Catch up TV reviews: Eurotrash, Gogglesprogs, Interview with a Murderer
James R | On 19, Jun 2016
It’s been years since two naughty Frenchmen appeared on our TV screens to present bizarre things from across the Channel to audiences on a Friday night. In 2016, Eurotrash’s nudity and silly voices might seem harmless and rather quaint by today’s standards – after all, as an unexpected (and, if you tried to watch it without your parents knowing, shameful) window onto the wider world, Eurotrash was basically the Internet for the 1990s. But the upcoming EU referendum proves a perfect time for Antoine de Caunes and Jean Paul Gaultier to return to Channel 4 and sample the cultural delights of our continental cousins once. From artists painting with penises to men predicting the vote’s outcome using psychic vegetables, and lots of lots of singing, the filthy silliness remains as bizarrely entertaining as ever – not least thanks to Johnny Daukes’ laugh-out-loud regional commentary over the assortment of absurd clips. Will it make your mind up whether to stay in the European Union? Probably not. But anything this colourful, weird and stupid is a welcome reminder of some of the good things that have come out of Europe.
Photo: Channel 4 / Stuart Thomas
Interview with a Murderer (All 4)
True crime has never been more popular in the UK, thanks to Serial and Netflix’s Making a Murderer. Channel 4, inevitably, joins the pack with its own interview with a murderer – in this case, Bert Spencer, suspected of (but not charged with) killing paperboy Carl Bridgewater in 1978. The result is like a sequel to HBO’s The Jinx, but that doesn’t make this documentary any less fascinating.
It helps that things are presented with less flair than the US series, keeping things low-key and respectful, even as the evidence stacks up that there’s far more to Bert than his harmless act would suggest. The headline, for example, is allowed due to Bert’s existing conviction for a different murder. The introduction, meanwhile, is disarmingly raw, as we see Bert agree with our interviewer – criminologist Professor David Wilson – that he can have an opening statement declaring his innocence before the conversations start.
It’s these glimpses of the mask slipping (Wilson notes how easily Bert changes his mood and has no apparent remorse) that really incriminates the film’s subject – and, by the time Wilson is there to list character traits of a psychopath that Bert exhibits, makes for gripping viewing.
Gogglesprogs (All 4)
As Gogglebox has continued, it’s become hard to shake the suspicion that some of the participants are getting a little too used to performing for the camera. This new spin-off, Gogglesprogs, is the perfect solution: replace the adults with a bunch of kids who couldn’t be more genuine. “Talk about dateable,” says one, admiring a bloke on The Undateables, before another pair descend into a conversation of what the “Asparagus” scale is. There’s no judgment here, no prejudices and no attempts to be funny – and that, of course, only makes their innocent comments even more hilarious. It’s not just kids being cute, but kids engaging with culture in a way that we all have at a younger time in our lives. The result is full of surprisingly insightful criticism and adorable exchanges. Who knew that reality TV could be so sincere and harmless? You wonder why the makers of Gogglebox didn’t start with this programme in the first place.
Photo: Channel 4 / Jude Edington