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Political knife-edge

FUCKERY! Confessions of a Diary Secretary, ITV1, 9.00pm
COOKERY! Kitchen, Five, 9.00pm

Exciting times for UK television drama at 9pm tonight, with both ITV1 and Five pulling something unexpected out of the bag and charitably offering a desperate viewing public some kind of feasible alternative to New Street Law on BBC1. Both channels seem to be working on the assumption that we’d rather watch the ill-judged behaviour of quite horrible people in quite interesting professions than a bunch of irritating, holier-than-thou, oxymoronic worthy lawyers. And we would!

Over on ITV1, it's another one of those light-hearted dramas that play up the physical imperfections, amiable personality foibles and generally ridiculous antics of key cabinet members of the past decade, in a The Trial Of Tony Blair / A Very Social Secretary / The House Of Cards vein. Following on from recent More4 programmes about the blind authoritarian one and the stuttering warmongering one, this time we delve into the private life of the big fat one with two cars as he throws caution to the wind and embarks on an affair with secretary Tracey Temple. John Henshaw seems perfectly cast as bumbling, buffoonish old John ‘Two “Johnny Prescott” ‘Prezza’ “Texan Croquet” Jags’ Prescott opposite the fantastic Maxine Peake, who ages ten years and adopts a southern accent (traitor!) to play Temple, a woman with an obvious appreciation of double garages and political heavyweights (sorry) and with an appetite for having her rump slapped. Elsewhere, there’s the usual pleasure to be gained from watching people-we-recognise playing people-we-recognise, with a Damian Lewis/Tony Slattery Blair/Brown partnership to look forward to. To think ITV used to pay rubber puppets to do this sort of thing!

On Five, meanwhile, Eddie Izzard stars as a flambéed/pickled (take your pick) head chef in Kitchen, a lengthy kitchen-set drama about a young probationer’s misadventures in a restaurant kitchen, a hotbed of kitchen drug-taking, kitchen sex, kitchen gambling and kitchen blackmail. Previews (written by people other than us, hence the quotation marks) have described it as “edgy”, “dark”, “depressing”, “slick”, “strong”, “satisfying”, “deep” and “mouthwatering”, which might sound like a lot to fit in to a single programme, but at OVER FOUR HOURS (!!!) over two nights they can probably run the gamut of human emotional experience with time to spare. Though if you're on a tight schedule you might want to stick to the political/personal satire unless you really, really like Izzard, drug-taking, sex, gambling and blackmail. Or kitchens.

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Kitchen was shit, shit and even bigger shit! A group of Monarch/River City/High Road rejects in a show that was filmed in Ireland.

...and Natalie Robb in quite possibly the worst make-up I've ever seen.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 am  

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According to Marxist theory, cultural forms such as opera, classical music and the literary works of Shakespeare all fall under the heading of high culture. Low culture refers to a wide variety of cultural themes that are characterised by their consumption by the masses. We might not be Marxists, but we do know we loved Footballers Wives. If you do too, you'll know what this is all about.

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