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Dancing on Ice: Episode #14.2
(2022)
Episode 2, Season 14

Take and axe to the ice
If ITV had anything better up their sleeves would 'Dancing on Ice' still be on the air? Probably not.

But because it pulls in decent enough ratings and offers the Z list another chance to temporarily boost their career profile it remains.

It's wildly past its best though. None of the so-called twists are exciting, the routines as dull as anything. You'd have more fun going down to your local rink.

When will ITV see sense and pull the plug?!

Ant & Dec's Limitless Win: Episode #1.3
(2022)
Episode 3, Season 1

Getting better. Give it a chance
If you've not been put off by the rather underwhelming first episode then you'll find that this show is actually getting better.

Faster, less bogged down by decision making or the rules - it's coming into its own a bit, and I hope viewers keep with it too.

I still would put the contestants under time pressure to make a decision though.

Love in Winterland
(2020)

Love in Winterland
Come on folks, you should know what you're getting with Hallmark films by now!

Yes, the formula is very well followed here, but it's fun and easy going fare, with Chad Michael Murray's droll delivery helping the odd clunky line along here and there.

I enjoyed this, I thought it was fun. Whether the lead actress was pregnant is neither here nor there.

Alex Rider: Episode Eight
(2020)
Episode 8, Season 1

Episode Eight
And so ends this odd amalgamation of both the first and second Alex Rider books for TV.

If you've been able to suspend your disbelief along the way, not to mention the fact that it's awfully talky for a supposed high octane spy series, then you'll find a lot to like about this finale.

Tom's t-shirt though at the end is possibly one of the only examples of humour in the whole run though. The book is quite dryly funny, and a lot of that has been lost here.

I'm not saying they should go the other way (the way the 2006 film of 'Stormbreaker' did), but a happy medium could've been found.

A bit stretched at 8 parts, but good overall.

Thomas and the Magic Railroad
(2000)

Thomas and the Magic Railroad
What an absolute mess.

Other than some nice work on the trains, this is a travesty of a film version of the beloved children's show.

No real redeeming features, and what poor Mara Wilson (Matilda) is doing here I'll never know.

Rubbish.

My Family: Serpent's Tooth
(2000)
Episode 1, Season 1

Serpent's Tooth
People were and continue to be snobby about it, but there's no getting away from the fact that 'My Family' was a hugely successful show for the BBC, and pulled in the type of ratings at its peak that they could only dream of today.

And crucially it was a good show. This episode is fab.

The writing is sharp, the performances across the board are excellent - there's so much to like.

An excellent first episode.

Death in Paradise: Episode #11.2
(2022)
Episode 2, Season 11

Good enough
Again, there are some nice subtle twists on the normal format here, which work well.

It does remain a bit like 'Death in Paradise' by numbers though, with lots of the elements being seen before with the murder case. The person who thought they murdered the person not actually being the murderer etc.

I much preferred the ongoing Neville and Florence dynamic, and how the plot from ep 1 in some ways has continued into the next.

On the whole good.

My Family: Breakable
(2001)
Episode 13, Season 2

Breakable
This is a really fun and funny episode to wrap up what on the whole was a good series of the show.

It puts the Ben and Nick relationship at the centre, which is great because Robert Lindsay and Kris Marshall have such good chemistry.

This episode would also be notable in other ways. Not only do we get the first appearance of the dark blue shirt that Ben would seemingly live in as the show went on, but it's also the last one to really focus on the original 5 characters.

After this Janey would head to Uni, Abi would come in, and the show would hit new heights, while becoming something quite different at the same time.

Neighbours: Roxy & Kyle Forever
(2022)
Episode 8,763, Season 1

Neighbours goes for it
Although it beggars belief slightly that all the guests are people in the main cast it is nice to see everyone together, and to see that there are no real weak links amongst the mix currently. Though a few that could do with tweaking...

A fun episode, building to one heck of a cliff-hanger.

My Family: Ben Wants to Be a Millionaire
(2001)
Episode 12, Season 2

Ben Wants to Be a Millionaire
This is a perfectly nice episode, with some nice moments and interactions, but stacked up against the other S2 episodes it falls a bit flat.

The Nick plotline is a bit over the top - even for him!

Daniel Hill (Andy Banks) would pop up in a S11 episode years later, but sadly not in an episode of as good quality.

Good overall, but there are better S2 episodes.

Neighbours: Episode #1.8762
(2022)
Episode 8,762, Season 1

Fine set up, but here's hoping the pay off will be better
An episode of big build up to the wedding rather than anything actually overly interesting happening in the process.

Mick as ever seems to get away without any consequence too.

Good but not great.

This Means War
(2012)

This Means War
A nice attempt at doing something different, but one that doesn't really pay off in any shape or form.

Pine and Hardy come off as being annoying, the normally reliable Witherspoon looks lost.

All in all a real dud.

My Family: The Last Supper
(2001)
Episode 11, Season 2

The Last Supper
'My Family' did like the odd foray into the world of black comedy, and this is one such trip.

It's another very funny episode of the show. I think the peak series were 3-4, but the 2nd series did have a lot of good outings.

It's a shame they couldn't keep this original cast together for longer, because their interaction together is so joyous, and when people remember 'My Family', it's this line-up they chances are think of.

