This week’s Telly Addict, over on the Guardian website, is overcome by unplanned gloom this week, with all three programmes under review set on the wrong side of the tracks and reflecting the seamier side of life. Sorry. It just happened. Top Boy, which ran from Monday to Thursday on C4, is set on a fictional Hackney estate where drug-dealing and internecine warfare is rife; Misfits, back for its third series on E4, is a sci-fi comedy that’s also set on an estate, this time the unnamed Thamesmead in Bexley/Greenwich, and revolves around young offenders on community service; and Braquo, a thrillilng new French cop import on FX, which I’ve already written about, is set in the underbelly of Paris, where violence on both sides of the law is a way of life. As is drinking at work.
It’s all pretty gritty. But vital in many other ways. I loved Top Boy, written by Ronan Bennett and superbly directed by Yann Demange, although why it was force-fed to us in four days I don’t know. Is this new concertinaed scheduling orthodoxy a reaction to DVD box-set bingeing? If so, I can see the logic, but it does mean that a drama as important and impressive as this feels as if it’s being rush-released, and that the channel that’s showing it has no confidence that an audience will stick around for it given a whole week between episodes in which to lose interest. Do we have such short attention spans?
This week’s Telly Addict comes with a warning again: this video contains scenes of nudity and language that some viewers may find offensive. Brilliant.