TV & Film

Nine of the most hilarious comedy albums of all time

Comedy albums are a bit of an anomaly. Almost every other way of experiencing comedy includes a visual aspect, even if it’s just one person, a mic and a stool on a bare stage. But when you remove the visuals completely, the focus shifts to one aspect only: sound. For comedy diehards, these nine albums can allow a greater appreciation of how the greats construct a joke, how their pacing and delivery alters at just the right moment. For those who just want to laugh, there’s no shortage of that either…

10 of the best sketch comedy shows in TV history

The sketch show is the comedy equivalent of going for tapas. You get one big meal of quick little bites, each providing its own instant gratification before making way for another. Actually, tapas might not be the best analogy, seeing as sketch comedy is also a predominantly British phenomenon. Maybe it’s more like those little parcels of fish & chips or mini Yorkshires with a sliver of beef and horseradish in the middle. Those are great…

'Ready Or Not' film review

There’s a certain expectation that comes with Fox Searchlight’s first foray into outright horror. The studio, traditionally seen as Fox’s prestige arm, has been home to four Best Picture winners, so venturing into such territory conjures images of something along the lines of an Ari Aster or Jordan Peele film. Enter Ready Or Not with that mindset and you’ll find yourself drastically recalibrating your expectations about five minutes…

The Virtues – Stephen Graham is superb in Shane Meadows' new drama

In this game, it’s rare that an interview is truly harrowing. But when Miranda Sawyer spoke to Shane Meadows about his new Channel 4 series The Virtues, I don’t think anyone involved – except maybe Meadows – could have anticipated the dark places upon which their conversation would touch. What was abundantly clear from that interview is that Meadows knows deep psychological pain, the kind that leaves a scar on your soul. We might have already been able to deduce that from films such as Dead Man’

Chernobyl – Sky Atlantic's new miniseries is startlingly grim

In our May preview, we warned that Chernobyl probably wasn’t going to be a laugh riot. That turned out to be something of an understatement, as the season premiere of Sky Atlantic and HBO’s new miniseries unleashed its dark, despondent chaos. The opening scene alone deposits a crushingly heavy boulder of doom. Two years after the disaster, Jared Harris’s Valery Legasov sits at his kitchen table, recounting the mistakes made at the Vladimir I. Lenin nuclear power station on 25 April 1986. In his

‘Hunters In The Dark’ – True Detective season 3 episode 6 review

There are elements to this season of True Detective that work and some that are starting to feel like they’re getting in the way. It may be that they’re all heading towards the same point on the horizon but so far, some feel slightly irritating and unnecessary, like that passenger who wants to pull in and use the toilet when you’re 20 minutes away from your destination (full disclosure: that’s usually me). ‘Hunters In The Dark’ is a hard episode to review for that very reason. I feel myself groa

Remembering Albert Finney

Today’s film industry seems to allow little room for anyone to be larger than life. Watching the speeches veer between politely dull and uncomfortably self-aggrandising at last night’s BAFTAs, you can’t help but pine for the unpredictability – for better and worse – of yesteryear’s more vividly drawn stars. I didn’t know Albert Finney, who sadly passed away on Thursday, but there was little about the man that ever came across as blank or boring. Finney the man always seemed as fascinating…

What to binge watch this weekend (and New Year’s) – Cheers

Just before Christmas, my wife and I welcomed our second child into the world. Needless to say, the occasion was a joyous one and our daughter has been as well-behaved and easy-going as a tiny, remorseless, burping, pooping and feeding machine can be. We loved her immediately, but good God is it exhausting having two kids, especially at Christmas. Life is now a kind of waking stupor (even when we’re asleep) wherein anything that requires more than minimal brain power is overwhelming and upsettin

HOT CORN Awards | The best TV of 2018… The full list

20. FOREVER – It’s not exactly new to examine how even the most exciting relationships turn stale, but Forever took the concept and came at it from a completely unexpected angle. To say any more would ruin the impact of the superb second episode – Amazon gave strict instructions to press on what they could and couldn’t say prior to release, which was a little out of the ordinary for a dramedy about marital ennui. Twists and turns aside, Forever was frequently charming, sometimes moving and alway

Bill Heck on the Tender, Dusty Romance at the Heart of Buster Scruggs

Picture a cowboy. Some of you might see John Wayne, walking across a saloon like his legs are made of tin. Some of you might have conjured up Clint Eastwood, the tail end of a smoke clinging on to the corner of his lip, a dirty poncho draped around his shoulders. Or the more romantically inclined might see a ruggedly handsome young man in denim and boots, the kind of man who’s seen hardship and cruelty, but somehow kept it at bay. Bill Heck fits firmly into that latter category. In ‘The Gal Who

'Janet(s)' – The Good Place season 3 episode 9 review

Have you ever felt like the universe is listening to you? Have you ever said, “I’d give my right arm for some pizza” and then walked right past someone handing out free slices of pizza? Have you ever taken a free slice of pizza from a stranger on the street and thought, “I really hope this isn’t drugged” and then not woken up tied to a chair in an abandoned warehouse? Have you ever sat dejected after a crappy date with a 4-foot sack of racist jokes and cat puke (who claimed to be 6’4” and a dead

If you only stream one thing this week: Soul Of America

In Alanis Morissette’s ‘Ironic’, a man wins the lottery and dies the next day. Another takes his first ever flight and dies in a plane crash. To Alanis, these situations – while ironically not being ironic – are as shit as it gets, the brief tastes of joy that bring the whole thing crashing down. And while Alanis would no doubt consider soul singer Charles Bradley’s life in keeping with the characters in her song, the whole thing overlooks the value of even the briefest joy and the price…

Sean Bridgers on Get Shorty and the Return of Deadwood

While he has his share of fans in and out of the industry, Sean Bridgers is a name that might not immediately ring bells with the casual film and TV fan. His face is a different matter. If you’ve watched anything that’s gritty, funny and violent over the last decade, chances are he’s been in there somewhere. Deadwood? That’s him as the astoundingly simple Johnny Burns. Rectify? That’s him lurking around the fringes as the sinister Trey Willis. His roles in Justified and Midnight Special were sma

From Bob’s Burgers to Making It – Five shows to soothe the soul

This world can seem like an awful place at times. Racism, misogyny, prejudice, homophobia, aggression… and that’s just Donald Trump. There are times when turning on the news feels like an act of masochism, when the myriad tragedies all around the globe coalesce into something too overwhelmingly appalling to even process. It’s important in times like these to face abhorrent events head on and take stock of where we’re headed...
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