Monday, June 27

The Week on TV: Oprah with Meghan and Harry; The One and more | Television and radio

Oprah with Meghan and Harry (ITV) | ITVHub
The only Netflix
Can’t say my name: babbling in the spotlight (BBC One) | iPlayer
PRU (BBC Three) | iPlayer

At the end, Meghan and Harry interview with Oprah Winfrey made Princess Diana’s encounter with Martin Bashir in 1995 look like a model of tight-lipped restraint. Diana herself was referenced several times (you could say that there were “three of them” in this interview). Sometimes Meghan “Marie Antoinette-ed” herself (“Just the two of us in our own backyard and the Archbishop of Canterbury”). Not that any of this mattered when the conversation turned to suicidal thoughts and racism (“Concerns and conversations about how dark your skin can be”). This, he realized, was as serious as it sounds.

There was Meghan, pregnant, serious, who, for some, can’t even wear a pretty dress without inciting industrial levels of poison. Harry, channeling a young Henry VIII through Made in chelseaand rigid with restlessness. Oprah, a vision in pink, who gave the great international audience a masterclass in excavation of earth, although sometimes the adulation was cloying. In this lengthy “nothing off limits” interview, where were the questions the couple I did not do it do you want to answer? It’s one thing to pass up the bullshit (there’s no way Meghan didn’t googled, sorry, “research”, her new boyfriend). However, as the breed was introduced, why wasn’t Harry directly questioned about the well-documented episodes of consternation from his youth, if only to give him a chance to show how far he had come?

In a way, this was a televised version of the ongoing culture wars, seen through the prism of British royalty, as evidenced by another great television moment last week, when Piers Morgan (self-proclaimed Markle-Heckler in chief) left. furious. Good morning Great Britain, and then he was gone forever (for Morgan, he went from Megxit to legs-it, in 24 hours). But it was also much sadder and darker than that. As the trio sat in that wonderful borrowed Los Angeles garden, there was another backdrop at play: a global pandemic in which ordinary people have much more to worry about than if a baby receives a royal title. Still, I believed them about the important things, and I always did. Meghan was clearly under constant attack from certain sections of the media, sometimes with horrible racial undertones. It’s shameful that so much scrutiny and vitriol can be applied to her and not, say, Prince Andrew. It’s horrible that the couple were clearly the most scared for safety (and they certainly still are). As the TV event of the year drew to a close, I wondered if both of them the Sussexes would end up with no regrets (Harry really is “just another celebrity” now, is he ready for that?). However, some effervescent sticks of dynamite were always destined to explode.

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'Test Tube Tinder': Eric Kofi-Abrefa and Lois Chimimba in The One on Netflix.
Eric Kofi-Abrefa and Lois Chimimba in The One on Netflix. Photograph: NETFLIX

The eight-part series The only (since MisfitsHoward Overman, adapted from John Marrs’ psychological thriller) had a promising premise. Set “five minutes into the future” (represented by several Great designsindoors, but otherwise ignored), geneticist Rebecca (Hannah Ware) ran a globally successful company that matched couples by DNA. “A single lock of hair is all it takes to match the one person you are genetically guaranteed to fall in love with, your one true love,” Rebecca opined in a Ted-style presentation in full flow.

Never mind the dubious science and scary ethics (anyone in the Tinder test tube market?), The only It featured a stellar cast, which included Ware, Zoë Tapper as a detective investigating the death of Rebecca’s friend (Amir El-Masry), Stephen Campbell Moore as an immoral investor, Dimitri Leonidas as Rebecca’s former colleague (and, it turned out, , his conscience) and Eric Kofi-Abrefa and Lois Chimimba as a couple plunged into a DNA-inspired romantic breakdown.

So there I was, with my feet up, with my family Twirls bag, all ready to be wowed. However, while fun, The only it was something too complicated, with real loads of characters and plots. Love! Death! Sciences! Souvenirs! Traps! Family secrets! Drugs! More flash-backs! (Or was it a flash-forward?), To the point where your head spun. I am a highly trained binge watcher, but even I might have blacked out a few times. If there is another series (Both?), A little rationalization would not hurt.

Felicity Baker and Sophie Raworth in Can't Say My Name: Stuttering in the Spotlight.
Felicity Baker and Sophie Raworth in Can’t Say My Name: Stuttering in the Spotlight. Photograph: Jeff Overs / BBC

Host Sophie Raworth worked closely with BBC producer Felicity Baker for a year, unaware that Baker had a stutter, a fact that came up during the documentary. Can’t say my name: babbling in the spotlight. Baker said: “I’ve spent my whole life trying to hide it. Now I am discovering that I am not alone and I am not the only one struggling to say his name. “

Stuttering, a surprisingly common neurological condition, seems like a nightmare, especially as Welsh rugby international Mark Jones noted, “The Stuttering Fool” has a long history of comedy. President Joe Biden was shown describing his own stutter: “That sense of panic you have, and then anger.” Sir Michael Palin, who resorted to his father’s stuttering for his character in the 1988 film A fish named Wanda, and now in front of the Michael Palin Center for StutteringHe remembered how, back then, it felt unpleasant to draw attention to himself.

Among the stutterers that Baker met, were art student Grace (“I’m not stupid, believe me”) and rapper Big Heath, who was freed by music: “I’m going to rap because I can’t talk.” At the end of the documentary, Baker, who has had a lifetime of difficulty pronouncing his name, said it on camera. This was an enlightening documentary that communicated his message about communication difficulties with empathy and respect.

Kosar Ali as Hanna in PRU.
Kosar Ali as Hanna in PRU. Photograph: Domizia Salusest / BBC / Fully Focused Productions

If you want to feel old (and I’m talking about ancient Methuselah levels), check out PRU, a comedy pilot about alumni benchmark units, which is a collaboration between BBC Three and Fully Focused, a youth-driven production company that supports underrepresented talent.

PRU, written by Alex Tenenbaum and Nathaniel Stevens, directed by Teddy Nygh, has already been commissioned for more episodes and you can see why. He is as wild and mischievous as the young characters he portrays. The PRU villains, Hanna (Kosar Ali nominated for the Bafta of the film Rocks), Jaeden (Michael Boahen), Belle (Pia Somersby) and Halil (Jaye Ersavas), they have a charm to burn. They shamelessly end up with suffering adults, including Kerry Godliman (After life) and Tom Moutchi (Famalam; Hustle): “Sir, give me one of those rollies.”

PRU is all about the wild energy of teenagers, that heady cocktail of defiance and vulnerability, and inventively uses music, primarily grime, to create a mood (a chair flies through the air for Coming In The Air Tonight). They are 21S t century Grange hill Satisfies Top Boy Satisfies Bad Education. Is it too “young” for you? Maybe, maybe not. There were times when I confused the sound of my trumpet in the street dialogue, but I still enjoyed it. Go ahead, live a little, take a look.

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