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TV REVIEW: Louis Theroux, Master Chef and football

James Waller-Davies

James Waller-Davies

It was a week of mixed fortunes for television journalists last week. The week-long build up to Arsene Wenger’s 1000th match as Arsenal manager didn’t disappoint after his team’s 6-0 thrashing by Chelsea.

Had you just tuned into the post-match interview on Match of the Day (BBC1), you might have thought Mr Wenger was being interviewed by a midget journalist.

Wenger barely looked up at all and answered the questions to an imaginary two feet high inquisitor somewhere around his ankles.

Louis Theroux, the gangling and seeming always out of place journalist investigator, was back this week with his LA Stories (BBC2). Theroux has that extraordinary talent of the human interest journalist to be able to almost see human emotion.

He did have an easy start this week though. If you can’t tug a heartstring on the back of LA’s 35,000 homeless and abused dogs - cut to tear-in-the-eye close-up - then human interest, or dog interest, is probably not for you.

Theroux presents himself as the wimpy kid who asks the difficult obvious questions. He also has a knack of producing seminal TV moments, so this series is sure to have more up its sleeve.

Three journalists not getting a fair go can be found in Rip Off Britain: Food (BBC1). This excellent investigative consumer affairs programme has been delving into the more worrying aspects of our food industries for a couple of weeks.

Hosted by the veteran trio of Gloria Hunniford, Angela Rippon and Julia Somerville, the programme is well-produced, informative and asks tough questions and, with ten 45 minute episodes, is fairly substantial.

Problem? Why has it been dumped to a graveyard slot on daytime TV? It’s hard to believe the BBC would behave in the same way to senior male journalists. The programme is too good and could easily fit an evening slot.

Alas, the prize for the most unfortunate journalist of the week goes to the one who turned up for a wedding in Shetland (BBC1) and got murdered after five minutes.

Rev.(BBC2) returned this week. The sit-com following the beleaguered life of Reverend Adam in his dwindling inner-city parish is much improved in its third outing.

The writing has held it back in the past. It was nearly, but just not quite, funny. But a sprinkling of good old fashion slapstick has really woken it up. Adam’s wife giving birth in a taxi with only the clueless Arch-Deacon for help set the tone. If you’ve been looking for comedy that’s a bit different, Rev. could be for you.

Also back this week was Masterchef (BBC1). John “I can cook! I can cook!” Terode and Greg “Phhwwarrrr” Wallace are back to shout at viewers for the next six weeks. The reality show cooking competition has the production values of a rave: techno beat music and whirling cameras. Come back Delia - all is forgiven.

But the worst food display of the week? Gogglebox (Channel 4). This was a reader’s recommendation (thanks Andy, via Facebook).

Another reality format allows viewers to watch other “real viewers” (for the purpose of TV, you are not a “real viewer” unless you’re actually on TV) eat their way through a junk food extravaganza whilst reviewing the TV programmes they’re watching.

In keeping with the spirit of Gogglebox, I have written this week’s review whilst eating a burger, a pizza, chicken balti, sweet ‘n’ sour noodles, a doner kebab and a tin of chocolates. Feel sick now.

 

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