Sunday, 17th December 2017
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BLUE PLANET II

Are there any superlatives left to describe this programme that has been showered with praise since it first started.

Obviously enough any show that has the involvement of Sir David Attenborough is very quickly going to be a must watch series and this one is no different. There have been some qualms in the way that stories and music have been used to humanise the various segments in the documentary but that is just a small overall quibble when it comes to the quality of the series.

What is most surprising about this particular show is the manner in which the various teams have been sent out on the flimsiest of pieces of information to see if things pan out. It was that which got them the footage of the fish that jumped out of the sea to take flying birds from just above them and it is also the way in which they got the footage of the sea lions working as a team in order to herd tuna in a bottleneck and catch them.

There are so many individual pieces of footage from the documentaries that really are jaw droppingly good.

The one of the octopus fighting off a shark was particularly great as well as the way it then went on to use shells to disguise itself from another attack from the self same sharks. One clever octopus.

Overall this series has been a delight.

IRELAND'S FITTEST FAMILY

RTE has always had a strange way of scheduling its programmes and it is a bit of a strange one that this particular show where various 'fit' families compete against each other goes out on a Sunday evening.

You might think that given the competitive nature of the show that it would be on at a more prime time over the weekend or during the week to maximise it's audience but obviously not. It's an interesting programme and it is certainly isn't for the faint hearted.

The various families probably don't know what they are letting themselves in for which is probably just as well but there is some great footage of them competing until they drop all to win the title of Ireland's fittest family. The show is in it's fifth year and sees no sign of abating but with just a few tweaks here and there this programme could easily be one of the most interesting and arresting shows that RTE have on it's schedule.

MAN DOWN

Starring Greg Davies this show which has just finished on Channel Four after a very short run of just 6 episodes has to be one of the funniest things that have been on the box in the last number of months. It is laugh out loud funny in it's gross humour as well as in its subtler gags. This run of the show was all about Dan becoming a dad and how disasterously it is and how disasterously he makes it for himself. Aided and abetted by a motley crew there is no situation that he cannot turn into something much worse by inserting himself into it. It is the sort of comedy show that you either get and love or just won't understand at all no matter how much you look at it.

But it still is one of the best original comedies that when it comes on brightens your entire week.

The storylines can be absurd and bizarre but that is all part of it's charm and every character is there for a reason and make the most of their roles in the show.

A great comedy to watch and re-watch.

MARY BERRY

COUNTRY HOUSE SECRETS

While it is good, in a strange sort of way, to see Mary Berry back on our screens it is strange to see her in this sort of programme. No doubt to a lot of people Mary Berry is some sort of T.V. aristocracy but when she comes face to face with real aristocracy there is no doubting that she would really be down in the kitchens scrubbing out pots and pans if this was real life.

In other words if this was Downton Abbey she would be Mrs. Padmore, up to her elbows in maggoty game and perennially tugging her forelock when she comes across any of her betters.

But as it stands with a film crew behind her everything changes and somehow she is transformed into one of the family, immediately accepted into their inner circle. But it is all a bit of a con really.

She gets access to fancy houses and the owners of the houses get a good bit of publicity for whatever they are trying to hawk. There are no 'secrets' to be told although any of these families have enough skeletons in their closets to fit out a hallowe’en shop. It's all a very tame affair.

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