Unfortunately by Series 3 Janey was off to Uni, and we ended up with the much broader comedy from Abi. It was still a great series, but there was something lovely about these early episodes.

My Family: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore
(2001)
Episode 10, Season 2

'Tis Pity She's a Whore
Avril Edgar makes her one and only appearance as Susan's mum here (who is not called Grace) and does a really nice job with the role. You can see the elements that Rosemary Leach took on from Series 4 onwards.

This is another very strong episode of the show, with some lovely moments and interactions. 'My Family' was so well written at this stage!

We also learn a bit more about Ben's side of the family here too, and that would all go by the wayside later on sadly, so it's nice to hear about it more here.

A lovely episode.

Neighbours: Episode #1.8761
(2022)
Episode 8,761, Season 1

Zara gets her wish
I haven't always been a huge fan of the Amy/Ned/Levi storyline, but there was something quite touching about the break-up scene between Amy and Levi here.

Every soap needs a meddling character, and now Nicolette has gone soft it's nice to see Zara adopt the role.

A much better episode, and I enjoyed it.

Dancing on Ice: Episode #14.1
(2022)
Episode 1, Season 14

Absolute woeful television
Has anyone other than poor lumbered Holly and Phil ever referred to this show as 'The Greatest Show on Ice'?

Yes, it's the return of this beleaguered show that was only ever ok in its heyday. Which was a long, long time ago.

This is a tired format, being played out again and again with diminishing returns, and if ITV really must persevere with it you'd think some bright spark at the network would've tried to put a new spin on it by now.

But no, same old, same very much old. Even the gimmick of having an ex Strictly pro pretend that they're a novice (hi Brendan) is old.

You do feel sorry for all involved, because surely ITV could cook up something better for all parties.

The Sound of Music Live!
(2013)

The Sound of Music Live!
People slating this should watch the UK version - this one knocks spots off of it in every possible way.

Good performances, good interpretations of the classic songs - and characterisation when singing. All very good indeed.

I enjoyed this hugely, and much more than the in contrast dire UK equivalent.

Father Brown
(2013)

Father Brown
The BBC shovel a lot of rubbish down our throats, but in amongst all that they do have some quaint kind-hearted little shows buried amongst the rubbish.

This is one such programme, unfortunately tucked away in the afternoon slot when it's perhaps deserving of a bump up to prime time.

Hopefully one day it will be.

Kate Humble's Coastal Britain
(2021)

Kate Humble's Coastal Britain
I never really believe that Kate Humble is as down to earth as she claims, or half as interested in what she is apparently passionate about in programmes such as this.

But this remains an interesting enough programme, and passes the time for many I'm sure.

I wouldn't watch again though.

The John Bishop Show
(2022)

The John Bishop Show
Hasn't John Bishop tried this before?

The gimmick is that the opening monologue will be filmed just before broadcast, meaning it will be very very topical and therefore funnier...

All very American chat-show style.

All very likely to not make a blind bit of difference to this working or not.

Ant & Dec's Limitless Win: Episode #1.2
(2022)
Episode 2, Season 1

Getting better
You get the sense that somebody connected with this show has seen the critical reaction the first episode gained and quickly done an re-edit job of the second, because this is far better.

The pace is quicker, there's more examples of Ant and Dec being themselves, and the format just feels a bit less clunky. There's even less adverts!

Still far too many buttons and the pace could be quicker, but there's signs of improvement here.

Football Focus: Episode #21.21
(2022)
Episode 21, Season 21

90% filler
How much filler can you fit into one episode?!

Highlights of the Friday match. Then for some reason highlights of Newcastle's FA Cup match last weekend. Then mid week match highlights.

Easy money then for Alex Scott, Martin Keown and Dion Dublin, who had precious little new material to have to produce to fill the remaining time.

The only glimmer of interest was a piece on how being released at a young age can impact a players life.

What new regular features have Scott and co added so far? Precious little.

Death in Paradise: Episode #11.1
(2022)
Episode 1, Season 11

Back to the island
While they are small there are signs of 'Death in Paradise' playing with its standard format a little bit, and as we're now in Series 11 it's probably for the best.

It does remain in large part the same as ever though, which will no doubt please long-term fans.

We've seen the whole "the detective loves his sidekick" plot before in Series 3-4, so I liked the twist on that here, and bravo to the writers for making Neville a heck of a lot more likeable than he was when he joined the show.

Not sure about his comment that Florence had always been there for him since he first arrived though - is he forgetting that it was Madeline? Actually, best to forget that character entirely.

Sergeant Naomi Thomas is the new recruit here too, and the 'comedy' subplot with her and Marlon feels a lot more natural than anything Dwayne did in 8 years on the show.

A good start overall.

My Family: Get Cartier
(2001)
Episode 9, Season 2

Get Cartier
This is a very funny episode of the show, a real sort of caper episode that builds as it goes along.

Full of wonderful moments, not to mention a nice little subplot involving Nick (who by this point really has replaced Janey as third on the bill), this was great.

One of the best episodes from across the 11 year run.

Pingu
(1980)

Pingu
I am not the target audience for Pingu. But my gosh it's at times very funny stuff.

Simple, inoffensive humour.

It's a shame that comedy aimed at actual grown up's can't find this balance.

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