Insanely excellent… and we can see the uber-rich suffer!
Sky Atlantic, 月曜
Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker
チャネル 4, 木曜日
It’s the show everyone is talking about, by which I don’t mean Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker, even though it had its moments. (Will Chantelle finish her ‘bulrush bed’ in time? Will she?)
It’s the show that’s now up there with The Sopranos, The Wire, The West Wing, even Poldark, and it’s back for a third season. Do you wear socks? もしそうなら, it’ll blow them off, it is so insanely excellent.
The first episode of this season of Succession picked up exactly where we left off. (I’m assuming you’re up to speed. OK, quickly: the series is about a media conglomerate, Waystar Royco, the ageing patriarch boss – Logan Roy, played by Brian Cox – and his fascinatingly dysfunctional family, who are all wrestling for control.)
I’m sure someone is writing a thesis somewhere on Roman Roy’s (the potty-mouthed youngest son, played by Kieran Culkin, above with Sarah Snook) relationship with Gerri Kellman
Now back to where we left off, which was on that cliffhanger. The one where Logan’s son, Kendall Roy, known in this house as ‘The Saddest Most Lost Boy on Earth’, publicly eviscerated his father instead of taking the rap for the cruise-ship scandal.
We saw a small smile play on Logan’s lips as he witnessed this. Because, in betraying him, Kendall had finally won his respect? Or because he was relishing the prospect of a full-on family war?
The latter, it would seem. I think our clue came at the end of this episode, when he roared his intention to go ‘FULL-ON F****** BEAST!’
At the outset, Kendall (Jeremy Strong, who has found infinite ways to play ‘haunted’) foetally curls up in a bath but gets a grip and is thereafter high on adrenaline and self-importance.
When he talks to his lawyer or his communications people, it is so painful to watch, you do so through your fingers while cringing and going: ‘Please God, no.’ He leaves the press conference with Awkward Cousin Greg, an innocent corrupted, in tow.
‘No comment, no comment, no comment,’ Greg tells the waiting crowd until Karolina, Waystar’s head of PR, 言う: ‘Don’t keep saying, “No comment.” Just don’t comment.’
Succession is, at heart, a tragedy, as the children of an empty man scrabble for the power they have mistaken for affection. But it is also funny. Kendall appoints Greg to manage his Twitter.
Greg: ‘The Pope is following you!’ Kendall: ‘The real Pope?’ Pause. Greg: ‘No… a pope.’
The writing is dazzling. Logan decides to step back as CEO and needs a replacement, even though he will still be calling the shots. Karl, Waystar’s chief financial officer, ボランティア. Logan says to him: ‘Karl, if your hands are clean, it’s only because your whorehouse does manicures.’
If I had written that line, I would die happy.
The performances are immaculate, as is the characterisation. As it stands, I’m sure someone is writing a thesis somewhere on Roman Roy’s (the potty-mouthed youngest son, played by Kieran Culkin) relationship with Gerri Kellman (J. Smith-Cameron), the company’s general counsel. (What is that about? Is it oedipal?)
Shiv (Sarah Snook), the daughter, may be the smartest but, like her siblings, she has that deep need to impress her father. She is always strategising with her husband, Tom Wambsgans (Matthew Macfadyen), who is wonderfully oleaginous, but I’ve become quite fond of him. (私だけでしょうか, or is he beginning to realise how bankrupt his marriage is?)
I am also fond of Logan’s oldest son, Connor (Alan Ruck), 彼の最初の結婚から, who has removed himself by living in a fantasy land.
It’s packed with everything you might want, 含む, I suppose, the satisfaction of seeing super-wealthy people suffering. I have to tell you, I’ve seen five of the nine episodes and every one is thrilling.
Watch next week for what I will call the ‘Greg and the watch’ episode. Meanwhile if, 今週, you didn’t have to retrieve your socks from the other side of the room, I’d be most surprised.
There have been endless permutations on The Great British Bake Off. Some of them have even worked. I adore Sewing Bee, and I also like that pottery one with The Crying Man.
だが Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker? Where will it end? Barmaid: Britain’s Best Pint Puller?
Presented by Mel Giedroyc, it slavishly follows the Bake Off formula, with a technical challenge, a star woodworker of the week, drone shots of fields and sheep, and so on.
I don’t know where they get the contestants from but one said: ‘Making refined joints is not my forte.’ But isn’t that what woodwork is? Otherwise it would be all doorstops?
The main challenge this week was making a bed in two days, which was not that exciting. ‘I’m planning to take a saw and cut some wood now,’ said one contestant. There were technical staff on hand but we weren’t told under what circumstances they might help.
その間, the judges – architect Alex de Rijke and furniture-maker Helen Welch – appeared stiff and uncomfortable and gave off no warmth whatsoever.
I don’t know what the ‘Big Build’ challenge will be next week. Perhaps a barrel, the bottom of which this felt like it was scraping?