Sunday, 13 April 2014

List Hero's TV Highlights of 2014 - January to March

#1  Line of Duty
12th February - 19th March

The last couple of months have seen a number of British police dramas from both the BBC and ITV running alongside each other.  Line of Duty, which explores the corruption with the police force, quite simply puts the others to shame.  Slick production, top quality acting - from a cast featuring the outstanding Keeley Hawes, Martin Compston, Vicky McClure (above), Mark Bonnar and Adrian Dunbar - as well as a plot that keeps you guessing until the very end, means that Line of Duty has been head and shoulders above its competitors.  

#2  The Widower
17th March - 31st March

An excellent three-part ITV drama that told the true story of Malcolm Webster, who murdered his first wife in Scotland in 1994 and then attempted to murder his second wife in New Zealand.  Both cases involved staged car crashes and were carried out for the life insurance money.  The show starred Reece Shearsmith, whose amazing performance must surely have staked an early claim for a BAFTA.
#3  Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle
4th March - 5th April

Now in its third glorious series, comedian Stewart Lee smugly delivers half-an-hour of stand-up each week. There is little middle ground where Lee's concerned; marmite-esque, you either love him or hate him.  Like the first two series of Comedy Vehicle, this one blends chunks of low-lit stand-up with psychotherapy sessions supplied by always irreverent Chris Morris, who pre-empts Lee’s haters and giving an audibly sneering voice to their loathing in improvised "therapy" sequences.  In this series, Lee tackles issues such as satire, “the UKIPs”, and whether or not it is possible to have a context-free word.

#4  True Detective
Sky Atlantic
22nd February - 12th April

With the dream acting combination of Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson added to a fascinating murder mystery in the eerie setting of Louisiana's bayou region, True Detective has not been your average cop drama.  While the show may have been a little slow to get going and the finale wasn't quite as satisfactory as expected, True Detective certainly had some highlights through it's strange production and off-centre acting from McConaughey.

#5  Inside No.9
5th February - 12th March

Six thirty-minute, independent playlets written by Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith from the League of Gentlemen.  What more could you want?  Dark humour, humorous horror and some wonderful writing could be seen throughout the series.  The highlight of the series would have to be the third episode, named Tom & Gerri, which, in my opinion, is a televisual masterpiece.

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