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      Float series two – this poignant lesbian romance is packed with chemistry

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Tuesday, 2 April - 12:20 · 1 minute

    The coastal setting is beautiful, the couple are messily believable and it’s an eerily accurate homage to small-town life. Hopefully sewage won’t get in the way of all the tender, water-based bonding

    The first series of Float picked up several awards and a dedicated audience for its youth-leaning small-town love story between two female lifeguards. Over six 10-minute-ish episodes, this “microdrama”, written by the acclaimed playwright Stef Smith, revealed itself to be both a romance – as Jade (Hannah Jarrett-Scott) falls for her seemingly straight colleague Collette (Jessica Hardwick) – and a bigger mystery: why is Jade so depressed and withdrawn? And what had caused her to suddenly drop out of university in Glasgow and return home? It ended on a note of impressive ambiguity, daring not to resolve everything neatly, leaving the loose ends hanging with a nod to realism rather than wish fulfilment.

    We rejoin them for a second series 18 months later. The leisure centre where Jade and Collette worked is being pulled down, and both of them find themselves back at home after a long period apart. Collette is now living in Edinburgh, where she is training to be a nurse. She is caring for a sick father and a cold, distant mother. Jade, meanwhile, went back to Glasgow to face the music after she attacked a homophobe in a bar, lives with her mother and is undergoing court-mandated anger management therapy. “It’s been a long time, stranger,” says Jade, as the pair finally meet up again.

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      Enough of the satire, dial down the rom-coms - Philomena Cunk is right: we need more stupid comedy

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Tuesday, 2 April - 11:00 · 1 minute

    These are serious times, and they demand silly entertainment. Please, British TV – send in the clowns

    Do we need more stupidity in our lives? With the state of the world as it is, the obvious answer is that we most definitely do not. But what if we need more stupidity in our comedy? The actor and comedian Diane Morgan argued last week that there is a crisis of stupidity in on-screen comedy: “Mandy [her show about an idiotically unemployable woman] is stupid. I don’t think there’s enough stupid stuff. Most [comedies] have always got a bit of drama or a bit of romance … you can spend a lot of money on having something look nice, but it doesn’t make it any funnier. In fact, I think it sort of impinges on it.”

    This is true. We need stupid, cheap, unpolished stuff. Also out this week is a new documentary celebrating the career of Steve Martin, one of the greatest standup comedians of the past century before he became known to a younger generation for Only Murders in the Building. Martin’s whole shtick as a comedian was in being as stupid as humanly possible. Arguably, this is the root of pure comedy: lack of self-awareness, the folly of existence, the inevitability of humiliation. We need to see more stupid people being stupid for the sheer joy of it. Not just because they are standing for public office.

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      Trevor Griffiths: Mancunian Marxist whose political plays deserve revival

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Tuesday, 2 April - 10:40 · 1 minute

    Griffiths, who has died aged 88, explored the conflict between reform and revolution in plays and scripts from the film Reds to dramas such as Occupations, The Party and Comedians

    Of all the political dramatists who emerged in Britain in the late 1960s, Trevor Griffiths, who has died aged 88, was the most fervent and committed. As a Mancunian Marxist he brought to theatre his love of dialectic. He also believed passionately in “strategic penetration” of the citadels of culture. He succeeded, in that plays such as The Party and Comedians were taken up by the National Theatre; Bill Brand, an 11-part series about the frustrations of parliamentary democracy, was shown on ITV; and his screenplay for Reds, co-authored with Warren Beatty and based on John Reed’s account of the Russian revolution, Ten Days That Shook the World, became an Oscar-winning Hollywood movie.

    If there was one theme that informed Griffiths’s work, it was the conflict between reformist pragmatism and revolutionary idealism. It was there in an early work like Occupations, first seen at the Manchester Stables in 1970 and quickly picked up by the RSC for a production starring Patrick Stewart and Ben Kingsley. Set in Turin in 1920 at a time when every engineering factory in northern Italy had been taken over by the workers, the play involves a head-on confrontation between Kabak, a businesslike Comintern representative, and Antonio Gramsci, the Sardinian firebrand advocating shop-floor soviets.

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      ‘People are getting murdered in knicker factories!’: how Coronation Street lost the plot

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Tuesday, 2 April - 04:00

    Fans are outraged, ex-cast members think it’s drivel – even its current actors are fed up. How did the world’s longest running soap go from shaping the national conversation to thinking it’s a ropey crime drama?

    Whether it’s Deirdre being sent to prison , Alan Bradley getting mown down by a Blackpool tram or “you should have stayed at the party, Maxine” , Coronation Street has provided some most memorable moments in UK soap history.

    At its peak, the world’s longest-running television soap could pull in 26 million viewers an episode and its stories, such as the introduction of the transsexual character Hayley Cropper , helped shape the national conversation in a way Westminster politicians could only dream of. But in recent years, Corrie has faced a backlash from fans who say they are fed up with dark, issues-based plots, an ever-increasing cast and sporadic scheduling of ITV’s flagship soap.

