What have you been watching this week (w/e 31st July)

Your chance to recommend some TV shows you might have watched this week, so others can enjoy them, too.

  • Dragons’ Den weirdly featured Robin of Sherwood‘s Sheriff of Nottingham, Nickolas Grace, looking for some cash to direct some musicals. He didn’t get it.
  • Top Gear was a bit dull, but James May driving around in an old Citroën with Madison Welch was classic stuff.
  • I’ve carried on watching 10 Things I Hate About You, which is entertaining enough still, even if it’s not a patch on the original. I quite like where they’re going with Kat/Patrick, but Cameron/Bianca is just retarded.
  • I’m watching last night’s Burn Notice at lunch time, but last week’s was probably the worst of the season so far, with its “return to formula” that I hoped we’d dispensed with already.
  • Royal Pains was interesting mainly for Tony Shalhoub making an appearance as a slightly OCD software developer, and for the ongoing Hank/Jill storyline; otherwise, it was an average episode.
  • I thought Leverage this week was only okay: the continuing descent of the gang into “not very good” territory, with their scheme being rumbled again and Christian Kane getting slapped around a bit, is all a bit disheartening. They’re supposed to be good at this in an unbelievable kind of way. Adding reality in doesn’t make it better, only not as unique.
  • New Channel 4 arrival How The Other Half Live, in which rich people get to meet poor people and feel a bit guilty, felt somewhat superfluous – the rich people could have easily done all of their charitable work without TV cameras and there was nothing really new shown in the lives of either group that would have surprised most people too much.
  • BBC4 is of course showing the straight-to-DVD Wallander series from Sweden. They’re not based on Mankell’s novels, so I’m still none the wiser about whether those are any good (I feel Ken B’s version probably diverges from them too much). But this week’s was probably the best of the series so far – very bleak and upsetting. It does, however, feel a bit like a Swedish version of A Mind To Kill, rather than anything too groundbreaking.
  • You Have Been Watching continues to be funny, although not as side-splitting as you might hope, and I’m really starting to like Josie Long. Surprising how many of the assembled comedians came down against The Swan in favour of feminism, too. That’s heartening.
  • I also caught the final episode of Valentine, which has one of those game-changing cliffhanger endings that makes you wish for more (albeit without Jaime Murray and the whole matchmaking thing), but can’t because the show’s been cancelled. Interesting to see the arrival of the Egyptian gods in the show. Oh well. Nothing to be done there.
  • We’re up to episode four now of Caerdydd. Definitely not liking the new Jaimie and Emyr’s gone all weird. And since when has Peter been Peter Sellers in Being There, like some spiritual gardening guru? And that singer so does not need more practice at Welsh, the liar.
  • And, of course, The Daily Show carries on. Does anyone else forward wind through the correspondents’ pieces?
  • Queued up in my pile to watch is Breaking The Mould – did anyone watch this? Should I bother?

As always, no spoilers unless you’re going to use the <spoiler> </spoiler> tags, please


  • I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.