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TV Review: A Touch of Cloth


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Charlie Brooker has made a career out of ripping television apart. His latest two-part work with Daniel Maier, A Touch of Cloth, takes aim at police/crime dramas – and hits the bullseye.

A Touch of ClothHere is a TV genre that is drowning in its own predictable clichés and after watching this brilliantly constructed pastiche you’ll not be able to watch one again without sniggering at the ridiculousness of it all.

It would have been easy to simply make fun of the genre but the comedy comes not from a place of simple derision but one of TV-fandom and an underlying respect for the genre and the artistry of the televisual form.

Taking stars from actual crime shows John Hannah and Suranne Jones, who play the absurd scenes absolutely straight, is the shows ace up its sleeve. As completely plausible leads their combination of puns, overtly (and misplaced) emotional speeches and surreal acts of athleticism bring laughs without ever dropping the facade.

The brilliantly knowing observations of the writers warrant a second viewing to fully grasp the layer upon layer of subtle (and not so subtle) gags which send-up modern shows insatiable bloodlust for our entertainment, adding Naked Gun style laughs.

The show does have its downpoints. Each instalment's length does mean it drags on somewhat and the power of the repeated gags does wane over time, meaning it does lose some of its impact as viewing goes on. But this is not enough to outweigh the shows strengths.

A Touch Of Cloth is a programme that achieves the rare feat of matching brilliantly observant satire with lowest-common-denominator jokes to create something of real depth.

A Touch Of Cloth is out now on DVD.

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