I’m not one of those critics who thrives on tearing something to pieces. And I’m especially sensitive to other writers, as I know how difficult and pressurised it is to write for TV, and the compromises you have to make in that job. But I cannot pretend that ITV1’s five-nighter The Jury, which I review this week in my Guardian Telly Addict round-up, didn’t horribly disappoint me. I prefer to celebrate the best telly, rather than prod the worst, and indeed, give the stuff I wouldn’t normally watch a fair and objective chance … I trust, if you’ve been watching, that you would agree with this general assessment of what I do. But because The Jury, a high-profile piece of TV real estate, was written by a proven genius of populist TV drama, Peter Morgan, I feel it’s only right to express my disappointment. At least I can back my feelings up with clips, which I do. You can watch Telly Addict here. I also pass armchair judgement on American Horror Story on FX and Life’s Too Short on BBC2.
I’m not going to get a job reviewing telly for an actual newspaper – such as, I don’t know, the Guardian – by liking everything, or giving everything a fair crack of the whip, but I never did set out to be Charlie Brooker, who does the opposite with such panache, originality and sincere bile; I set out to be me, watching telly, in my living room, and then saying what I thought of it. (Incidentally, the estimable John Crace, who reviewed Life’s Too Short in the actual newspaper – and not from the bottom of a bin behind a filing cabinet down a long corridor at the back of the Guardian website – was much harder on it, and eloquent, too.*)
Oh, and I’ll be reviewing the excellent Rev next week.
*POSTSCRIPT: I provided a link to John Crace’s review but the Guardian website mysteriously removed it. It’s cached here though, should you wish to read what was, after all, in the paper itself on Friday.)