Catch up TV review: Liar, 24 Hours Inside Your Body, Educating Greater Manchester, Eat Your Heart Out
Staff Reporter | On 17, Sep 2017Reading time: 5 mins
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Liar (ITV Hub)
Jack and Harry Williams go head-to-head with themselves on Monday nights this autumn, as their new drama, Liar, competes with Rellik, BBC One’s serial killer drama that unfolds backwards. This ITV series, though, is just as meticulously written, as the drama pieces together what happened the morning after a divisive night before.
Teacher Laura (Joanna Froggatt) is just getting back into the dating game, asking out handsome surgeon Andrew (Ioan Gruffudd) under the pressure of her encouraging sister. Their date takes him back to hers, but she can’t remember what happened then. Did it, as she suspects, culminate in rape? Or, as he claims, was their consensual intercourse and nothing more?
The show perfectly positions itself on the line between the two possibilities, drip-feeding fragments of Laura’s memory throughout the complicated opening hour. Froggatt (Downton Abbey’s Anna) and Gruffud (he of Hornblower) are brilliant, the former uncertain but full of conviction that something bad happened, the latter all smiling innocence and reassuring charisma. Their behaviour after the fact is designed to confuse our sympathies, from her urge to tell other people to his rushing to see her and insist upon his innocence, but they perform the acts well enough to make them genuine, creating a troubling and thought-provoking study of gender politics and the issues surrounding consent that are highly pertinent to current society. With five more hours to go, things only promise to become more grippingly divisive.
24 Hours Inside Your Body (All 4)
Two willing members of the public strap themselves up with the latest medical equipment so that a team of doctors can monitor their brain activity, glucose levels and blood pressure. It might be more down-to-earth than its outrageous title suggests, but it’s no less interesting, as the resulting examination brings up a wave of interesting insights, from courier Dave’s attempts to lose weight to hairdresser Charlotte’s attempts to get to work on time. There are a lot of obvious observations, such as the way the brain wakes up when your alarm goes off in the morning, but there are also countless reminders of the way that our working and sleeping habits in an always-on modern society can impact our health. Just the kind of relaxing viewing to help that heart rate.
Educating Greater Manchester (All 4)
Channel 4’s BAFTA-winning fly-on-the-wall series returns for another dose of educational insight. This time, it’s Greater Manchester on the syllabus, and the show has lost none of its ability to edit a wealth of footage into an endearing snapshot of pupils and teachers trying to get through the day-to-day of school life. There’s added poignancy and hope in this latest series, as we follow the fledgling friendship between Jack and Rani, a boy who has just arrived in the area from Syria. The teachers and pupils quiz him gently about what it’s like to live in a country where bombing is commonplace, while others take steps to try and counter racist insults in the playground. Watching the staff trying to navigate both his settling in and correcting the behaviour of others, all the while encouraging understanding across nationalities, is an inspiring, reassuring reminder that, despite the media headlines and nationalist sentiments apparently sweeping the country, our schools continue to foster multiculturalism among our youth. That’s a lesson we could all do with learning.
Eat Your Heart Out with Nick Helm (UKTV Play)
The Chicken Connoisseur has a lot to answer for. Since his web series extolling the virtues of Britain’s fried chicken shops went viral, BBC Three has commissioned two shows featuring comedians stuffing their faces (the second, Girls Get Stuffed, is a joy), and now, Dave is getting in on the grub with Eat Your Heart Out. Our likeable frontman for our journey through the modern foodie scene? Nick Helm, who has proven his everyman charms in Channel 4’s Loaded, BBC Three’s Uncle and the BAFTA-nominated short film Elephant, and he’s just as endearing here, as he pretends to have a break-up with his girlfriend and go a comfort-eating binge. He’s not one for culinary criticism, making up for that with some welcome jaunts into the kitchens of each establishment he visits, learning how they make what he’s about to eat. And, of course, he’s joined by celebrity guests each episode to banter with for our amusement. That rotating string of stars proves the secret to keeping the servings fresh, from Nish Kumar tucking into a Brexit-defying Euro-feast and Gemma Whelan (aka. Yara Greyjoy) eating a vegan bratwurst in Berlin to Bob Mortimer chomping down a steak and quizzing Nick on his favourite cowboy – only to be gate-crashed by Paul Whitehouse. You suspect that it might not be so easy to watch without those cameos (Girls Get Stuffed works so well precisely because each episode is barely 10 minutes long), but as a stretched-out course hoping to imitate the Chicken Connoiseur’s signature dish, this is far from bottom of the menu.