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      MasterChef turns 20! The cookery competition just gets better and better

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 April - 11:00 · 1 minute

    It made TV culinary showdowns fun – and it shows no signs of stopping. From the spinoffs to new rounds, there’s no danger of this televisual institution going off the boil

    Recently, at a friend’s house, I was given the remote control and told to “put something on”. This is a big responsibility and the sweaty-palmed pressure might explain how I ended up on a channel they didn’t know they had, with no idea of what combination of buttons I pressed to get there. More importantly, it’s how we all ended up watching several episodes of a series of MasterChef from at least five years ago. Note “several episodes”: we might have arrived there by accident, but we stayed by choice.

    MasterChef is about to enter its 20th season, and the BBC is, rightly, in a celebratory mood. In 2005, the format was revived, jazzed-up and modernised. The Loyd Grossman days, from 1990 to 2000, were fussier and far more formal. In 2005, Gregg Wallace and John Torode came along. Over almost two decades at the helm, they’ve made “buttery biscuit base” happen and competitive TV cooking fun again. I say fun. I’m not sure how much fun the contestants are having when they serve a sloppy collapse that was supposed to pay homage to their mother’s cherished recipe to three tight-lipped former champions, but if they aren’t having fun, at least the viewers are. The tension is palpable. Give me a scrappy, raw talent who can’t plate-up for toffee but makes exceptional-tasting food and I’m all in.

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      It Came from Outer Space star Barbara Rush dies aged 97

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 April - 10:39

    Best known for her work in 1950s sci-fi, the actor also took supporting roles in films including Bigger Than Life and Magnificent Obsession

    Barbara Rush, the female lead of 1950s sci-fi horror It Came from Outer Space, has died aged 97. Her daughter Claudia Cowan, a reporter for Fox News, told Fox News Digital : “My wonderful mother passed away peacefully at 5:28 this evening. I was with her this morning and know she was waiting for me to return home safely to transition.”

    Born in Denver in 1927, Rush grew up in Los Angeles and, after studying theatre at the University of California, Santa Barbara, was signed to Paramount Pictures . After making her screen acting debut in The Goldbergs – a big-screen spinoff of the popular radio and TV series – Rush’s breakthrough role came in 1951 in the Oscar-winning sci-fi picture When Worlds Collide , as the daughter of an astronomer attempting to warn humanity they are doomed by a rogue star on a crash course with Earth.

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      TV tonight: Gregg and John celebrate 20 years of MasterChef

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 April - 05:20

    They kick off a new series with a gnocchi challenge. Plus, the penultimate episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Here’s what to watch this evening

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      The Magic Prank Show review – so bad it made me yearn for the Jeremy Beadle years

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 1 April - 04:00 · 1 minute

    What a shambolic piece of nothing. What dismal filler. This reality series about a magician playing practical jokes makes zero sense in any way – and is downright tasteless at points

    They say that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit. They are, of course, as so often, entirely wrong. The prank, or practical joke, is the lowest form of wit. If, indeed, it counts as wit at all. It is more often cruelty disguised as humour, bullying cast in a form that makes it even harder for the victim to object to it. Even at their mildest and least malicious, practical jokes depend on upsetting someone, catching them out, making them look stupid. And if they are at their mildest and least malicious they are also anticlimactic and deeply boring. That is why there is no such thing as a good prank. I don’t know if you remember Game for a Laugh? Beadle’s About? Candid Camera? Rejoice in your good fortune if you do not.

    And make sure you do not tune into The Magic Prank Show with Justin Willman. Willman is comedian, magician (with three series of Magic for Humans on Netflix under his belt) and television presenter who in this new show turns his hand to constructing elaborate pranks, involving elements of trickery and illusion, to deliver “karmic justice” on behalf of people who feel they have been wronged. The result is bizarre yet dismal.

    The Magic Prank Show is on Netflix .

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      This Town review – there is no point in resisting this bold, brilliant TV show

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Sunday, 31 March - 21:00 · 1 minute

    Steven Knight’s six-parter about the formation of an 80s new wave band is intelligent, ambitious and anarchic. But be warned: it can feel oppressive at first

    I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear about a film or drama series about a band getting together, the spirit quails within. I prepare for “Let’s put the show on right here!” vibes and the equivalent of poor Billy Zane’s line in Titanic – “Something Picasso? He won’t amount to a thing!” So it is with a heavy heart that I approach This Town, the new offering from Steven Knight (of Peaky Blinders fame). It’s about the formation of an 80s new wave band, influenced by the preceding popularity of ska, reggae, two tone and punk, with the tracks the characters write created by record producer and songwriter Dan Carey and poet Kae Tempest. I am exhausted before it even starts.

    Which just goes to show how very stupid one should try not to be. This Town is an ingenious piece of work, with such intelligence, ambition and heart – shot through with a borderline anarchic spirit – that it can and should overcome all resistance. It does take a bit of getting used to, as anything innovative will. There is – and there’s no easy way to say this – a lot of poetry going on, especially in voiceover, especially at the beginning, and the opening couple of episodes occasionally feel a bit oppressive. But it is compelling from the off, and certainly by episode three it has found the confidence to open up a bit, take a breath and even admit a few welcome comic moments as the tensions among the characters mount, the stakes rise and consequences build towards potential catastrophe.

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