Cop and ratings

Why police procedurals continue to endure – and influence. A TV holy trinity of cop, lawyer and doctor series will once again be churned out this year. Studios love them as they deliver solid ratings and because there can be a new crime/case/ patient each week, meaning the viewer can miss a few episodes and…

What would Larry David do?

The new series of Curb Your Enthusiasm doesn’t just mark the return of one of TV’s best comedies, but also the return of a modern-day hero Here’s a test for any man. You can judge what sort of person you are by how much you agree with Larry David in the HBO comedy Curb Your…

Jacques Cousteau documentary

Broadcast into millions of homes around the world from 1966 to 1976, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau documentaries chronicled the sub-aquatic explorations of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and his crew aboard RV Calypso. For the first time, the entire series is available on DVD. The former French naval officer, who died in 1997 aged 87, was…

Great White Hope

The latest in a line of white-trash sitcoms, and why it’s more real that reality TV. In times like these when the rich are screwing the poor more than ever, it’s nice to be able to root for the underdog. But underdogs on television are increasingly appearing via reality TV, where it’s often hard to…

Colin Firth: What I’ve Learned

After you’re nominated for an Oscar, it’s not as if you wake up the day and suddenly there are fifty wonderful scripts on your doorstep. I may have only received three scripts over a given period beforehand and if those three were not particularly good then it doesn’t help you if there are suddenly fifty…

Internet Archive

The online treasure-trove of free film As the fight against illegal downloads goes on, it’s worth knowing that an increasing number of films, music and books have fallen legally into the public domain and are now free for everyone. You’re able to access these files via The Internet Archive (www.archive.org) and it’s fast becoming one…

The Pacific Theatre

If you ask people who’ve fought in a war, they’ll often tell you that it’s not like it’s portrayed in the movies. For a start, the noise is different. Hollywood creates the noise people think war sounds like and gives them that audio experience, rather than what you really hear among the bodies and bullets.…

Corporate man’s laughter

Given the times we live in, you’d think there would be more corporate satires on television, but there just aren’t. Aside from Jack Donaghy’s capitalist musings in 30 Rock and the odd episode of The Office, big business is overlooked in sitcoms. That’s why Better Off Ted has become not just a fine comedy, but…

Under fire in Afghanistan

Former British soap star Ross Kemp on his new role reporting from the front lines of Afghanistan. ESQUIRE: In Afghanistan you had a lot of access to the front line… ROSS KEMP: Yes, but that access only comes about through trust. There was an article in The Times saying, “How the hell does this soap…

Things that go bump

As season four of Ghost Whisperer starts, we speak to Jennifer Love-Hewitt about getting into character. Interview Matt Pomroy How do you see Melinda, your character, after four seasons? Different. She’s changed a lot. In the first season she was very vulnerable and new. Fresh off the medium boat, I guess, and focused on forgetting…