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Kids and Guns review a terrifying look at the heart of American culture

3 hours ago

Francine Shaw's documentary targets the relationship children and families in the Us have with firearms, highlighting the appalling reality that these lethal weapons are treated like toys

Firearms companies in America are marketing guns real guns at children: pink for girls, blue for boys. Incredible, isn't it, in the 21st century? Gender stereotyping like that is so tired and out of date. Let the kids decide what colour guns they want.

You could say that isn't the main controversy in Kids and Guns (Channel 4), though. Little Kaylin in Kentucky has been given a .22 rifle for her fourth birthday by her dad Jd, who lost his legs and an arm to an Ied while serving in Afghanistan. You might have thought that would put him off weaponry. Not one bit; it made him realise his purpose, what he's supposed to do, and that's to teach his little girl everything he knows about guns and hunting. »

- Sam Wollaston

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The Honourable Woman recap: episode five Two Hearts

4 hours ago

Kasim's identity is revealed, deals are made, and exposing positive prejudice puts someone in the wrong place at the wrong time, as the drama finally finds its pace

"What the fuck's going on here?" Patience, Shlomo. With some deep background now established, the pacing of this series is impeccable, even if naming this episode after a Phil Collins song is a low blow (I know, I know, it's a reference to Nessa's comments to the imam last week). That said, previous episodes could easily have been named after entries in the great man's oeuvre: Another Day in Paradise, Mama, Easy Lover, Something Happened on the Way to Heaven, Against All Odds

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- Gabriel Tate

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Kenny Ireland obituary

7 hours ago

Stage and screen actor who brought laughs to the ITV sitcom Benidorm

The actor Kenny Ireland, who has died of cancer aged 68, crowned a long career on stage and screen by playing the outrageous, Speedos-clad Donald Stewart in the popular ITV sitcom Benidorm. He and Janine Duvitski played Donald and Jacqueline, members of the Middlesbrough Swingers Association looking for other sexually adventurous holidaymakers in the Spanish resort. The fictional couple were Derren Litten's first creations when he started writing Benidorm and they appeared in all six series (2007-14).

"Half the things I don't understand," Ireland said of his character's lines to Radio Times last year. "There was one episode where I had to say, '[Jacqueline prefers] the sausage in cider.' I said, 'What's funny about that?' and had to have it explained to me."

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- Anthony Hayward

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Breaking Bad and Arrested Development stars line up for new animation BoJack Horseman - video

9 hours ago

See the first trailer for the new Netflix original show BoJack Horseman, which has been exec-produced by and stars Arrested Development's Will Arnett and Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul. This dark animated comedy follows the misfortunes of failed 90s sitcom star (and horse) BoJack, who is attempting to stage a comeback. The cast also features Alison Brie (Mad Men/Community), Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy) and Paul F Tompkins (Best Week Ever)

All 12 episodes of BoJack Horseman will premiere on Netflix on 22 August

Aaron Paul and Will Arnett on the set of BoJack Horseman in pictures Continue reading »

- Guardian Staff

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Jon Snow Gaza video backed by Channel 4

10 hours ago

Channel 4 reaffirms support for anchors video blog, revealing that it prompted one child to write to UK foreign secretary

Channel 4 has backed Jon Snows unusually direct and emotional online video about the Gaza conflict and revealed that it prompted one child to write to the UK foreign secretary.

In the video, published on YouTube on Saturday and the Channel 4 News website the following day but not broadcast on TV, Snow speaks directly to camera about how what he saw in Gaza was still etched in my mind and appeals directly to viewers to take action to stop the conflict.

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- Jason Deans

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The Honourable Woman's Maggie Gyllenhaal on The Daily Show video

10 hours ago

The star of Hugo Blick's eight-part Middle East thriller talks to Daily Show host Jon Stewart about the inspiration for the drama, how it has been received in the UK so far and whether it has 'gone too far to one side or the other' in its treatment of the conflict

The Daily Show is on in the UK at 00.30am, weekdays, Comedy Central Extra Continue reading »

- Guardian TV

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Inside No 9: a gutsy dark comedy of misery and mayhem box set review

10 hours ago

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, makers of The League of Gentlemen, return with a collection of unrelated tales of morality and mortality, and a legion of ghoulish mishaps

There's something about these short, sharp shockers that gets under the skin. The BBC has already repeated A Quiet Night In, the remarkable, almost dialogue-free instalment of the series, which is starting to accrue awards. This DVD release should help spread the word: it's very lendable.

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton the show's creators, writers and stars eschew the current TV trend for long, involved story arcs, choosing instead to resurrect the once-popular anthology format. In the 70s and 80s, there were plenty of TV short-story strands, from Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected to Nigel Kneale's Beasts, not to mention Hammer House of Horror. Here, over six episodes, we get unrelated 30-minute tales of morality and mortality, all with different characters, »

- Phelim O'Neill

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What do Peter Pan, Sharknado 2 and James Franco have in common? You love to hate them because you have to | Emma Brockes

14 hours ago

Yes, hate-watching can be fun

Between the two poles of entertainment experience mindless fun and serious engagement is a category that used to be thought of as so-bad-its-good. But it now has its own prefix: the hate-watch (or hate-read or, more rarely, the hate-listen although music, at its most abstract, is less vulnerable to mockery and the kind of heated debate that follows a truly stirring contribution to the hate genre).

