Catch Up TV review: Celebrity First Dates Hotel for SU2C, Snackmasters, Zomboat!
James R | On 13, Oct 2019
Snackmasters (All 4)
BBC’s Inside the Factory gets a culinary twist in Channel 4’s rival programme, which sees Fred Sirieix, for it is he, embark on quest to challenge chefs to recreate snacks. Fred is as suave and enthusiastic as ever, although segments inside the relevant factory don’t give comedian Jayde Adams much to do. Instead, the interest lies in seeing whether cooks can come up with their own version of (in this case) pickled onion flavour Monster Munch, and the surprisingly intricate processes and ingredients that go into iconic childhood favourites make for an intriguing watch. But compared to current food TV gems Beat the Chef, Bake Off and Inside the Factory, though, Snackmasters feels like a slightly small portion.
Celebrity First Dates Hotel for SU2C (All 4)
Channel 4’s celebrity specials for Stand Up 2 Cancer have consistently proven an entertaining as well as an important watch, and the return of First Dates Hotel is no exception. The fun of the sincere, sweet First Dates premise is unchanged, and the guests getting to look over at what the others are up to is an added bonus. But what makes the SU2C special work is the fascinating dynamics between the purportedly famous people and the members of the public they’re paired with: TV presenter AJ Odudu seems disappointed when her date doesn’t recognise her; Duncan James meets a man he’s already known; TOWIE’s Pete Wicks is keenly self-aware of his bad-boy reputation; and Ulrika Jonsson isn’t bothered by fame or lack thereof as long as she gets a chance to laugh. Thanks to some superbly shrewd casting, matchmaking and editing, the result is sweet and frank – from Ulrika’s talk of being lonely in a relationship to Duncan discussing coming out – as well as funny. Check in with these couples if you get a chance.
Zomboat! (ITV Hub)
“He can do stairs!” “Of course he can, he’s a private trainer. He’s got great core strength.” That’s the sound of two sisters (White Gold’s Leah Brotherhead, Crazhead’s Cara Theobold) being attacked by a zombie in Zomboat!, ITV’s new comedy. That’s par for the course in this part-sitcom, part-horror, which shuffles into Shaun of the Dead territory without fear of accusations about originality. Fortunately, this tale of the undead apocalypse breaking out in Birmingham has a dash of its own attitude, from the West Midlands location – their escape vehicle of choice is a canal boat – to the sisters’ convincing odd-couple relationship. Most enjoyable, though, are the liberal pop culture references that splatter the action, as every zombie encountered is compared to The Walking Dead. The result isn’t all that original, but this is amiably gory enough to be mostly harmless.