What's streaming on All 4?

It’s A Sin, The West Wing, Stath Lets Flats, and Sweet Sixteen are among the shows well worth checking out

ALL 4, the on demand service from Channel 4 is full of great programmes and is completely free. There are a few ads, indeed some in the middle of episodes, but they ran smoothly and with no buffering.

Here are some shows on All 4 which are well worth your time, especially if Netflix keeps recommending the same stuff to you.

It’s A Sin: Hard to find a more prolific person working in film or TV than Russell T Davies. From Queer as Folk to his Dr Who revival, to his recent 'time hopping family WhatsApp group come to life', Years and Years (worth tracking down for Emma Thompson’s UKIP prime minister alone ). His shows have not always been perfect, but they have always been interesting. His latest, about a young group of college students living together in London in the 1980s at the beginning of the AIDs epidemic, might be his best work yet. The mirroring of our own pandemic is slightly unnerving.

The West Wing: I was never a fan of the west wing. I always found to be a little up its own arse and smug. Recently however, I discovered The West Wing Thing podcast. It is two writers who watch the show and absolutely tear it to shreds (they even make quite a good argument that this show has done permanent damage to American politics ). So if you like The West Wing? Great, you can watch it from start to finish. If you find Aaron Sorokin's (West Wing writer/creator ) smug, centrist, sexist, childish waffle infuriating you can listen a long to the podcast and watch a few episodes - which is what I have been doing and finding it quite cathartic. Keep a vom bucket nearby for some of the more cringe American stuff.

Stath Lets Flats: This is the funniest show on TV and I don’t know anyone who has watched it. If you have ever rented an apartment, or had any dealings with an estate agent, you will get so much out of it, and there is also a fair amount of insane slapstick and surreal humour. It shocked everyone last year when it won best comedy at the Baftas over Derry Girls and as much as I love the girls, I think it was the correct decision.

Sweet Sixteen: If, like myself, you’re a fan of Line of Duty you might be interested in this really terrific Ken Loach film from 2002. In his first film, Martin Compston (Steve on Line of Duty ) plays Liam, a young Scottish teenager whose mother is about to be released from prison. He is excited about a fresh start for them both, and begins to raise money for their new life together. Loach is a master of these kitchen sink dramas, wonderfully balancing humour and pathos, and this may be his best work from that decade.

 

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