JAMES MAY: OUR MAN IN JAPAN
January 3rd 2020
Japan, James May informs us at the beginning of his travelogue, is “about the most abroad place you can be” if you are from England. He has been there many times as a regular Joe before he got this commission from Amazon Prime Video, and his love for and fascination with the place shows. At least until he remembers who he is and what his brand requires, and lunges for an effortful joke about an automatic translator gadget. There’s a moment early on in the opening episode, when May has mastered the basics of dogsledding in the beautiful snow of Hokkaido and, after speeding smoothly through the silent majesty, forgets himself enough to make a reference to feeling like Prokofiev. We then labour through a fourth-wall break in which he tells us the crew are worried that line will make him look pompous and intellectual. They chat, wonder if Raymond Briggs or Elsa would work better, until the danger of seeming thoughtful or moved has passed.....
March 12th, 2019
Ah, Baywatch. Pam running through the sand in her red cossie. Half-dramatic, half-hammy scenes of thwarted shark attacks. David Hasselhoff. If you had taken a quick glance at the TV guide this week, you may well have thought it was that show you could watch on E4 on Monday. But, alas, it was another show with a similar title: Baewatch, emphasis on the “bae”, or “before anyone else”, the slang term for a boyfriend or girlfriend that’s now been co-opted by everyone and their mum. It was produced by an offshoot of the production company who made Baywatch, which is how they were able to get away with this frankly awful pun that would be better suited to the back of a phone case or somesuch.
Baewatch is essentially a coda to Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents, which saw parents stalk their teens on post-GCSE blowouts where, unsurprisingly, the kids would be downing chilli vodka and visiting strippers (and that was just the tame episodes).....
January 28, 2019
Having been involved in Shipwrecked since 2000 we were invited to help reboot the franchise...
A group of 'castaways' are dropped off on two idyllic islands in the South Pacific, where they'll take part in a series of challenges and attempt to win the allegiances of new arrivals, who'll have to choose between the Sharks or the Tigers.
SEVEN YEAR SWITCH
March 3rd, 2018
“You can’t be naked around her,” rumbles Michelle darkly as her husband George packs his suitcase, ready to move in with his new wife. “And if your hands go on her arse, you won’t have hands.” Behold Seven Year Switch (Tuesday, 9.15pm, Channel 4), the latest reality TV brain-fart in which four couples whose marriages are on the rocks are dispatched to a Thai island where each of them is paired off with new spouse. The idea is to spend a fortnight in a luxury villa getting a taste of what life would be like with someone new. It is, chunters the voiceover, “a groundbreaking experiment”, which seems a bold claim given that it’s basically Wife Swap with swankier locations and the looming threat of divorce.
Relationship therapist Lee Valls is on hand to provide expert analysis and, in case we were in any doubt, makes his credentials clear by leafing through CSI-style case files on participants while earnestly furrowing his brow. But Lee is not fooling anyone. Off-screen he can surely be found quietly praying for adultery....
GEORGE CLARKES, AMAZING SPACES
September 18, 2015
What could be nicer than watching a father and his 10-year-old son building a stargazing outhouse on a crumbling clifftop overlooking the North Sea?
In Norfolk a man called Peter is building a … well, it’s hard to know exactly what it is, because Peter is not a man for plans. As in drawings, he just builds, with – and to the size of – what he has to build with, and it turns out as it turns out. He knows its purpose, at least: it’s going to be somewhere he and his 10-year-old son Luca can sleep under the stars, because, he says, “everybody should sleep under the stars at least once a year”.
Just as its previous hit Gogglebox took us into the nation’s living rooms, Studio Lambert’s latest documentary series for BBC2, The Kitchen, gives us an insight into how Britain’s families come together to eat and discuss their day.
However, this is where the similarities end, both in terms of editorial content
and production choices. “We knew that meal times offer a rich opportunity to capture the humour and drama of different households, and gives us a chance to explore the lives of the eight families we follow,” explains Mike Cotton, producer, Studio Lambert.
CINEMATOGRAPHER SEAN CARSWELL TEAMS UP WITH JAMES MAY ON AMAZON’S HIT NEW SERIES
One of Carswell’s longest standing professional relationships is with the iconic British television presenter James May, best known for the worldwide phenomenon Top Gear. They began working together back in 2006 on Oz and James’ Great Wine Adventure, and have since shot countless other projects, including ManLab and Cars of The People. One of their more recent projects premiered in January, James May: Our Man in Japan, where May and his crew set out to travel land, sea, and air to explore everything that Japan has to offer.
IT’S TIME TO “BAEWATCH” IN HIT CHANNEL 4 REALITY SERIES
Last year, Carswell’s work was once again a hit on televisions across the UK with Baewatch: Parental Guidance. In this captivating reality series, self-styled “perfect” couples put their relationships to the test on a romantic getaway in the sun. What they do not realize is that secretly doing the testing are their own families, who want to find out more about their loved one's relationship