Monday, January 07, 2008
The kids (shows) are all right
CHILD SPY! MI High, BBC1, 5.00pm
If daytime is the new peaktime, as the TV industry press would have us believe, then we reckon children's TV is the new new peaktime. Or the new daytime, or however it's supposed to work. After the amazingness that was The Sarah Jane Adventures, which managed to be warmer and more compelling and more likeable than quite a lot of primetime television, we no longer feel any shame in admitting when a kids' show is great, so we're sound the fanfare for the return of MI High to CBBC.
For those of you who didn't catch the first series (which would be those who are still at work at 5pm, and those who don't watch the CBBC channel at weekends, which we assume is quite a lot of people), it's basically Spooks in a school, albeit with the emphasis slightly less on global politics and more on leather-clad heroics, with a bunch of improbably good-looking teenagers routinely saving the world, as improbably good-looking teenagers often do on television. We caught a few episodes of the previous series, and were pleasantly surprised at the complexity of the plots and the high production values. Given our general affection for teen-oriented American television, take our work for it when we say it stands up to the glossy US shows admirably.
Today's opening episode involves a plot to kidnap the President of the United States of America, which we assume will be suitably foiled by our hardworking heroes, but not before 25 minutes of twists and turns. We recommend setting the video, or the PVR, or even claiming that you have an urgent dental appointment in order to sneak out of work early. We're normally firm advocates of telling the truth, but making it clear that you have to run home to watch a children's programme may invite some suspicious and unwanted questions. If you think you can handle that, mind, more power to you.