Sunday, August 29, 2004

ITV1: Other people's Television

While at my folks the other week, they made me watch Foyle's War with Michael Kitchen.

It's a great idea for a TV show - everyone loves a murder, we all like Dad's Army, and we adore Heartbeat - so comfortable wartime mystery is going to be, like, the best programme ever. And, oddly, a lot of people think it is.

But it isn't. Foyle's War is rubbish. Where it could be subtle it's lumpen ("Damn you, conchie scum!" a conscientious objector is told). Where there's potential for dramatic irony (Foyle's best friend runs an Italian restaurant), it's bludgeoned (Italian best friend burnt to death by baying mob when war with Italy announced).

Shuddering through this is the wonderful Michael Kitchen as Foyle. The lines leave a bad taste in his mouth, and in some scenes he makes acting look like a bad habit he's trying to give up.

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