Media: Things we like

The Mentalist

The word "mentalist" doesn't mean the same thing in the US as in the UK (over the Atlantic, it apparently translates as "illusionist") but we managed to get past this and enjoyed the first episode of Five's newly imported US crime drama. The Australian actor Simon Baker is strong in the lead role as a detective who uses illusionist tricks to obtain information. The programme was the second most-watched in its 9pm slot, pulling in 3.6 million viewers.

Good Housekeeping

Good Housekeeping has undergone a spring clean and revealed its first major revamp in a decade. Aggie Mackenzie, of Channel 4's How Clean Is Your House fame, returns to the magazine with a new column. The NatMag title will also have a new modern etiquette page, an agony aunt column with professor Tanya Byron, a life/work balance section, a new nutrition page and the return of the "Look For A Lifestyle" section. The magazine content is also in tune with the current recessionary times, with editorial campaigns such as "It's Cheaper To Make It Yourself" which launches in the May issue.

The Damned United

We're wary of 70s nostalgia but the Tom Hooper-directed film about Brian Clough won us over with some genuinely strong performances and entertaining scenes. Michael Sheen is excellent as Clough and the supporting cast (including Jim Broadbent and Timothy Spall) is equally impressive. The Damned United has the distinction of being one of the few films ever made to feature decent football scenes and it captures the essentially flawed genius of Clough.

Deal Or No Deal

The Channel 4 quiz show this week celebrated its 1,000th episode and has proved a great hit for the broadcaster. The show's format is inexplicably addictive and we've even grown to like Noel Edmonds as a host. Deal Or No Deal has spawned many imitators (notably Chris Tarrant's The Colour Of Money on ITV1) but remains the most watchable game show in the UK.


Andy Burnham's ideas for regional press

Just when we thought the culture secretary, Andy Burnham, was talking sense (his ideas for the BBC to work with local press on content seem worth exploring), he ruins it by suggesting the Government consider diverting adspend from outdoor into press. Ruling out direct subsidies for local newspapers, Burnham said the Government could "increase adspend towards papers, instead of billboards or bus stops". While we're all for encouraging the regional press, this should not be at the expense of another medium if it is proving its effectiveness in government campaigns.


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