Ben Dowell

Ben Dowell
Ben Dowell's reviews only count toward the Tomatometer when published at the following Tomatometer-approved publication(s): Radio Times
Publications: Radio Times

TV Reviews Only

T-Meter Title | Year
4/5 No Score Yet The Windsors: Season 3 (TV, 2016) As a comedy this works best when running ridiculously with make-believe rather than grappling with the real-life absurdist dysfunction we all know about. - Times (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 27, 2020
4/5 No Score Yet Back in Time for the Corner Shop: Series 1 (TV, 2020) I liked this family, especially Jo, who withstood all familial barbs with good grace. - Times (UK) EDIT
Read More | Posted Feb 26, 2020
71% Fearless: Season 1 (TV, 2017) While the series gets off to a stuttering start, it's certainly not irredeemable. The storytelling is brisk and packed with plot, the themes are important, McCrory is dazzling on screen and there is a potentially interesting thriller ready to come out. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted May 17, 2019
100% The Windsors: Season 2 (TV, 2016) While that portrait, clearly composed many months ago, proves unstable, the comedy remains pretty strong - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2019
70% The Windsors: Season 1 (TV, 2016) All very funny, but you know, it's the kind of chat that in previous centuries would have seen people dragged off the scaffold. So good for Channel 4, I say. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 22, 2019
83% Cunk on Britain: Season 1 (TV, 2018) The role of the expert contributors is slightly patchy... But the sharpness of the writing keeps this afloat, especially when Cunk deftly satirises the tropes of TV history shows. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 19, 2019
100% Peep Show: Season 9 (TV, 2003-2015) It's been, in my view, a pretty good series. Maybe not vintage Peep Show, but there have been some good moments. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 18, 2019
71% Upstart Crow: Season 3 (TV, 2016-2018) A mysterious spirit (played by Kenneth Branagh no less) visits David Mitchell's grief-stricken Will and tells him a timeless story... Joyous. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
48% Hard Sun: Season 1 (TV, 2018) Well, this is certainly a flawed show. It does seem a little odd to take the world to the brink of destruction and expect us to care about much else. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
81% Doctor Foster: Season 2 (TV, 2015-2017) Things have been set up nicely in a show which, despite its moments of histrionics, brilliantly takes apart the lives and delusions of the comfortably well-heeled. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
90% Doctor Foster: Season 1 (TV, 2015-2017) It also looked great - the sunny bucolic feel of early scenes giving way to a more sombre palette as he suspicions mounted. I suspect this will get darker as the series progresses. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
No Score Yet Upstart Crow: Season 2 (TV, 2016-2018) The Virgin Queen is played by none other than Emma Thompson, an appearance foregrounded by a rather clever in-joke about the Oscar winner's character in another Christmas favourite, Love Actually. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
69% Upstart Crow: Season 1 (TV, 2016-2018) A well-constructed opening story peppered with some good gags and the kind of elaborate wordplay so beloved of Blackadder fans. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Apr 11, 2019
90% Episodes (US): Season 2 (TV, 2011-2017) Everything seems much snappier -- without a dud line in sight... LeBlanc has remained something of a monster -- but he's a more convincing monster. And, importantly, one we might actually grow to like. - Guardian EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 29, 2019
80% Top Gear: Season 25 (TV, 2002) If the trio relax and let their exchanges flow naturally, then they may well have found the essence of the show. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Mar 22, 2019
73% Marcella: Season 1 (TV, 2016-2018) Rosenfeldt likes his dramas long, complex and tortured and you get the feeling that the Swede will make good on his promise to cram in more "hooks, twists and red herrings" (his words) before our time is up. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 28, 2019
91% Decline and Fall: Season 1 (TV, 2017) It is a very expensive, beautifully-directed production stuffed with some excellent performances. But I am not sure it works. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 13, 2018
89% Vanity Fair: Miniseries (TV, 2018) Crucially, Cooke allows us to respond to her character with as much sympathy as contempt in this smart and visually delightful series. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Sep 11, 2018
24% Manimal: Season 1 (TV, 1983) Woeful. But you can tell that from the title, right? - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 29, 2018
100% Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Season 5 (TV, 2014) The satirical venom of this patron saint of the liberal left probably won't be silenced again any time soon. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jun 1, 2018
100% Detectorists: Season 2 (TV, 2015-2017) I am glad to report that the fantastically funny Simon and and Garfunkel are back and that Lance and Andy's finds are as silly as ever. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Jan 16, 2018
93% Peaky Blinders: Series 4 (TV, 2013-2019) The game is definitely on. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 27, 2017
100% Chewing Gum: Season 2 (TV, 2015-2017) Just tune in and savour some near flawless writing and genuinely top drawer comedy. And there's a rather neat twist to enjoy at the end, too... - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Nov 28, 2017
98% Insecure: Season 2 (TV, 2016-2018) It was one of many stirring speeches tonight (newspaper editor Maggie, below, also had one, as did David Tennant's DI Hardy) in an episode which moved us to the brink of a resolution. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 29, 2017
100% Catastrophe: Season 3 (TV, 2015-2019) It is a credit to the writer-performing duo of Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan that, while the show has becomes a huge hit in the US, they make no concession to the down-at-heel language and wholly convincing rhythms. - Radio Times EDIT
Read More | Posted Dec 28, 2017