The first of a new six-part run in which the nation’s younger viewers maintain a close eye on a range of TV output. This series sees the existing army of junior sofa critics supplemented by newcomers Roma, Joel, Jack, Sadie, Declan, Amelinda and Yoanna, who join in to offer their honest, inimitable and ultimately hilarious take on recent shows to hit the small-screen. Items under scrutiny in this opening edition include coverage of the General Election, culinary queen Mary Berry and the classic movie Grease.
The Summer of Love: How Hippies Changed the World
Turn on. Tune in. Learn how a 19th-century sect of wandering German naturalists led to a generation of hippies dropping out in San Francisco in 1967. This mind-expanding documentary looks beyond the psychedelia to dig down to the roots of flower power, showing how the influences of the concept of Lebensraum, Eastern mysticism and radical politics coalesced to produce “the hippy”.
Oh, and LSD – don’t forget the LSD. The drugs were the catalyst for the movement, which, it is argued, was a paradigm shift – the effects of which are still felt today in civil rights, women’s liberation and organic food.
But while the film-makers do indulge in some acid-drenched, trippy visuals, they are balanced by a parade of white-haired old hippies recounting their youthful experiences.
7:30pm, 8:30pm, ITV
It’s been almost a year since Kylie Platt met her maker and husband David gave that guttural yell of despair. In the real world, that sort of grief would probably keep many people single for longer than 12 months, but hey, this being Soapland, it’s a wonder he’s not been married and divorced again by this point.
As it is, we’ve had to suspend our disbelief when it comes to David making a play for Shona, but it’s such a neat storyline (with a whopper of a potential pay-off) that we forgive it its implausibility. Tonight, we’ll see David taking Lily and Max to Kylie’s grave, but is shocked when he finds Shona standing there. Will her secrets be spilt?
Orange Is the New Black
After last year’s harrowing but brilliant fourth season, the politically overt women’s prison drama returns with Litchfield’s inmates ready for a full-scale riot. Can the show keep a hold on its many sensitively drawn characters amid all the tumult?
Ridley Scott’s retelling of the Robin Hood legend is located in time by an illuminated manuscript introduction and then quickly plunges into the heat of battle, as Richard the Lionheart (Danny Huston) carves his route back from Jerusalem through France. These opening scenes are swiftly and noisily dispatched, with individuals, even deadly archer Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe, reuniting with his Gladiator director), taking a while to emerge. Clarity is achieved once Longstride assumes the guise of Robin of Loxley in order to return to a starved and oppressed England. Scott presents a politically complex vision of the tale, with Mark Strong’s royal adviser deliberately whipping up hatred in the North to smooth France’s way as conquerors – this is when the film really comes alive. Crowe’s romance with an occasionally northern Cate Blanchett as Marion is well handled but still a distraction, while the scenes of mead-quaffing and folk dancing serve little purpose. Scott’s film has tremendous strengths – fine battle scenes, a strongly realised interpretation of events and a commanding lead performance – but the weak spots diminish the overall effect, leaving it a valiant try rather than an unqualified success.