28 Jan 20143 stars

Henry Winkler stars in the adaptation of his own children's book series for CBBC

Henry Winkler will remain forever in the hearts of those who grew up in the 1970s as The Fonz, the leather-clad cool greaser-dude from Happy Days. To later audiences, he might also be remembered for his roles in Scream and Arrested Development, but away…

True Detective from HBO stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson

27 Jan 2014

New existential crime drama is TV heaven with a story from hell

On paper, the pitching of True Detective might not have set many pulses racing: two mismatched cops investigate a possible ritualistic serial killer in 1995, with both men having a list of flaws longer than the longest arm of the law. But, like sporting…

Interview: Iain de Caestecker, star of Filth and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD

23 Jan 2014

The Scottish actor also featured in Not Another Happy Ending in 2013

To say Scottish actor Iain de Caestecker had a good 2013 is a bit of an understatement. 'You don't notice it as much when you're in amongst it but like anything you do I try to make myself aware that there are tens of thousands of people that are just…

TV review: Bates Motel

23 Jan 20143 stars

Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga star in the prequel to Hitchcock's Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock’s proto-slasher Psycho is rightly considered a celluloid classic. Anthony Perkins was truly iconic as schizophrenic killer Norman Bates so it’s unsurprising that the film’s legacy has been plundered on more than one occasion including…

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Calvin Harris, Irvine Welsh, Jay Z and Will Smith linked to new TV series Higher

23 Jan 2014

The half-hour comedy series, set in the world of electronic music, is due to be screened on HBO

Calvin Harris and Irvine Welsh are to collaborate on new TV series Higher, a half-hour comedy series to be screened on HBO (as first reported by Deadline). The series will be 'set in the world of electronic music', and will count Jay Z and Will & Jada…

TV review: Uncle, Mom, House of Fools

21 Jan 2014

Three new sitcoms featuring the comedic talents of Nick Helm, Chuck Lorre and Vic & Bob

If ever there was evidence that you should quit while you’re not as ahead as you once were, House of Fools (BBC Two, Tue, 10pm ●●) provides it by the bucketload. The inexorable decline of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer was pretty apparent during their…

TV review: Hostages

10 Jan 20142 stars

The ‘new 24’, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, is not one for fans of the measured approach

Over the last decade, critics have lavished praise on long-running US dramas which feel no need to show its hand too early. The Sopranos, Mad Men, The Wire and even the occasionally preposterous Breaking Bad are at their best when holding back a little…

The Mighty Boosh confirm new tour and album NOT in the works

6 Jan 2014

Noel Fielding and Dave 'Bollo' Brown tackle rumours of a Boosh reunion

Members of The Mighty Boosh have stated that they will not be back on the road in 2014 (via Boosh fansite The Velvet Onion). The story, originally published by The Mail on Sunday and picked up by outlets including The Guardian and Chortle, had Boosh…

Christmas TV highlights 2013

23 Dec 2013

A round-up of the best festive telly including Brooklyn Nine Nine, David Blaine and Rab C Nesbitt

There’s nothing like a ripping ghostly yarn to let you know that Christmas is here. Mark Gatiss has long been a fan of horror and spookly goings-on with much of his recent work in drama (Crooked House) and documentary (Horror Europa) veering towards the…

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Interview: Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat and Martin Freeman on Sherlock

19 Dec 2013

How did Sherlock survive? We search for answers before the return of BBC's detective series

Establishing one of the biggest cliffhangers in British TV history, season two of Sherlock climaxed with a shocking thud. A nation gasped as the titular 'tec (Benedict Cumberbatch) apparently plunged to his death while his faithful sidekick and sounding…

The best TV DVD boxsets for Christmas 2013

12 Dec 2013

DVD highlights include The Escape Artist, Dexter Season 8 and Dead of Night

As the winter nights draw in, it’s the perfect time to catch up on the telly you missed. Henry Northmore and Brian Donaldson check out some of the best new DVD boxsets

Hot 100 2013: 89-80

11 Dec 2013

Anna Meredith, Neil Forsyth and Greg McHugh among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Hot 100 2013: 69-60

11 Dec 2013

Limmy, Vox Motus and Red Note Ensemble among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.

Hot 100 2013: 39-30

11 Dec 2013

Blythe Duff, Mark Millar and Numbers among Scotland's hottest cultural contributors in 2013

The Hot 100 is our list of Scotland’s 100 hottest individuals and groups who’ve made a splash this year, from comic book writers to comedians, artists to actors. If they've contributed to Scotland's cultural landscape in 2013, you'll find them here.