Shiny Shelf
By Jonn Elledge on 30 June 2011 Comments Off

Watching the first episode of Shameless US is disarmingly like bumping into old friends.

By Shiny Shelf on 24 December 2010 Comments Off

One late Christmas Eve Ebenezeer Scrooge was visited by three spirits who showed him things from the past, the present and the Yet To Come. This is like that, but with three reviewers & Shiny’s usual pop culture nonsense. Merry Christmas.

By Mark Clapham on 29 March 2009 Comments Off

… they take up most of our time: recent UK TV crime series ‘Whitechapel’, ‘Moses Jones’, and ‘Red Riding’ hit DVD.

By Mags L Halliday on 02 March 2008 Comments Off

Start with the sex.

By Eddie Robson on 29 January 2007 Comments Off

E4 has given ‘Skins’ a massive hyping campaign in the last couple of weeks, to the point of irritatingly inserting a permanent reminder of how many days were left until the premiere just underneath its top-corner ident…

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By Mark Clapham on 26 January 2007 Comments Off


By Eddie Robson on 07 December 2006 Comments Off

It’s semi-remarkable in itself that a Channel 4 sitcom made it to a third series only two years after the first…

By Eddie Robson on 01 December 2006 Comments Off

Here at Shiny Shelf we’ve come up with the wheeze of doing a sort of reviews advent calendar, building up to the festive period by writing about a Christmassy movie or TV episode for each day of advent…

By Stephen Lavington on 13 July 2006 Comments Off

‘Modern Toss’ is an occasional comic book, of the sort that seems at first glance to be designed for the Nathan Barleys of East London, all excessive swearing and low-fi design.

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By Eddie Robson on 02 May 2006 Comments Off

The lower overheads of producing DVDs are creating a world of joy for cineastes and TV-astes, as it becomes more viable for obscure material to get a commercial release…

By Eddie Robson on 04 February 2006 Comments Off

It’s a peculiar state of affairs when the most noteworthy thing about a new Channel 4 comedy is considered to be that it takes place largely on one set and is performed in front of a studio audience…

By Eddie Robson on 24 January 2006 Comments Off

An admittedly slightly belated entry into our series rounding-up the state of British TV in 2005…

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By Jim Smith on 12 October 2005 Comments Off

Have we now gone so far down the ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ route that we’ll cheer something that’s manifestly dreadful because it might hurt someone we don’t like?

By Eddie Robson on 13 September 2005 Comments Off

For some reason Channel 4 has decided that the optimum time to broadcast Matthew Collings’ authored documentaries about art is early on a Saturday evening…

By Eddie Robson on 20 August 2005 Comments Off

With E4 now available on Freeview, it could do to be a little more than just a place to see the latest American shows marginally before they come on Channel 4…

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By Mark Clapham on 14 August 2005 Comments Off

If you missed Channel Four’s recent drama ‘Sugar Rush’, here’s a few reasons why it’s worth catching on DVD…

By Eddie Robson on 25 July 2005 Comments Off

Last week it was reported that Ofcom had fined Five (the channel, not the defunct boyband) for broadcasting an unnecessarily loud commercial break…

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By Eddie Robson on 27 May 2005 Comments Off

I’m well aware that ‘The Simple Life’ is old news, being on its fourth series or whatever in the States, but the general consensus on this show seems to be that it’s vacuous fun…

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By Eddie Robson on 07 March 2005 Comments Off

The concept behind this programme is so catchily banal that it’s easy to see how it got commissioned…

By Eddie Robson on 14 February 2005 Comments Off

Watching ‘Nathan Barley’ involves a sort of self-reflexive masochism that eventually drives you insane…

By Eddie Robson on 21 January 2005 Comments Off

I can’t recall the last time Channel 4 pushed a new US import so hard, but ‘Desperate Housewives’ is getting the full treatment…

By Eddie Robson on 26 October 2004 Comments Off

Over the course of four series ‘Teachers’ has replaced every member of its core cast. This kind of turnover just doesn’t work, especially in such a character-driven series…

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By Eddie Robson on 01 October 2004 Comments Off

What felt a bit hit-and-miss at first is now producing far more hits than misses…

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By Jon de Burgh Miller on 16 June 2004 Comments Off

Last night, digital TV live streaming came of age, and it’s all thanks to Big Brother…

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By Eddie Robson on 18 March 2004 Comments Off

A glance at the BBC’s list of the nation’s favourite sitcoms demonstrates that Channel 4 has struggled to produce a genuinely enduring comedy…

By Eddie Robson on 29 February 2004 Comments Off

Channel 4’s ‘back in time’ entries into the reality TV genre are certainly some of the best thought out, and they also produce some quite interesting results…

By Mark Clapham on 30 January 2004 Comments Off

At last, horror novelist Garth Marenghi’s infamous ‘banned’ TV series, ‘Darkplace’, can be revealed to the world. Can you face the horror?

By Eddie Robson on 11 November 2003 Comments Off

Ordinarily we wouldn’t cover a repeat screening here, but I’ve been waiting for Channel 4 to give ‘The Armando Iannucci Shows’ another airing for more than two years…

By Jim Smith on 24 September 2003 Comments Off

‘The Salon’ is awesomely, sickeningly without merit and everybody involved should be deeply ashamed of having been part of the making of a vacuous, charmless, witless, badly put together and utterly objectionable programme.

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By Eddie Robson on 05 September 2003 Comments Off


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By J Clive Matthews on 11 August 2003 Comments Off

This year ‘Big Brother’ has been truly mind-numbing from the get-go…

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By Jim Smith on 11 August 2003 Comments Off

Flawlessly produced, funny and well acted, ‘Teachers’ is what all British Television should be like, but pretty much none of the rest of it is…

By Jim Smith on 01 August 2003 Comments Off

Whether reports of a series lost in its own cleverness, and increasingly trapped by the incompatibility of its agenda and worldview with those of America at large these days, are true I have no idea right now.

By Eddie Robson on 29 June 2003 Comments Off

Channel 4 is in a miserable, disheartening decline and as director of programmes Tim Gardam moves on, this seems like a good time to examine what has gone wrong…

By Mark Clapham on 01 March 2003 Comments Off

Chris Morris’ BAFTA-winning short film arrives on a unique DVD…

By Eddie Robson on 24 January 2003 Comments Off

You can tell that the first series of this was an award-winner after about two minutes of the first episode of series two. It practically screams, ‘BUDGET! THEY’VE GIVEN US A MUCH BIGGER BUDGET!’

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By Eddie Robson on 14 January 2003 Comments Off

In which comedians Kim Noble and Stuart Silver accompany an old lady as she attempts to place a park bench at the North Pole to commemorate her dead husband. Some other things happened, too.

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By Eddie Robson on 17 September 2002 Comments Off

I’ve only recently become the sort of person who reads fashionable contemporary novels, and White Teeth is my first experience of watching the TV adaptation of a book I’ve actually read. This did beg the question, why was I watching it?

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By Mark Clapham on 20 May 2002 Comments Off

Who would have thought it – a commercial release for one of the most controversial comedy series of the 90’s, including last year’s even more controversial special for good measure.

By Eddie Robson on 16 May 2002 Comments Off

As soon as the present run of Black Books ended, Channel 4 seemed to feel that it was very important to have another book-related home-grown sitcom to replace it, and writer/director Annie Griffin’s The Book Group fits the bill.

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By Eddie Robson on 15 May 2002 Comments Off

8.1 – A strong season opener, following on directly from last season’s cliffhanger – obviously. Don’t expect any answers just yet, but this does forward the storyline of Rachel’s baby effectively,