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Tonight's terrestrial TV tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Thu, 10/12/2009 - 09:30

It's well-known we poor Brits are enslaved to our jobs. The long hours culture we have is the worst in Western Europe and most people come home shattered, with the sole intention of flopping on the sofa with a glass of wine and the chance to unwind a bit with the family. And then there are the work junkies, the ones who just can't switch off like normal mortals. Channel 4's Kidnapped by the Kids (9pm) tells the story of Lester Adams, a workaholic for whom putting in an 80-hour week he'd consider to be lightweight. The trouble is, his two children never see him because Lester often sleeps at his workplace so they take drastic action. What follows is an emotional overhaul for Lester when his kids "kidnap" him from work, hide his laptop and force him to spend a week in a remote country location with him in the hope he'll learn how to be just "Dad". Be prepared to shed some tears along with Lester. This charming documentary is, however, a bleak reminder of how damaging our work culture is to our personal lives.

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Armchair Viewing: There's Something About Mary (1998)

Posted by Justin Bateman | Wed, 09/12/2009 - 09:23

Hitchhiker: "Step into my office."
Ted: "Why?"
Hitchhiker: 'Cause you're fuckin' fired!
"

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Ted (Ben Stiller) had a disastrous date with Mary (Cameron Diaz) at high school. Many years later he gets the chance to make amends. With comedic results.

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Tonight's terrestrial TV tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Wed, 09/12/2009 - 09:21

David Attenborough has probably attained National Treasure status, after more than 50 years on our screens. He's introduced us to every aspect of life on our planet and we've hung on to his every word. But one thing was always missing. The biggest, most widespread life form on Earth. Us. Worry no more for Attenborough finally takes up the challenge in Horizon (BBC2, 9pm). Subtitled How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth?, he investigates the explosion in population - from 2.5 billion in 1950 to today's staggering 7 billion.

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Armchair Viewing: Pan's Labyrinth (2006)

Posted by Justin Bateman | Tue, 08/12/2009 - 11:22

Ofelia: "My name is Ofelia. Who are you?"
Pan: "Me? I've had so many names. Old names that only the wind and the trees can pronounce. I am the mountain, the forest and the earth. I am... I am a faun. Your most humble servant, Your Highness.
"

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A young girl escapes from the fascist world of 1940s Spain into a strange but intriguing fantasy world.

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Tonight's terrestrial TV tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Tue, 08/12/2009 - 09:04

Fans of Russell Brand are in for a treat tonight at 10pm on Channel 4, when he delivers a surprisingly candid interview to fellow stand-up Frank Skinner. Russell Brand: Skinned follows the bearded womaniser on his latest tour, a show built entirely on the Sachs phone call incident that led to him resigning swiftly from the BBC a year ago. But it's when he opens up to Skinner about his drug addictions that you see a vulnerable side he rarely shows.

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Tonight's terrestrial TV tips

Posted by Stuart OConnor | Mon, 07/12/2009 - 09:27

As Christmas rapidly approaches, today's tips have a very seasonal flavour. When you were a child you almost certainly had a game as a present and if you've now got kids of your own it's odds on you'll be buying games for them for Christmas. Games Britannia (BBC4, 9pm) is a historical exploration of the nation's love of games, with a delve into the kind of play our ancestors in the Middle Ages and Victorian times liked to indulge in. This is wonderful stuff, from why the Church used strategy games to instil religious doctrine to how the Cold War influenced market choice in the post-war period. This is the first of a three-part trip into the past and also the future.

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Armchair Viewing: Saw (2004)

Posted by Justin Bateman | Mon, 07/12/2009 - 08:58

"I want to play a game."

WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Two men wake-up in a grimy, disused bathroom, next to a corpse, chained to the walls with only a pair of cassette players available to explain their circumstances. The hacksaws also in reach aren’t there for cutting through the chains. And so begin Jigsaw’s games…

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows teaser trailer

Posted by Justin Bateman | Sun, 06/12/2009 - 12:17

The release of this year's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on DVD and Blu-ray includes the first glimpse of final part (or actually the first of two final parts) of the teenage wizard's epic story. But as that's not out quite yet, here's a chance to see that clip...

With an introduction from the film's producer David Heyman and director David Yates, here is a tantalising glimpse of what's to come when Deathly Hallows Part I is released next November.

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Armchair Viewing: Sunday selection

Posted by Justin Bateman | Sun, 06/12/2009 - 10:56

It's the weekend so as ever there's a veritable plethora of top quality films on the box.

Despite it not being remotely festive, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (11.10am, ITV2) always gets me in the mood for Christmas. Maybe its because I got an E.T. pencil case in my stocking back in 1982. Anyway, it's classic Spielberg, superior storytelling with more than a touch of magic, and still probably Drew Barrymore's best performance.

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Armchair Viewing: Jackie Brown (1997)

Posted by Justin Bateman | Sat, 05/12/2009 - 12:03

Aw, the milk went bad while I was in jail.

What’s it about?
In Tarantino’s third feature film, a flight attendant played by Pam Grier is caught smuggling money for her boss, bad man arms dealer Ordell (Samuel L Jackson). She then gets caught in the middle between the police and Ordell and, not knowing whether to give up her boss and risk him coming after her or keep quiet and go to jail, she decides to play the two off against each other.

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