TV highlights | Heart-warming tale a real treat

TV picks of the week for Jan 20-26

If you haven’t read William Boyd’s novel on which this week’s pick is based, Any Human Heart, you’re in for a real treat. But if you have – theoretically putting you among the 20 percent of Americans who read one last year or the 67 percent of British children who own one – you’ll probably be disappointed. There’s no pleasing some people when it comes to book adaptations.

This heart-warming four-part miniseries takes the reader from a 1920s British private school (err, they cut that), to 1960s Nigeria (and that bit), and 1970s Pimlico (unfortunately left in) on an odyssey of the 20th century in which the central character (like all Boyd books: tall, dark and handsome – he doesn’t know how to write men who aren’t irresistible to women) Logan Mountstuart (portrayed by three actors) does a whole lot of loving, encountering a host of famous names including Earnest Hemingway, Ian Fleming, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor (a creepily brilliant Tom Hollander and Gillian Anderson) in the process.

It’s great fun, although you question at times where it’s really going. The central theme is the different ages of man, and the use of three actors allows for a lot of intro and retrospection. Of the Logans, Jim Broadbent nails it as the older self despite the daft Baader-Meinhof storyline, while Matthew Macfadyen (Darcy in Keira Knightley’s Pride and Prejudice) disappoints as the middle-aged version.

Elsewhere, One Lucky Elephant has a 96 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating thanks to a human/animal bonding poignancy that gives Born Free a run for its money; Kim Wilde  Kids in America (SV2, Tue 21:30) takes us back to the tinny-sounding ‘80s; we’ve got the second series of Burn Notice (TV3 Puls, Thu 23:15), the Miami-based drama about a sacked spy who thinks he’s discovered the whereabouts of British actress Gabrielle Anwar; Sunday’s footy on K6 sees Man City vs Spurs (14:00) followed by Arsenal vs Man United (16:30); Paris Brothel (DR K, Sat 22:30) traces the history of the French whorehouse; and Whisker Wars (DR HD, Sat 14:45) is a miraculous moustachioed world that looks like it was directed by Terry Gilliam.

Read the InOut section online for TV selected English TV listings.





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