It is with joy, therefore, that we received news this week of an NBC follow-up to last years hate-watch par excellence the Sound of Music Live in the form of Allison Williams, from the HBO show Girls. Shell be taking the lead in Peter Pan Live, which will air later this year, and god-willing! treat us to more of her singing.

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- Emma Brockes

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TV shows based on internet memes are a sign of producers giving up

15 hours ago

Vine celebrity Dapper Laughs has been given his own ITV2 show but copy-and-pasting internet clips onto the small screen is almost always a terrible idea

Dapper Laughs is an internet sensation. Hes fitfully amusing, albeit in an unbearably laddish way, on Vine, violently self-obsessed on Instagram, an obsessive praise-retweeter on Twitter and hes released an objectively terrible single called Proper Moist. And now hes got his own TV show.

On The Pull, according to ITV2, will see Dapper out and about causing trouble and helping the Great British public perfect the art of pulling. Fans will be thrilled as Dapper unleashes a host of brand new fearless sketches, bringing his hilarious Vines to ITV2. Which is fair enough. People watch and enjoy The Only Way is Essex, and Dapper Laughs is essentially a funnier and slightly more self-aware version of that, so theres every chance that the new show will do well. »

- Stuart Heritage

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The Wire creator David Simon announces new drama, Show Me a Hero

15 hours ago

Paul Haggis will direct Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener in the six-hour HBO miniseries, which will explore racial friction in Yonkers, New York

See David Simon at the Observer's Ideas festival, 12 October

With his New Orleans-set drama Treme having come to a close earlier this year, David Simon  who also created The Wire has announced his new HBO TV series, Show Me a Hero.

Simon, who will co-write the show with William F. Zorni, has assembled some blue-chip talent to back him up. Paul Haggis, whose 2004 film Crash won a best picture Oscar, is to direct, with Oscar Isaac and Catherine Keener to take starring roles. Isaac broke through with his leading role in the Coen brothers' film Inside Llewyn Davis, and is currently filming Star Wars: Episode VII, while Keener is celebrated for her subtle work in anything from broad comedy (The 40 Year-Old Virgin) to drama (Synecdoche, New York).

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- Ben Beaumont-Thomas

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Robert Peston: which BBC role will he collar next? | Media Monkey

16 hours ago

Is the economics editors tie-less stint on Newsnight the prelude to him taking on another role at the corporation?

BBC economics editor Robert Peston admitted to excitement and trepidation before his guest stint on Newsnight on Tuesday:

Only a few hours till my @BBCNewsnight presenting debut. I am excited and nervous in pretty equal measures.

But I am a bit bemused that anyone thinks I should wear a tie at that time of night. Very sorry http://t.co/hqnurNaFA3

Agreed @iankatz1000 @Peston coped nicely, but needs a stronger collar stand if to go without a tie, especially if going to me moving around.

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- Monkey

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Chris Bath: commercial TV male-dominated and tough on women

16 hours ago

Channel Seven presenter tells Women in Media conference that being televisually appealing still counts

Commercial television is still plagued by a male-dominated culture and an obsession with the physical appearance of its female stars, says Seven network presenter Chris Bath.

Speaking on a panel about confidence at a Women in Media event in Sydneys Ultimo on Wednesday night, Bath said she had a theory that women in commercial television did one of two things to survive.

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- Amanda Meade

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Pre-school app Hopster TV takes on Netflix with The Gruffalo in its corner

17 hours ago

UK startup has also bagged deal to stream shows including Thomas and Friends, Bob the Builder and Pingu

If youre hoping to tempt parents and children away from apps like Netflix, YouTube and the BBCs iPlayer, a few terrible tusks, terrible claws and terrible teeth in terrible jaws cant hurt.

UK-based app Hopster TV has bagged an exclusive deal to stream The Gruffalo and The Gruffalos Child, the two films based on Julia Donaldsons perennially-popular childrens books.

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- Stuart Dredge

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Con Air director courting The Who for Quadrophenia-styled TV series

18 hours ago

Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are in talks to co-produce a series set in the 60s called Mods and Rockers, according to reports

The Who read a five star live review

The director of Con Air and The Expendables 2 is reportedly wooing the Who to collaborate on a TV show about English rocknroll in the 1960s. Simon West has described Mods and Rockers as an international series that takes place in the same kind of world as Quadrophenia.

