Documentaries normally bore me stupid, so I was pleasantly surprised when this BBC-led effort was so entertaining. Like most histories of rock music, it tended to favour the critically-lauded over the actually popular (I mean, who cares about Dylan?) and to assume that nothing of note happened after about 1978, but it was entertaining stuff nonetheless.
People like the Herald's eternally sniping TV critic, Robin Oliver, have grown fond of using cracks like "Remember when Friends was funny?" We hadn't noticed it had stopped, actually. This show is so addictive, it might as well be a packet of Kingstons. The worst thing is that after having had wall-to-wall new episodes for most of this year, next year we'll have to get by on just a single season. Life sucks sometimes.
Every time you think they can't do it again, they do. By making Frontline a successful show, a whole new vein of comedy revealed itself. And the 'Art Of The Interview' episode was a total classic. Roll on series 4.
I didn't have high expectations of this show initially, so I've been kinda surprised at how it has slowly become an essential part of my weekly viewing. The schmalz factor gets a bit high sometimes, but the sheer nastiness of Kathy Griffin ensures we never drown in saccharine for too long. And any show which uses Mr T as a guest twice in one season is OK by me.
More of the Best Of 1997
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