Best Telly of 2011
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In the year when ‘dramality’ shows took televisual blandness to new heights of tedium (nothing happened in Essex in TOWIE, nothing happened with a Geordie accent in Geordie Shore, nothing happened whilst people were a bit posh in Made in Chelsea, and nothing happened with some scousers in Desperate Scousewives), you might be forgiven for thinking TV in 2011 was a bit rubbish. But 2011 was a year of small-screen gems. Here Chris Marks picks his highlights from 12-months of television: This is England 88 Shane Meadow’s dark and hauntingly joyous drama, returned once again to provide the best acting, writing and direction of any television all year. The final scene with Joe Gilgun (as Woody) and Vicky McClure (as Lol) was one of the most beautiful, emotional and moving scenes ever broadcast. Meadows again turned real-life into the most entertaining and thought-provoking viewing experience with the perfect blend of subtle humour and heart-wrenching emotion. This is England 88 was perfect in every respect. Misfits Somehow the writers of the ‘scallies-with-super-powers’ comedy-drama have not only managed to stretch what seems like a pretty thin premise for three series, but have somehow maintained it as some of the freshest and interesting stuff on the telly-box. The addition of Joe Gilgun (This is England) brought a new comic-edge to a show which is gloriously un-PC and boundlessly unpredictable. Frozen Planet Forget the Daily Mail getting all annoyed because the BBC filmed a few minutes of polar bear cubs in a zoo and not the arctic for crew safety reasons, Frozen Planet was another masterpiece of nature programming from the Beeb. Stunning camera work, ground-breaking visuals and another reassuring and informative narrative from Richard Attenborough made this unmissable. Not enjoying this show pretty much proves you have no soul. Black Mirror Charlie Brooker’s satricial three-parter made for seriously thought-provoking viewing. The vitriolic responses to some of its ideas online just go to show some of the raw nerves about out modern society that the programme touched. As the title suggests Black Mirror, was a dark reflection on who we are in 2011. It wasn’t all comfortable or enjoyable viewing, but it challenged the viewing public in ways few programmes have this year.
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