Catch up TV review: How the Other Kids Live, Child Genius, In the Line of Fire, 100 Vaginas
Ivan Radford | On 03, Mar 2019
How the Other Kids Live (All 4)
Going over to someone’s house is one of the most basic social rituals, and also one of the riskiest, opening up the awkward possibilities for embarrassing interior decor, uncomfortable social or cultural clashes, and that’s before you get to things like whether to ask to use the toilet. How the Other Kids Live, though, is a wonderful bit of telly that mixes kids from different backgrounds… and discovers that, unlike most adults, children can simply get along. From the Catholic redhead to the girl whose parents moved here from Nigeria to two relatively posh brothers, these young humans are brilliantly accepting, willingly inclusive and unfailingly friendly – even when they’re not sure about how to behave or interact with Tom, who has Down’s syndrome, there’s a gentle respect in how they give him space when it’s asked for and make sure he’s ok when he trips up on the stairs. One parent enthuses about how empathetic their boy is, but all of them come with empathy pre-installed, as they all thoughtlessly focus on what they have in common rather than what differentiates them. One of them asks another if they believe in God without judging the answer. Another flosses happily on the sofa. Thank goodness we’ve got these people to take over the world in another generation’s time.
Child Genius (All 4)
“She could be the next Einstein,” says one proud parent in the latest season of Channel 4’s Child Genius. Like the label itself, Channel 4’s quiz show is slightly problematic – the former risks setting up kids and parents up for a lifetime of pressure and expectations, while the latter encourages the label and exploits the whole thing for light entertainment. But there’s at least something to say for a show that celebrates knowledge as a worthwhile goal, and Richard Osman as our host and quizmaster is friendly and supportive enough to balance out some of the more intense parenting. Will the winner still keep their trophy proudly on display in 15 years’ time? Probably not. But for now, there’s at least a chance for us to learn some facts about epidemiology and cryptoanalysis.
In the Line of Fire with Ross Kemp (ITV Hub)
If the video of him celebrating during the World Cup wasn’t enough to convince you of Ross Kemp’s hardness, he’s back again on our screens for another tough assignment, this time going on the frontline with some armed police. More disturbing than that is him interviewing and reliving an attack by a member of the public with a knife against two unarmed police officers, which emphasises just how much danger coppers can be in on their beat – one is attacked every 20 minutes, according to one statistic Kemp quotes. Bodycam footage and him gamely joining in with hostage scenario training gives an immediacy to the whole documentary, and an intimidating glimpse of the police could behave, but its biggest impact lies in the question about whether counter-terrorist measures may become the norm for our constables – a move that would end policing by consent on our streets. The conclusion, it seems, lies not in carrying guns but in investing in higher numbers of officers in the first place.
100 Vaginas (All 4)
There are endless taboos surrounding what lies between women’s legs. From how it works and what it does to what you can do with it for pleasure, the vagina carries a social stigma that’s entirely unearned. Full credit to photographer Laura Dodsworth, then, who snaps pics of people’s body parts as a way of challenging that and getting us to engage with our own organs – and, just to go one step further, also turned that project into a documentary. Interviewing her subjects, she encourages them to share funny, moving, sometimes shocking and sad stories about how their vaginas have shaped their lives, from abuse and a lack of understanding from men to the self-affirming joy of masturbation, this is a necessary (and obviously NSFW) programme that demystifies, destigmatises and delights in the details of each vagina it comes across. Empowering, enlightening and important TV.