‘Studio 60’ – Smarter than your average show

Tuesday, October 24, 2006 Aaron Sorkin’s new NBC show ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’ is hitting its stride, and showing there’s mercifully some room for intelligent primetime TV. Amid the smart-talking and wisecracks, there are some heavyweight references. In recent weeks the show’s namechecked Pericles and Strindberg, and this week there was a sensitively-handled […]

Jamie Cullum in Santa Fe

Tuesday, May 30, 2006 (started this ages ago, and just found it in the blog’s back-end, which has a better memory than me, being open-source and not sleep-deprived). Like many new parents, we don’t get out much (but the fortnightly babysitter-enabled date nights are definitely promising), but when we saw that ridiculously talented floppy-haired young […]

Banville’s ‘The Sea’

Monday, February 27, 2006 I’ve just finished John Banville’s The Sea, and I’m mad. As a writer I don’t think I’ve got an inflated opinion of my own ability, but on a good day I think I can string the words together with clarity, precision and a certain style. And then I read Banville and […]

Blubbering fool

Thursday, January 05, 2006 Since Finn’s been born (and also before, truth to tell), I’ve been very easily moved to tears. Sometimes a news item will see me crying, especially if kids are involved somehow. But most of my tears are shed over movies. This week, the great documentary Mad Hot Ballroom did it for […]

‘Arrested Development’ arrested

Monday, November 14, 2005 Say it isn’t so. Fox have cancelled what I have no hesitation in saying is the funniest TV comedy I’ve ever seen – ‘Arrested Development’. I came late to the party – the show is starting its third season (one that it won’t finish), and we started watching part of the […]


Friday, October 07, 2005 Now I’ve not much time to check out all the new bands the kids are listening to, any new music that I come across is pretty random. But I’ve been congratulating myself on getting the album from English act Aqualung (that’s pretty much Matt Hales on his own). In the US, […]

The British are Coming

Saturday, August 20, 2005 Something very strange is happening to American TV – it’s come over all English. We’re used to the sporadic attempts to remake British sit-coms for the US market – from Sanford and Son (Steptoe and Son in the UK), via an ill-advised attempt at Fawlty Towers, through to Coupling and the […]

Email from the past

Thursday, May 05, 2005 Sometimes the Internet can be scary. I woke up with a song in my head, from the British late 80s band The Faith Brothers. These days, not many people might know much about The Faith Brothers’ album, ‘Eventide’ (except my schoolfriends Shomit and Dale), but for a while it was on […]