UTV, Sunday-Wednesday, 9 PM
Donnie O’Sullivan: Capital Mann
RTE One, Tuesday, 9.30 pm
BBC’s new high-profile drama, Tourist, got off to a great start with a wide panoramic shot of the Australian outback. Jamie Dornan, known only as ‘The Man’, is driving alone through that vast emptiness when a truck appears in his rear-view mirror.
A tense cat and mouse game ensues, which ends with the truck driving her off the road. The man wakes up in the hospital to discover who he is, no ID card, and no idea what he was doing in the middle of nowhere.
As a start, it could not have been stronger. It felt more like a movie than a TV drama. In fact, you might suspect that it was constructed entirely from bits and pieces of other movies. duel To The Bourne Identity To north to west,
The difference with those stories is that they were all told in about two hours or less, whereas it is six hour episodes. This means the story has to be framed with outlandish, quirky characters, such as ballroom dancing, secret food, small-town Australian policemen (himself straight out fargo), instead of being with Dornan the whole time, which reduced the tension considerably.
Their story is thrilling, but the subplots threaten to drag the whole thing down.
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Four Lives was a three-part document about a police investigation – or the shocking lack of one – into the deaths of four young men in London in 2014 and 2015. All were victims of rapist and serial killer Stephen Port, but police failed to find a readily apparent connection between the deaths – in part, the men’s families believe due to institutional homophobia.
The Metropolitan Police’s review of the conduct in the case only ended last month, so the play could not have been timed. It focused on the families’ pursuit of justice, not on the amusing entertainment of crimes, which was a relief. It was a solid, worthwhile piece of work.
However, the main point of interest was that Port was played by Stephen Merchant, who has been known as a comedian and writer since the co-production. The Office With Ricky Gervais.
Merchant’s performance was certainly chilling, but the novelty of the casting ran the risk of skewing the entire play. It’s now a trend for comedians to play real-life monsters—see Steve Coogan’s upcoming turn as Jimmy Saville—but audiences are constantly reminded of the performance, instead Events, which feel self-indulgent.
The piece ends with camcorder footage of the first victim’s actual mother receiving her son’s posthumous college diploma. Those few seconds were more poignant than anything else on screen in the past three hours.
ITV also launched this year with a new docudrama. anne Anne Williams, whose 15-year-old son Kevin was one of 97 Liverpool fans killed in the Hillsborough disaster on April 15, 1989.
The first episode was set primarily on the fateful day when Anne, portrayed by Maxine Peake, reluctantly agreed to allow him to go to her first match. When he doesn’t come home, she and her husband go to the disaster site to find him.
this was it Painful to watch, not least the scene where he is led into a room to look at Polaroid pictures of the dead, to see if his son is among them, and there he is, on the wall – number 51.
Peak’s performance was an extraordinary, heartwarming portrayal of grief. He immersed himself completely in this character.
What followed was hopelessly plagued by the perennial problem of all docudramas.
Within minutes, weeks passed, then months, then a year. There was a lot to go on, as Anne began a decades-long legal and medical battle to find out “why my boy died at a football game.”
It took a toll on her family life, which was hinted at here, but the camera cautiously backed away from such intimate moments for obvious reasons of complacency.
The power of drama is that it puts life under a microscope. Instead, we were left with, increasingly, a series of public events faithfully recreated by famous faces.
Like four life, it ended with pictures of the real Anne, who died of cancer in 2013, and her son reading a comic as a child. The reality is really heart-wrenching.
On January 6 last year, supporters of Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building in Washington to protest the election of Joe Biden as US President.
In Ireland, the biggest interest in the night seemed to be the fact that the coverage on CNN was fronted by a Kerryman, Donnie O’Sullivan, who was reporting his first live news. Twitter went at it silly, as Twitter is apt to do.
People wanted to know if Donnie was single, or missed out on Tayto Crisps. there was a presence late late show,
Now, a year ahead, comes along Donnie O’Sullivan: Capital Mann, which made the man himself a complete celebrity.
Donnie and his family seem like lovely people, but this whole event was a shame for journalism. He is a working reporter, not X Factor Competitor.
It was created by Strawwave Media, previously known for those classics of public service broadcasting, Dublin Housewives And young, dumb and living mother, The “supported by your license fee” message said at the end, as if it were to make anyone feel better about paying it.
Suffice it to say that the nominations for the award for the cringest documentary of 2022 have already closed.