In years to come, we will look back in shock and disbelief and wonder how we could ever have thrilled to Downton Abbey with its static screenplay and wooden acting, its unmatched ability to elicit dreadful performances from the likes of Maggie Smith. I can only suppose that, like Dan Brown and Jeffrey Archer in their time, it must have arrived at the very moment when the world was ready for this kind of trash. If the purpose was to throw a light on the past and show what we have lost and what we have gained in the intervening years, the same point is made with infinitely greater grace and intelligence in Call the Midwife, year in year out one of the best series on British television. If we are going to have melodrama, let's have something as heart-warming and sensible as this. Poldark is another excellent series which sets fair to disfigure the Cornish coastline with the arrival of millions of television tourists. I am also enjoying Endeavour, a prequel to the popular Inspector Morse and a good example of more leisurely paced television drama. I almost forgot to mention the superb The Crown.
American Crime Story. This limited series following the trial of O.J. Simpson is one of the best things seen on American television in recent years. Other quality products that have secured my attention are The OA, Stranger Things and, going back a bit, Better Call Saul.Best of them all, and by quite a long chalk, is the extraordinary Broken Mirror. If you haven't seen it, you're in for a treat - and a shock!
One of the surprise hits of last season was The Donald Trump Show, the story of a depraved property mogul who decides to run for president of the USA! Season One ends with Trump defying the odds by winning a stunning election victory. Season Two, which has just started, sees a now clinically mad Trump entering the White House with his bunch of weirdos. It is a tribute to the storytelling skills of Stephen King and the acting ability of Kellyane Conway and Sean Spicer, that we actually end up believing this absurd story. However, there are signs that the public is beginning to weary of this vain and cruel bully. In an upcoming episode, the president is abandoned by his children, and Melancholia and Baron manage to escape to Slovenia. Breaking news: Rupert Murdoch has decided not to commit to a third season.