According to a report by Screen Daily, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey are in talks to co-produce Mods and Rockers, overseeing music for the proposed eight-part series. West, who also directed Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, seems to be envisioning a program in the vein of True Detective: Id like to ... shoot all episodes of a series in one go, back to back, then split them up, he said. That way I »

- Sean Michaels

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Ksi: what I learned from one of YouTubes biggest stars

19 hours ago

Comedy Central boss Sam Delaney on why the gamer with more than 700m video views agreed to be roasted for a new show

At the start of the year Comedy Central asked me to take charge of all the content on a new website they were planning. It sounded fun. But I figured that the internet was pretty oversubscribed with funny stuff so realised quick that I needed a content plan that stretched beyond the curation of funny cat GIFs.

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- Sam Delaney

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The Stuarts review the BBC suddenly remembers how much it loves Scotland

19 hours ago

Clare Jackson's historical series was an engaging piece of factual storytelling but was there a subtext from the Beeb we were supposed to pick up on as well?

In any other year, starting a documentary series just as most viewers go away on holiday might look like the kiss of death. Or, if you're a suspicious type, a good time to bury a turkey. But these are not ordinary times. They are Scottish times. First the referendum campaign and now the Commonwealth Games these are times when the BBC remembers how much it loves Scotland after all.

With its intermittent historical re-enactments, there were moments when The Stuarts (BBC2) threatened to be a follow-up to the heaving- bosomed, too-well-scrubbed drama series The Tudors. There were other occasions its slow-motion leitmotif of horses, for example when The Stuarts became a caricature of a student documentary. But for the most part, »

- John Crace

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TV highlights 31/07/2014

19 hours ago

Golf: Bridgestone Invitational | BBC Proms Masterworks: Bach's St John's Passion | Beavers Behaving Badly Natural World | The Yorkshire Ripper: Born To Kill? | The Honourable Woman | Scandal | Kids And Guns | Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy 2

Akron, Ohio is best known in the world of sport for being where Lebron James first learned to slam dunk, but today golf rolls into town. The Bridgestone Invitational is a tournament that Tiger Woods still manages to dominate (he has won here eight times and took the title last year) and after a tough time on the links during the Open, the wide fairways of the Firestone Country Club will be welcome relief for the tour pros with Woods, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth all in the field. Lanre Bakare

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- Lanre Bakare, John Robinson, Mark Jones, Jonathan Wright, Julia Raeside, Huw Oliver, Bim Adewunmi and Hannah J Davies

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All reality television reunion specials should be banned forever

30 July 2014 2:13 PM, PDT

Nothing happens in these reunion shows. And if something is going to happen, its going to be fairly dangerous

Last night, along with many other reality television fans, I endured the first part of the Real Housewives of New York City reunion special. It was dreadfully boring, but I watched all the same. You know the type, where the cast of a reality show especially those of the fighting women genre sit on couches and dissect the events of the season after theyve all watched it air on television with the rest of us. These specials are actually quite dangerous and destructive and, along with other things that are dangerous and destructive, they should be banned.

Nothing happens in these reunions. Nothing. Sure the shows feature plenty of verbal altercations and heated arguments, but that is all a reunion has to offer, these women yelling across a coffee table making »

- Brian Moylan

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What The Evil Dead needs to do to work as a TV series

30 July 2014 6:19 AM, PDT

For the classic horror movie to succeed on the small screen, Sam Raimi must ensure there's a decent plot and plenty of humour in with the horror. But, most of all, he needs Bruce Campbell at its heart

Of all the revelations at this year's Comic-Con, perhaps the most intriguing was Sam Raimi's confirmation that both he and his long-time collaborator (and brother) Ivan are beavering away on a TV adaptation of The Evil Dead. While a tentative cause for geeky celebration in itself, the news that Bruce Campbell, who played Ash Williams in the original, will also be involved means that gore fans globe-wide are now dribbling into their laps.

The Evil Dead franchise received an overhaul last year, of course, with Fede Alvarez's sequel-remake, a decent if slightly humourless take on Raimi's original cabin in the woods claret-cabaret. The film's surprise post-credits sting starring Campbell was »

- Luke Holland

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The Sarah Palin Channel is full of bugs, but maybe that's the whole point | Jeb Lund

30 July 2014 5:32 AM, PDT

My free trial cost me $9.95. And then I found Palins new intelligibility

Given the content available and the affectedly simple presentation, its hard not to see the new Sarah Palin Channel as simply a moneymaking enterprise.

Her competitor Glenn Becks vertically integrated TV-website-dogwhistle aggregator, the Blaze, takes in $36m per year before ad revenue. And, as both Rick Perlstein and Alex Pareene have noted, one of the animating principles of the conservative movement over the last 40 years has been soaking every last dollar out of people whose intellectual incuriosity has never been an impediment to further rage and paranoia. Its why places like WorldNetDaily run obnoxious flash ads in columns that, top to bottom, tell you to buy and hoard gold, to click here to join a paid newsletter that outlines the Un/Agenda 21 plans to annex Joes Crab Shack, and how your $25 check to FreedomWorks is the only thing »

- Jeb Lund

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