Catch up TV review: Dave Gorman’s Modern Life Is Goodish, Ghosted, Bear’s Mission with…
James R | On 05, Nov 2017
Dave Gorman Modern Life Is Goodish
Dave Gorman is back with his always-entertaining brand of overthought observational comedy. Where those two words might spark fears of tired and lazy jokes about getting a bus to work or marriage, Gorman’s analysis is uniquely specific; it’s more stand-up lecture than stand-up comedy and all the better for it. Here, he tackles such topics as how to store cereal in cupboards without taking up unnecessary space or how to tell the difference between branded and unbranded wheat bisks. That culminates in a superbly put together sequence comparing and contrasting Pixar films and their cheap animated knock-offs, which Gorman improvises into physical comedy, as well as his usual signature “found poem”. The result is a wonderfully low-key slice of British hilarity – and a testament to UKTV’s Dave, who have done what no other channel has in repeatedly giving a stand-up comedian a long-form programme to play with. Five seasons in and Gorman continues to deliver the goods without getting stale – maybe those wheat bisks are doing him some good after all.
Ghosted (ITV Hub)
The latest US sitcom to find a home in the UK, Ghosted is the kind of show that works simply on the strength of its central double act. In this case, it’s Parks and Rec’s Adam Scott and The Office’s Craig Robinson – and it’s a shame, given their respective comic talents, that nobody seems to have given much thought to the series beyond that casting.
Scott plays a failed astrophysics professor who has just lost his job in a bookstore. Robinson plays a disgraced former detective who now pulls shifts as a security guard. When an agent of a mysterious organisation disappears, they are recruited to track him down, using Scott’s scientific knowhow and Robinson’s experience in finding missing persons. It’s a lot of work for a light comedy narrative and you can feel the effort throughout the pilot, which is stuffed with exposition to balance out the cheesy paranormal effects. When the script eases up a bit, though, Scott and Robinson remind you why they’re the real reason to tune in, improvising an excellent argument involving a fax machine. More moments like that could help Ghosted come to life in future episodes – if not, the presence of Adeel Ahktar as a sidekick at least holds some promise.
Bear’s Mission with… (ITV Hub)
Can celebrities survive in the wild for two days with Bear Grills? That’s purportedly the question asked by this new ITV series, but it’s hardly Survivor or I’m a Celebrity: 48 hours in the wild? This is closer to spending a week at your nan’s where the mobile phone signal is terrible. But Grills serves up enough physical tasks to keep things challenging, even for heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua. The sight of Rob Brydon in Snowdonia abseiling down a sink hole, meanwhile, is inevitably amusing, as the pair snuggle up under a tarpaulin at night and try to rescue sheep – all accompanied by Brydon’s Ronnie Corbett impression. Along the way, both answer questions about themselves and their career with gentle candour – and it’s here that the ITV series really emerges as its own thing. This isn’t a survival programme: it’s an extreme talk show. And there’s nothing like freezing cold water and cliff edges to get your interview subjects talking. If you’re tired of late night US talk shows or you’ve already seen this week’s Graham Norton, Bear’s Mission with is worth checking out.