Catch up TV review: Taskmaster S11, The Good Fight S4, Grace, Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death
Ivan Radford | On 21, Mar 2021
Taskmaster: Season 11 (All 4)
Taskmaster is back and not a moment too soon. Last year, the programme proved to be just the distraction we need given everything going on in the world right now, and Season 11 is no exception, as it invites us to focus on a competition with the lowest possible stakes going – and treats it with a seriousness that literally borders on insulting. The people being insulted by Greg Davies’ bullying Taskmaster this season include Ghosts’ Charlotte Ritchie, Vice presenter and comedian Jamali Maddix, comics Lee Mack and Mike Wozniak and actor and comedian Sarah Kendall (Frayed). Ritchie’s earnest joy at riding a scooter is worth tuning in for alone, but from Mack’s cunning strategies and Wozniack’s geography teacher vibes to Maddix’s willingness to stand up to Davies, Season 11 is as hilariously silly as the show has ever been.
The Good Fight: Season 4 (All 4)
Back in its Thursday night slot on More4, The Good Fight finally returns for its fourth run, and it begins with a surprising resolution to Season 3’s SWAT team cliffhanger: an hour of Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) in an alternate reality where Hilary Clinton was elected President in 2016. Baranski’s reactions are a delight, but the result isn’t just a quirky exercise in amusing wish-fulfilment – what soon emerges is a surprisingly twisty and thought-provoking exploration of cause, effect, commercial pressures and political compromise, opening up a wealth of moral dilemmas that makes for a gripping reminder of how bold and inventive this legal drama can be.
Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death (All 4)
The death of Caroline Flack in 2020 was a tragic loss of a talented presenter who won over viewers with the kind of sincere charisma that made it feel like she was on the room with viewers. A documentary delving into her life, then, might feel like an exploitative piece of television, but this hour-long profile is as revealing as it is respectful. The film keeps its circle of contributors tightly restricted to friends and family, giving us an up-close and personal account of not only her rise to fame but her mental health struggles that were exacerbated by it.
Grace (ITV Hub)
Endeavour adapted Russell Lewis has become a mainstay of ITV’s crime drama output and with good reason. Here, he teams up with the always-reliable John Simm for an adaptation of Peter James’ novels, bringing Detective Superintendent Roy Grace to the screen. Simm brings his everyman charm to the gruff detective, who has a steely determination (and a haunting obsession with the disappearance of his wife) to match the wind-swept Brighton pier in the background. He’s supported by an ensemble of convincing police types and the plot is a gripping, twisting yarn that doesn’t just surprise with how dark the case gets. The prospect of a second adaptation to come later this year is promising indeed.