Catch Up TV reviews: Stath Lets Flats, Good Evening Britain, The Big Narstie Show, Bear’s Mission with…
Staff Reporter | On 01, Jul 2018
Stath Lets Flats (All 4)
From Fleabag to Paddington 2, Jamie Demetriou has been slowly infiltrating our screens to demonstrate his comic timing and versatility – something best displayed, perhaps, in the sadly ill-fated (but not forgotten) BBC Three sketch show pilot People Time. Here, he gets a welcome chance to take the lead as Stath, a leggings agent in London who is as incompetent as he is, well, incompetent. Mostly hired because his boss is his dad, he stoops at nothing to get a contract closed, stealing clients and losing his patience on a daily basis. We join him on a disastrous property viewing, which sees him mostly damage the place, and witness him trying to help an existing tenant with a pest problem – all the while cringing at his dreadful attempts at salesman banter and charming gift of the gab. Co-written by Friday Night Dinner’s Robert Popper, the result shares that show’s same knack for awkward humour, with the highlights including a 30-second shouted monologue about a bench and a laugh-out-loud encounter with a pigeon. Things are sometimes a tad too uncomfortable, and this is more fixer-upper than instant grand design, but Demetriou’s sweaty, desperate commitment to making a buck out of the housing crisis is played just right – the sharpest gag of all, tellingly, is the outrageous price tags attached to each dump as we tour the local property market.
The Big Narstie Show (All 4)
The idea of Channel 4 commissioning yet another late night talk show is hardly cause for celebration. Except, perhaps, for when that show is hosted by Big Narstie. The Grime MC has become something of a YouTube sensation, with his videos (including agony uncle series Uncle Pain) cementing his reputation as a straight-talking, no-nonsense guy with an infectious sense of humour. His talk show taps perfectly into that persona, essentially giving him an hour of airtime to talk about how little he knows about presenting on TV and hunt around his neon-lit set for a towel. He’s accompanied by rising stand-up star Mo Gilligan, mostly to provide some semblance of organisation, and it works – Gilligan just about keeps things going, while Narstie derails things at every opportunity. It helps that their first guest is Ed Sheeran – a friend of Big Narstie – who gamely sends up his own whiteness, and enthusiastically joins in both a series of skits and a neat concluding format, which sees each celebrity (including Keith Lemon) have to freestyle some lines about the episode to a beat. A couple of moments, such as a little-Narstie and mini-Mo, back up their joking claim to be the black Ant and Dec, but while that duo has won fans by being professional on camera at all times, the fun here lies in just how ramshackle the whole thing is. Big Narstie could say anything at any point, and is clearly enjoying that fact. The chances are you will too.
Bear’s Mission with Warwick Davis (ITV Hub)
Bear Grylls as an interviewer always seemed like an unlikely fit, but the first season of Bear’s Mission with… – which sees Bear take a celebrity guest on a string of tough challenges – proved a surprisingly effective way to bring out an unrehearsed side to his subjects. This new season, though, kicks off with Warwick Davis, and proves that balance is a hard one to strike. Grylls enjoys putting the Star Wars actor through the wringer, from helicopter rides to a terrifyingly talk abseil down a cliff – all of it framed around an attempt to show Davis a new side to his favourite destination, the Lake District. Davis is a veritable national treasure, whose humour, talent and genuine star charisma always shines through. It’s a shame, then, that one poignant chat aside, we don’t get more insight into him that what we likely already know – the series seems more concerned with focusing on him overcoming “massive obstacles” and vaguely patronising him with every new achievement he manages. Throughout, Davis only wins more respect by playing to the camera with confidence.
Good Evening Britain (ITV Hub)
Danny Dyer became a national treasure once again this week, with his headline-making diatribe about the meaningless mess that is Brexit. That occurred on ITV’s trial run for a late night version of its morning talk show, hosted by Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid. The fun of that show is seeing Reid put Piers in his place, and that occurs a lot in this hour, with each guest not tolerating Morgan’s schtick. It’s not a good piece of TV, by any means, as it jumps between topics with a shambolic lack of focus that rivals the UK’s exit from the EU. But there’s a hypnotic car crash quality to seeing a strange bunch of panellists assembled for little reason, including Danny Dyer, Jeremy Corbyn, Pamela Anderson, Amir Khan and David Ginola. Anderson’s bemusement at being called a “WAG” and Corbyn’s restating Labour’s stance on Brexit aren’t exactly compelling viewing. All that changes, though, when Danny hijacks another conversation to talk Brexit, demanding that David Cameron be held to account.
“No one’s got a fucking clue what Brexit is, it’s like this mad riddle, he ranted. “So what’s happened to that twat David Cameron? How comes he can scuttle off? Where is he? He’s in Nice with his trotters up. Where is the geezer? He should be held accountable. Twat.” It’s worth catching up with the show for that clip alone – a brief glimpse of the everyday view that’s been left out of the media, which just jumps from one oversimplified attempt at spin to another. Chaos reigns. Thank goodness EastEnders’ pub landlord is here to sort it out.