Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Brief Encounters

It's 1982, and on television, that means two things: lurid clothes and furnishings and 'Now that's what I call music 1' on the soundtrack.  We're in Sheffield, so 'Full Monty' territory, and what follows is in the mould of those feelgood British staples.  Money is tight, and where it isn't, life is boring, and these circumstances bring together four women who sell Ann Summers sex products at tupperware-style parties.  The local ladies think vibrators are blenders, while the husbands and partners are threatened or bemused by this liberated behaviour.

Challenging?  No.  Forgettable?  Yes, especially as it hasn't obvious expansion room for further series.  Performed (ahem) with gusto by a decent cast, but set to inspire a summer flirtation rather than a full-on holiday romance.

New Blood

We can't help thinking this was made for BBC3 and, now that the channel has gone online, has found an uncomfortable home at 9pm on BBC1.  Writer Anthony Horowitz was responsible for 'Foyle's War', but is best known as a children's author, and he has definitely pitched this at a young and liberal audience.  The heroes are twenty-something, ethnic minority, professional Brits battling evil Big Pharma and the powers that be who have invested in them.  There are weekly stories within a series narrative establishing a buddy-buddy relationship that generally feels like it's based on banter scripted by a middle-aged man, which of-course it is.

As a 7pm BBC3 offering it would pass muster, but the gimmicky filming and the making light of serious issues are a bad fit on the flagship channel at prime time.