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Christopher Stevens: The thrilling new Auntie movie is so slow it’s like watching a set of concrete


the girl before

evaluation:

The weakest link is strictly private

evaluation:

The death rate for dramas set in stylish modern homes made of cement and glass has been so high this year, we need to come up with a word for it: “murder.”

Kelley Howes is stranded in a concrete box full of gadgets, after her architect husband broke his neck on the stone stairs, finding Alice.

Acres of marble walls and countertops surrounded Joanne Frogget while her husband plotted to murder her in Angela Black. She lived in a shrine, not a house.

It was the same story for Connie Nielsen as Joe, who had a near-fatal stumble (on elusive stairs again) in Close To Me, and Ellen Cassidy in the Irish thriller Intruder.

Jane moved straight away.  So did Emma and her needy boyfriend Simon (real couple Jesica Plummer and Ben Hardy, both from East Enders).  It was confusing, until it gradually appeared that we were watching two stories, separated by three years

Jane moved straight away. So did Emma and her needy boyfriend Simon (real couple Jesica Plummer and Ben Hardy, both from East Enders). It was confusing, until it gradually appeared that we were watching two stories, separated by three years

Larger windows than Imax screens and electronic front doors are a bloodshed promise. Any woman who is considering moving to a place with wood paneling on the outside or a staircase that does not have a handrail, can call 999 now.

Jane (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) fails to identify stakes, in another genre of this nature, The Girl Before (BBC1).

She got it wrong, even when a control freak gave her a list of 200 rules for simple living—including no children, no pets, no plants, no rugs, and no books.

Creepy Ed (David Oyelowo) also told her that his computers would pick and monitor background music while he showers. However, the rent was reasonable, so Jane moved right in.

So did Emma and her needy boyfriend Simon (real couple Jesica Plummer and Ben Hardy, both from East Enders). That was baffling, until it gradually emerged that we were watching two stories, three years apart.

The key word there is “gradual”. This four-part psychological cooler—adapted from J.P. Delaney’s own novel—is painfully slow. In places, it’s like watching a concrete set.

When Ed takes Jane to a coffee shop, we have to wait while they find a table, order their drinks (“I’ll have a latte, please. No, make that cappuccino”) and then stop again when the coffee arrives.

This four-part psychological cooler—adapted from J.P. Delaney's own novel—is painfully slow.  In some places, it's like seeing a concrete set

This four-part psychological cooler—adapted from J.P. Delaney’s own novel—is painfully slow. In places, it’s like watching a concrete set

It is also horribly dim. One of the women suffered a stillbirth, the other was knife rape, both of which are described in detail.

Ed is grieving for his wife and child, who were killed in an accident when the concrete house was still a construction site. He says this “terrible crushing defeat” sounds like a gamble that failed, and he is angry because he hates losing the bet.

Minimalism is clearly unhealthy for the soul. What Ed, Jane, and Emma need is a plush three-piece suite and a set of holiday souvenirs. This will make them happy.

Or they can go for Romish Ranganathan’s revived version of The Weakest Link Strictly Special (BBC1). Unlike the original, where Anne Robinson was a villain for everyone, the new host spreads love with the shovel.

‘Okay, that’s very exciting guys, can you feel it? I’d be really nice to you,” he told the celebrity contestants.

When Corrie’s Katherine Tyldesley got her first question right, Romisch said to her, “Katherine, I want to sort you out for some very high praise. That was great, and it was done so well.”

He kept the phrase, “You are the weakest link – bye-bye.” But he begins it by saying, “This breaks my heart.”

The test is as good as ever, filled with quick questions that veer from awkward simplicity (“Which party won the most seats in the last general election?”) to truly challenging.

Anton de Beek would be very excited about this one: “What was the prehistoric ‘J’ during the age of the dinosaurs?”

It’s “Jurassic”, of course. But Anton said “Germany”.

Mom proud of the weekend: Alan Carr’s mother was enjoying her first visit to the Albert Hall while her son hosted the Royal Variety Performance (ITV).

“She didn’t know the camera would be on her,” he admits. “Although I kept dropping hints that she should brush her hair.” Aww.



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