Tin Star (Sky Atlantic)
I missed Tin Star first time around, so you’ll forgive me if my dropped jaw is still playing catch-up. For the uninitiated, it stars Tim Roth as Jim Worth, a Cockney copper with a shady past now lying low as the police chief of Little Big Bear, a one-moose town on the edge of the Canadian Rockies. Except, when he’s had a few drinks, Jim unleashes his raging, violent alter-ego Jack Devlin – think the Hulk after a night on the sauce – thus initiating a frenzied orgy of bloody mayhem.
This week’s second season opener began with Jim/Jack having just shot dead his daughter Anna’s (Abigail Lawrie) boyfriend in revenge for murdering his five-year-old son, which in turn prompted Anna to shoot her father. Traumatised, she then wandered off into the mountains and picked a fight with a snow leopard (or it may have been a lynx – what am I, David Attenborough?), from which, implausibly, she emerged the victor. Then she tried to hang herself. Meanwhile, with a blizzard closing in, the wounded Jim/Jack managed to drag himself to a house in the woods, which he then burned down in order to keep warm. Like you do.
Back in town, Jim/Jack’s old nemesis from his London days – played, unfeasibly, by Ian Puleston-Davies, aka King Thistle from Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom – was recovering in hospital from Jim/Jack whacking him round the head with a sock full of billiard balls. His girlfriend was also there, after Jim/Jack stuck her with a broken bottle. Oh, and the town’s constable (Ryan Kennedy) was in, too. Because Jim/Jack – his boss – had shot him. It was that sort of week.
Later, Jim/Jack spotted his wife Angela (Genevieve O’Reilly) and, in attempting to reach her, caused a lorry to crash into a truck. That’s him just crossing the road. Seriously, this guy is such a liability he makes Luther look like the desk sergeant from Juliet Bravo.
It’s impossible to fully do justice to just how off-the-chain insane Tin Star is. But imagine Fargo crossed with the Christmas Day episode of EastEnders and you’re halfway there. Lovely scenery though.
Imagine… (BBC One)
Alan Yentob’s absorbing portrait of Jo Brand explored how an unhappy childhood – her dad was a manic-depressive who hit her and once burned all her clothes – inspired a life of comic rebellion. Over the years, she’s used her wit and those trademark DMs to kick against everything from the patriarchy to the invisibility of old people, and become a national treasure into the bargain. Except she insists: ‘I’m not a national treasure – I’m a national disgrace’. We’ll be the judge of that.
Sex Education (Netflix)
This comedy drama – a sort of Inbetweeners meets Grease, about a shy, virginal teenager who accidentally becomes his high school’s sex therapist – is a rare British-made Netflix original. Except, with its trailer parks and Letterman sweaters, the Welsh Valleys have been made to look weirdly like Middle America – a deliberate move, according to star Gillian Anderson, to avoid confusing US viewers. Anyway, it’s very rude, but also kinda sweet.
Published in Waitrose Weekend, January 31, 2019
(c) Waitrose Weekend