My Television Viewing, April 14 to April 22 2015

Polished off King of the Hill season 10, another solid run. “Portrait of the Artist As A Young Clown” is a classic Bobby episode, and works both comedically and dramatically, even if similar territory was mined back in the early seasons. A re-watch of S4 of The IT Crowd proved a good use of time, with the Countdown episode in particular  delivering the goods.

Finally got around to the first two seasons of Inside Amy Schumer. What a hilarious show. Schumer’s blend of sketches, stand-up, vox-pops and in-depth interviews make for a marvellous blend, and her material and style really work for me. She’s instantly become one of my favourite comedians. I’m glad that it finally hit DVD.

ITV’s latest attempt at puppet satire, Newzoids, fell flat on its face for the most part, but the Proclaimers parody worked excellently. Still, overall it opts for the easy gags, and seems pretty toothless. Better was this week’s Have I Got News For You, whose Victoria Coren Mitchell-presided proceedings delivered the goods.. once we got beyond a genuinely awkward Ian Hislop-John prescott stand-off. Jack Dee’s Election Helpdesk clocked up episode two of three, and while the premise remains a flimsy excuse for comedic debate, it sure is watchable stuff.

The Island with Bear Grylls, a Survivor-meets-Lost reality show sans elimination, continues to prove an acceptable diversion, and episode 5 – aired 22 April – proved genuinely tense in places. Back in Time for Dinner took its final trip back in time, to the 1990s, the first era which I’d lived through, and proved compelling. Britain’s Got Talent was fine enough, once again, though none of this week’s acts stood out to me, and Britain’s Got More Talent seemed more stretched for material than ever.

The latest episode of Mom continued the series’ brave recent addiction storyline, and continues to challenge network TV boundaries in a thoughtful way. It – alongside The Middle – rates as the best current sitcom overlooked by TV aficionados. Whose Line Is It Anyway? returned this week – always a pleasure, and Gary Anthony Williams is consistently good value in the fourth chair, though I would like to see Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops show up again. Not the most spectacular episode ever overall, but the “Greatest Hits” round was a genuine instant classic.

I also found time to check in with ongoing snooker coverage, and the Edsel Catatonia video collection DVD (packaged with their Paper Scissors Stone deluxe reissue) – often fun, often crazy, occasionally rather budget-restrained. No denying the quality of the music, mind.

Full seasons:

  • King of the Hill, season 10 – 8/10 – fifteen episodes, DVD, April 16, 2015
  • The IT Crowd, series 4 – 7/10 – rewatch – six episodes, DVD, April 17, 2015
  • Inside Amy Schumer, season 1 – 9/10 – ten episodes, DVD, April 20, 2015
  • Inside Amy Schumer, season 2 – 9/10 – ten episodes, DVD, April 22, 2015

Individual episodes:

  • Newzoids, series 1 episode 1 – 5/10 – DVR, April 15, 2015
  • The Island with Bear Grylls, series 2 episodes 3-5 – 6/10 – DVR, April 15-16-22, 2015
  • Back in Time for Dinner, series 1 episode 5 – 7/10 – DVR, April 16, 2015
  • The Graham Norton Show, series 17 episode 2 – 8/10 – DVR, April x, 2015
  • Have I Got News For You, series 49 episode 2 – 7.5/10 – DVR, April x, 2015
  • Britain’s Got Talent, series 9 episode 2 – 6.5/10 – DVR, April x, 2015
  • Britain’s Got More Talent, series 9 episode 2 – 7/10 – DVR, April x, 2015
  • Mom, season 2 episode 20 – 8/10 – DL, April 19, 2015
  • Whose Line is it Anyway?, season 11 episode 1 – 8/10 – DL, April 19, 2015
  • Catatonia videos – 8/10 – DVD, April 20, 2015
  • Jack Dee’s Election Helpdesk, series 1 episode 2 – 8/10 – DVR, April 22, 2015

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