Marcella; Katie Price: Harvey and Me; Staged; Robert Burns: No Holds Bard, reviews

0

WITH its provocative, hints of the bunker title, The Trump Show: Downfall (BBC2, Sunday) hardly hid where it was coming from. After three episodes charting the Trump presidency, the filmmakers were back to confirm how the story turned out. Not well, as could be seen from the opening scenes of ransacked offices at the Capitol.

Given how recent the events were, The Trump Show had a job to find new footage and fresh angles. Mostly it didn’t, save for a clip of the 2016 Trump-Clinton television debates in which the Republican hopeful raised doubts over whether he would concede the election if he lost. As we saw, he already had the playbook he used in 2020.

Regardless of whether we had seen the material before this was well worth catching. Face it, that press conference outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping, next door to a sex shop, will never be anything less than hilarious. Just as those pictures from within the Capitol, of a lone guard trying to hold off the mob, of terrified legislators hiding behind benches, will always shock (here’s hoping).

Following last week’s revelation that most of the Lancashire lot in The Bay were played by Scots actors, I note that another gang is on the block in Marcella (STV, Tuesday). This time they are former Brooksiders.

Marcella, the troubled cop who does not play by the rules, blad-di-blah, is played by Anna Friel, who used to be Beth Jordache in Brookside (remember, first lesbian kiss in primetime, large hooey about it?). In her latest assignment, Marcella has infiltrated a Belfast crime family, the Maguires, headed by matriarch Katherine (Amanda Burton, ex-Heather from Brookside). No relevance, just noticing a pattern. Need to get out more. We all do.

Marcella has returned with a new identity, Keira Devlin, and a new look that’s supposed to make her unrecognisable. Since this transformation amounts to little more than blonde hair instead of brown and a new found liking for high heels, it is no surprise when someone recognises her. That is the least of her worries. Besides getting in deeper with the horrible Maguires, she is being haunted by her dreadful past, blah-di-blah.

Without Friel and the taut as a drum writing of Hans Rosenfeldt, Marcella would be just another three for a pound maverick cop drama. With them it has enough of an edge to draw the viewer in, if for no more reason than seeing how poor Marcella is going to royally screw up her life even more this time.

Marcella might not be a master of disguise, but the woman at the centre of Katie Price: Harvey and Me (BBC1, Monday) was in with a shot at the title. First, there was Katie as Jordan, glamour model. She existed as pictures on the walls. Then there was the Katie of the title, reality TV star, and Price’s persona since she stopped being Jordan. Finally, there was Kate.

Kate was what director Hannah Lowe called her as she followed Price and her severely disabled son Harvey as he turned 18. Top of the to do list was to find Harvey a college where he could learn to live more independently. Like many a parent in her position, she was terrified at what might happen to him when she was not there any more.

This Kate, as she was known to those closest to her, was a revelation. A fighter, because she has had to be, but painstakingly gentle with her son. Funny, wise, patient, and with four other children besides, here was a worthy contender for the “I don’t know how she does it” award. I liked Kate.

Lowe’s film did not shy away from the difficulties in Harvey’s life, or the struggle that lies ahead of him, but there was joy here and a lot of love. While personal to Price, it made clear her situation was not unique. Finally, a likely college was found, albeit it was two hours away and looked like the kind of place that was in the $350,000 a year bracket. She finds out in March whether the local authority will pay.

Star of the first lockdown Staged (BBC1, Monday) came to a close after a second run. Early on I had the feeling that it may have been a mistake to come back. Instead of us, the viewers, laughing at the luvvie antics of Michael Sheen and David Tennant, assorted other stars were invited in on the joke. Were we laughing with them or at them?

Worse, it wasn’t funny any more, except for the mildly amusing episode with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Cate Blanchett. Like jokes about Zoom and the panic buying of loo roll, it was fun while it lasted.

Well, that was certainly weird. Robert Burns: No Holds Barred (Sky Arts, repeated Sunday, January 31, 4pm) had an interview with Scotland’s First Minister. No surprise there, but they introduced her via a slo-mo shot of her walking upstairs, the focus on her legs. First, what was with those spotless soles? Second, would they ever have done that with a man?

Share.

Leave A Reply