Public Service Announcement 7 of 2017: O.J.: Made in America, Broadchurch, Catastrophe, Quantico, Black-ish, Taken

Just as American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson is one of the best TV dramas I’ve seen for years, ESPN’s Oscar-nominated non-fiction account of the Simpson story, O.J.: Made in America, is a truly outstanding documentary. It’s now available to UK viewers on the BBC iPlayer, and I can’t recommend it highly enough, although at three episodes, each clocking in at around three hours each, it represents a bit of a commitment. But don’t let that put you off.

Next, a couple of shows from this side of the Atlantic. I realise it’s disproportionate for me still to be annoyed about season 2 of Broadchurch, back this week for a third run, but taking TV too seriously is pretty much my niche. So here goes again: the decision to use the second season as a running criticism of the dramatic choices of the first season is one of the most insultingly stupid things I’ve ever seen on TV. In passing, I note that the Radio Times, which called season 2 “thumpingly good” while it was on, is now admitting that it “misfired”, which is a kind of moderate version of what I was saying at the time. So you can take its recommendation of the first episode of season 3 with a pinch of salt, I’d say. This time round I won’t be reviewing (Monday 27 February, 9pm, ITV).

I also thought season 2 of Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s marital dysfunction comedy Catastrophe to have fallen short of the standards of its first season: it had always been filthy and nasty, which I mean as a compliment, but in its second season it seemed to have misplaced the sweetness at its core and replaced it with a sour misanthropy, which made it much more difficult to love. So we’ll see what season 3 brings (Tuesday 28 February, 10pm, Channel 4).

Turning to American TV: first up is the return of Quantico. In season 1, beautiful FBI recruits – one of whom may be behind a deadly terrorist attack on Grand Central Station – slept with and betrayed each other, which makes it sound somewhat more appealing than it actually was. Lead character Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) is, in season 2, off to the CIA, probably to do the same sort of thing. I stuck it out through the first season, but there’s next to no chance of me watching any more (Thursday 2 March, 9pm, Alibi).

Also starting: season 3 of Black-ish (Tuesday 28 February, 8.30pm, E4); and Amazon Prime in the UK has NBC’s adaptation of Taken, available within hours of broadcast in the US. As ever, Unpopcult applauds this practice (Tuesday 28 February).

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2 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement 7 of 2017: O.J.: Made in America, Broadchurch, Catastrophe, Quantico, Black-ish, Taken

  1. Bill February 26, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    I just started Part 2 of OJ: Made in America. Had to tear myself away from it if I’m honest, it really is compelling viewing. I agree with you about Catastrophe, but am hoping that this season will be a return to form as I have every faith in Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, and can’t write them off just yet.

  2. CJ Cregg February 27, 2017 / 9:06 pm

    I really didn’t like season 2 of Catastrophe either. It was just so MEAN. I don’t want to watch people be horrible to each other – it’s not funny or fun. I hope things get less cruel again or I might not make it through season 3.

    Quantico, meanwhile, was so dire I didn’t make it through season 1, but I’m curious – how can it still be called “Quantico” when Alex has finished FBI school and is now with the CIA? Will it follow the same format but have the weekly lessons take place at “Langley” instead? (I’m not anywhere near curious enough to watch and find out, though.)

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