Catch up TV review: McDonald & Dodds S2, Max Clifford: The Fall of a Tabloid King, Grayson’s Art Club S2
Ivan Radford | On 07, Mar 2021
McDonald & Dodds: Season 2 (ITV Hub)
Five friends take a hot air balloon trip. Four come back down alive. That’s the wonderfully improbable opening mystery for McDonald & Dodds Season 2, as ITV’s latest likeable detective duo return for a second run of cases. Writer Robert Murphy (Vera, Shetland) has a knack for coming up with the kind of mildly absurd premises that made Jonathan Creek such a wonderful teatime staple, and he’s also assembled two lead characters with an equally endearing ability to mix light and shade. While there’s a death to investigate in this opening episode, there’s also lightweight humour and gentle joshing, as we find the ambitious and driven DCI McDonald (Tala Gouveia) softened to her once-unwanted colleague, the humble and smart DS Dodds (Jason Watkins). One focused and confident, the other withdrawn and understated, their dynamic is unchanged, but their friendship has evolved since Season 1, with a mutual respect and understanding bringing a charming heart to go with their entertaining interactions – the fact that the central whodunnit is faintly predictable does nothing to dampen the fun on offer. Throw in a supporting guest cast that includes Rob Brydon (having fun as a Dodds-a-like recluse), Rupert Graves (hamming it up as a selfish socialite) and Martin Kemp (having a ball as a callous, swaggering suspect) and you have an opening chapter that sets the tone for what promises to be another entertaining triple-bill of crime-solving.
Max Clifford: The Fall of a Tabloid King (All 4)
The name “Max Clifford” means something very different to what it dead 20 years ago. The media publicist worked with Simon Cowell, dominated the tabloid press and could conjure up flurries of scandalous news headlines with ease. In 2014, he was jailed for historic sex crimes, after being investigated by Operation Yewtree. In 2017, he passed away in prison. Four years on from that, this documentary takes a closer look at what he did – and gives a vital voice to the survivors of his abuse. It’s the kind of programme that might not have been made without the #MeToo movement of recent years, which most famously resulted in the arrest of Harvey Weinstein in 2018. But abuse on any scale is wrong, and this hour-long documentary highlights that unacceptable exploitation of power and influence can occur at any level – just look at how news reports investigating him were effectively suppressed.
Grayson’s Art Club: Season 2 (All 4)
Grayson Perry is back for another season of lockdown art and he once against attempts to highlight artwork from across the country, highlighting the way that it can bring people together, providing catharsis, inspiration, distraction and comfort. This is less a programme in which you can expect scathing art criticism – the tone is set by the way he moves around his home and studio, casually barking out things like “We all die in the end!” – but there’s an open-doors, all-are-welcome philosophy that’s really rather endearing. Russell Tovey pops up to do some automatic painting on his floor, and reminisce about Lakeside Shopping Centre, while there’s room to spotlight land artist Andy Goldsworthy and Polly Morgan. But the standout treat, tellingly, is a piece of work by a wedding DJ who samples sounds of nature, combining them with mini forests built inside cassette tapes. The look on Perry’s face as the whole thing comes together is infectiously cheerful.