Catch up TV reviews: The Last Man on Earth, Body Donors, Forced Marriage Cops, The Almost Impossible Game Show
James R | On 04, Oct 2015
What’s available on-demand on Freeview? Keep up-to-date with our weekly catch-up TV column, including reviews of shows on ITV Hub, new releases on All 4 and a guide to My5.
(For BBC TV reviews and round-ups, see our weekly Best of BBC iPlayer column. Or for reviews of the shows on All 4’s Walter Presents, click here.)
The Almost Impossible Game Show (ITV Player)
From the producers of Total Wipeout comes this game show that definitely isn’t Total Wipeout, honest. The high-concept premise sees a gang of contestants attempt to complete almost impossible tasks, mostly while wearing lycra. One minute, they’re riding tiny bikes very quickly. The next, they’re shaking their booty in a bodysuit covered in velcro croissants. All the while Irish comedy duo The Rubber Bandits (aka. Dave Chambers and Bob McGlynn) wax lyrical over the top, laughing and making crude jokes at the participants’ expense. There’s some fun to be had in the sheer audacity of the commentary and the videos introducing each person – mainly because of the knowingly over-the-top poses from the ones who are really up for it – but the idea of physical humiliation combined with rude narration ultimately feels old long before the end credits roll. The fact that Sky 1 did something similar earlier this year (Wild Things) but with the novel addition of giant animal costumes is unfortunate.
Photo: Endemol / ITV
Forced Marriage Cops (All 4)
Forced marriages are something that nobody talks about in 2015 – and no surprise, you might think, given the practice was outlawed in 2014 in the UK. But it still continues, as Channel 4’s striking new documentary reveals. The show follows Greater Manchester Police’s forced marriage unit – the fact that there’s a unit dedicated to it speaks volumes – as they investigate homes where women have fled to escape threats to their life. “You can hit your wife, but not daughters,” says one father in an interview. This is the kind of eye-opening television that Channel 4 is very good at.
Body Donors (My5)
From a Channel 4 documentary to Channel 5’s brand of non-fiction, the title alone of this two-part series raises alarm bells. Body Donors, though, is surprisingly sensitive and affecting viewing, as the programme spends time with terminal cancer patients who have decided to leave their bodies to science. “If people didn’t, we’d have to give junior doctors access to patients during surgery,” says one medical veteran. A tribute to science as well as human strength? You go, Channel 5.
The Last Man on Earth: Season 2 (UKTV Play)
Season 1 of Will Forte’s post-apocalyptic sitcom was so good that you wonder why nobody had thought of it before. Season 2 picks up in the aftermath of Phil “Tandy” Miller’s row with the sexier, nicer and identically-named Phil Miller, who waltzed into Tucson and promptly kicked him out into the wilderness. Forte remains likeable, precisely because he’s allowed to be an unlikeable slob, but it’s Kristen Schaal who steals the whole thing as Carol – adorably sweet, scarily enthusiastic and hilariously silly. The sight of the pair rocking up at the White House in a jet plane is worth tuning in for alone, but the possibility of them being separated once again brings a welcome dollop of emotion that marks this out as one of the most quietly impressive TV shows of the year. And that’s before we get to Jason Sudeikis…
Photo: ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co
Best movies on Freeview VOD
Daybreakers – My5
Available until: 27th October