Thursday, July 28, 2005
SLAM DUNK! One Tree Hill, E4, 9.00pm
This is another one to file under "we really meant to point this out last week, but didn't quite get round to it". We're sorry about that, and we hope that if you did miss the season premiere (or "first episode of the series" as we non-Americans call it) it's not going to inhibit your enjoyment of the subsequent episodes. So then, this would be a teen drama, and there's probably the word "gritty" in the pitch as well. There's a lot of basketball involved, but it's not exactly Hang Time. As far as we can understand, Chad Michael Murray stands around a lot brooding, which is what he does best (and which explains why he was first choice for the role of Ryan in The O.C.), and some guy whom we understand to be his half brother stands around a lot looking snotty and privileged and plotting Chad Michael Murray's eventual humiliating downfall. There are some parents who have dramas of their own, and some young pretty girls, some of whom have their own plotlines, and some of whom are probably just cheerleaders and therefore don't actually need a plot, or indeed a brain. (We jest, of course; you're not likely to find a bigger fan of Bring It On than yours truly.) Some of the show takes place on the wrong side of the tracks, and a lot of rich kids sit on the other side of the tracks looking horrified that other people actually live in these conditions, without hair straighteners, pedicures and butlers. It's not exactly going to win any "most original concept" awards any time soon, let's put it that way. However, from what we've seen of it, it can be very engaging, there is some nice acting (there is also some acting that is less so, but that's par for the course), and it'd be hard-pressed to be worse than most of the second season of The O.C. Most importantly, there are a lot of athletically-built boys running around a basketball court in shorts and vests, in case you needed any more persuading.
Also worth a look: The Catherine Tate Show on BBC2 at 9.30pm is worth watching, particularly for the sketch featuring a cameo appearance by former EastEnder Jill Halfpenny. It's ace, pet.