Hey Talented People, we’re back with a new edition of Lockdown telly, hurrah! In these posts, we ask someone from our wonderful community to do the vetting and reviewing of series and box sets for you all, so you don’t waste another minute aimlessly browsing that streaming service or TV guide. Simples.
This time, the very lovely and talented Series Producer, Tim Hancock talks cheese (literal and metaphorical), humanity and dark comedy. The floor is yours Tim…
Ambulance – BBC One/iPlayer
We’re lucky in the UK to have several world class series about our incredible NHS and Ambulance is one of my personal favourites. Series 5 has just begun and it’s really gripping stuff. The way that the busy control room is filmed and edited genuinely makes you feel like you’re there in the room as the 999 calls flood in. When a young lad is talked through how to save his dad’s life on the phone, it’s dramatic and very moving. But there’s also a lovely balance with moments of humour throughout and the series as a whole showcases the very best of humanity.
I May Destroy You – BBC One/iPlayer
This excellent comedy-drama dealing with sexual assault and consent is hands down one of the best series of the year. First and foremost, the writing by Michaela Cole is superb. She deftly tackles the tricky subject matter in a way that is honest and thought-provoking, but never contrived. The acting is is also brilliant and Coel and her co-stars take you through a whole spectrum of emotions: I found myself in stitches laughing one minute and deeply upset the next. Genuinely can’t wait for the next episode.
First Dates Hotel – All 4
I’ve always been a fan of First Dates, but right now, in the midst of a global pandemic, the Amalfi Coast has never looked sexier! With no prospect of a holiday abroad on the horizon and restaurant dining already a distant memory, First Dates Hotel is the perfect feel good telly for this particular moment in time. It’s beautifully filmed, well edited and the casting team do a great job of creating interesting pairings. Whenever a couple genuinely hits it off, quite simply, it makes me feel happy and I always finish each episode with a smile on my face.
Queer Eye – Netflix
Growing up as a gay teenager in the 1990s, there was very little positive LGBT representation on TV and it’s awesome that there are so many fantastic role models today. The ensemble talent in Queer Eye is a perfect example and Jonathan Van Ness in particular is a stand out star who I could watch all day long. Tonally, this show is celebratory and its message is empowering. The makeover element is still there, but it manages to avoid feeling superficial. People aren’t told they must change in order to be happy (lose weight, change image or Botox wrinkles away), but taught to love themselves for who they are. It might sound cheesy to those of a cynical persuasion, but I, for one, am fully on board!
Street Food: Asia – Netflix
As a massive lover of Asian food and culture, just the title of this show was enough to make me instantly drool. And yes, there is the orgasmic array of mouth-watering Asian dishes you’d hope for. But what makes this series unique is that the the stall holders are front and centre. There’s no familiar talent leading us through here; instead, the street food chefs themselves narrate. Details about food are intercut with biographical interviews that really bring the culture to life. The stall holders are proper food heroes, full of passion, skill and creativity and there’s no sense here that street food is in any way “less than” restaurant food. The great news is that Street Food: Latin America is due out soon too…