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Everyone’s watching

Another Round

“We all love a film about booze experiments,” says Tom Shone in The Sunday Times. “Handsome and vulpine” Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) is a burnt-out Danish history teacher who decides, along with three colleagues, that his existence would be “considerably improved if he spent the vast majority of it drunk”. The experiment’s rules: no booze after 8pm, or at weekends. “Otherwise, bring on the vodka.”

It’s not “complete crank” stuff, says Harry Wallop in UnHerd. In real life, the theory is the brainchild of Finn Skarderud, a renowned psychotherapist and psychiatrist for the Norwegian Olympic Committee. He says humans are born with an alcohol blood level that is 0.05% too low – a glass or two of wine. And so our heroes take it upon themselves to drink “to reach mankind’s optimum level of productivity and happiness”, using breathalysers to stay on the level. It’s the Ulysses S Grant, Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway formula: not so much that you can’t walk straight, but “just enough low-level inebriation to take the edge off and fire your imagination”.

Another Round is in cinemas now. Watch the trailer here.

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There’s a reason this polyamorous bonkfest is one of the most watched show on Netflix, says Emily Baker in the I newspaper. It is “essentially soft porn”. Sarah Shahi plays married mother of two Billie Connelly, who is unhappy in her passionless relationship with her husband, Cooper, and pines for the sex she used to have with her ex-boyfriend, leather jacket-wearing Aussie record-label boss Brad. When Cooper finds her lusty diary, she embarks on a sexually charged journey into her erotic past. In episode three, viewers are treated to her husband and Brad in the shower together at the gym: “It is a startling piece of television.”

Sex/Life makes “makes Bridgerton look like the BBC’s Pride and Prejudice”, says Rebecca Reid in The Daily Telegraph. In the first episode “I lost count at the seventh sex scene”, and in episode three “you see a full frontal of the biggest penis I have ever seen in my entire life”. The reviews have been rather snide, which is unfair on this refreshing take on the female libido. But I was in an open relationship in my early twenties, and there’s never a fairytale ending. If Sex/Life “does for open marriages what Poldark did for the Cornish tourism industry”, then lots of people are going to be in big trouble.

Sex/Life is on Netflix. Watch the trailer here.

GB News is missing the target

The problem with GB News isn’t that it’s hate-filled, says Jemima Kelly in the FT. It “just isn’t very good”. I’d love to see weighty takedowns of the left’s loonier ideas, having been called anti-woke for my dim view of the more censorious brand of social justice sweeping the West. But GB News is so brash, so lacking in nuance, so whiny “and frankly so low-quality”, it is actually making me more sympathetic to the cause of those it deems “woke”.

One contact, who voted for Brexit and Boris Johnson, told me: “I was hoping for ‘Spectator TV,’ but instead… it’s just tedious, dull and obvious.” Another, who voted the same way, called it “unwatchable”. The endless glitches and the dearth of on-screen chemistry made my eyes roll back. Having started strongly, its primetime numbers are apparently five times lower than those for the Welsh-language version of the children’s cartoon Paw Patrol. No wonder Andrew Neil felt he needed an indefinite break.