6 items from 2013
A drama about sexologists Masters and Johnson was sharply observed, while Homeland returned, trying to untangle itself
Breathless (ITV1) | ITVPlayer
Newsnight (BBC2) | iPlayer
What was the big appeal of Mad Men? Good acting, attractive cast, decent script – none of them hurt. But its strongest drawing power was its early-1960s setting, that golden period after the war and before everyone realised that smoking caused cancer, back in the early days of consumerism when everything was still shiny, before the cult of youth, when everyone still wanted to look as if they were 45.
There are a lot of things you can do in those years, dramatically speaking, that would be difficult to bring off with a story set in the present day. For a start, it's a pre-ism era, before the public recognition of feminism, racism, sexism and all the other identity conflicts. »
- Andrew Anthony
From Richard Madeley's Ali G impression to Keith Chegwin's alcoholic confession, ITV's This Morning has been full of unforgettable incidents. To celebrate a quarter of a century on the air, here are 25 of the most memorable moments
ITV's This Morning – companion to the unemployed, parent to students, educator to the testicularly oblivious – is 25 years old on Thursday. The show has changed beyond all recognition since its first broadcast from Liverpool, hosted by the almost suspiciously sunny husband and wife duo of Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan, in 1988. And yet it has remained a constant source of funny, touching, surprising and alarmingly risqué moments throughout. To mark the occasion, here are 25 of the most notable.
Bewilderingly, no video footage exists of this online. Perhaps that is because, for those of us who saw Madeley saunter on screen in a yellow tracksuit, yellow skullcap and drawn-on beard, »
- Stuart Heritage
Breaking Bad fans are signing up to the service to catch the latest episodes. What else does it have that's worth watching?
So you've just signed up for Netflix to watch new episodes of Breaking Bad. You're not alone. Breaking Bad is why most people I know have Netflix. It's why I have Netflix – after guzzling up the first four seasons on DVD in a dizzy, near-continuous, sleep-deprived, pizza-fuelled sitting at Christmas, I panic-subscribed because Netflix was the only place I could watch season five with any degree of legality (although the new episodes are also available on iTunes).
But now what? Perhaps it's time to explore Netflix a little more. The problem is that Netflix will try to recommend things for you to watch, based on your love of Breaking Bad.
By no means should you follow these recommendations. They are terrible. I'm looking at my Netflix recommendations now. »
- Stuart Heritage
Not only has he managed to bring his comic-book creations to the big screen, the Scottish writer has also won over Hollywood in the process
The night before our interview, Mark Millar was drinking his way through his hotel suite's minibar. "There goes your budget, Universal Pictures!" he tweeted, later adding, "If I get drunk enough and run out of nuts I'm going to eat those minibar condoms." But when I meet the 44-year-old the following afternoon he is incredibly chirpy, enthusiasm unfettered, words flying out at 100mph. He discusses the Kick-Ass films, adapted from the comics he authored, with childlike glee. Next week the sequel is released, and this time there are whole armies of costumed cohorts, Aaron Taylor-Johnson's eponymous Diy vigilante leading the charge against Christopher Mintz-Plasse's vengeful Red Mist, now reborn as The Motherfucker. It's a big bundle of fun, and with its $28m budget »
- Alex Godfrey
One of the reigning theories about Arrested Development’s inability to garner a mass audience during its initial run—alongside the “unlikeable characters” argument and the David Icke-led conspiracy theory we just made up about Jessica Walter being a reptilian—was that the series’ dense mythology and complicated web of foreshadowing, callbacks, and Easter eggs alienated casual viewers. That demand for the viewer’s full attention cuts both ways: The show’s upcoming Netflix revival wouldn’t be possible without the fanatics who’ve pored over every second of the show’s televised run, committing catchphrases to memory and requiring »
In a dilapidated Liverpool back street, trees have started to grow out of unused chimney stacks and there's a strip of wasteland scattered with half-bricks where a heap of redundant baths have gone to die. They're only baths but, still, it's sad. A chain-link fence is corralling them, should they try and make a break for it, but they look dirty and defeated. Alongside, a group of bricklayers are at work, at the same time studiously ignoring the cameras, monitors and enormous lights that are turning this grim Merseyside afternoon into zinging Technicolor. They don't even flinch at the occasional volley of gunfire. Good for them.
- Ben Arnold
6 items from 2013
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