• Babylon trailer
• First look: Babylon
As a TV genre, the comedy-drama – com-dram, or dramedy, if you're in too much of a rush for all five syllables – has a lot of ground to cover. It needs to be amusing and it needs to have heart; its intentions collapse if you neither laugh nor feel. On the surface Babylon (Sunday, Channel 4) is a successful example of what a comedy-drama should be. It ticks off its primary requirements with astounding certainty. For 90 minutes, I laughed and I despaired.
The concept is tricky to pin down, because it aims to do so much. It's a cop show, but its cops are also participating in the making of a cop show. It's a political satire, but it is warm towards its main targets while still managing to criticise the system that contains them.