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EsportsThis is My House to Clarkson’s Farm: your favourite TV of 2021 so far | Television
This is My House to Clarkson’s Farm: your favourite TV of 2021 so far | Television thumbnail

This is My House to Clarkson’s Farm: your favourite TV of 2021 so far | Television

This is My House Tania Hall, London

I loved the sheer bonkers-ness of This is My House (BBC One).I’m not sure how it got on the Beeb because the premise is straight out of Channel 5: four people compete for a grand by pretending they own a house, but only one of them does.A celebrity jury tries to work out who the real owner is.Watching a group of compulsive liars spin crap about the neighbours, justify the weird decor, drink the hot tub water, or declare their love for a complete stranger was oddly addictive.In March, when we were still stuck at home climbing the walls and feeling like summer would never come, it made me laugh like a drain for 60 minutes.

Just what I needed.

Clarkson’s Farm

Thought-provoking …Clarkson’s Farm.Photograph: Amazon Prime Video Valerie Stewart, industrial psychologist and author, Charlbury, Oxfordshire

Clarkson’s Farm starts with much self-mockery from Jeremy Clarkson – he buys the wrong tractor, thinks he knows better than anyone around – but that tone changes during the series and becomes more thought-provoking.For example, he’s close to tears when one of the lambs dies.Clarkson develops concerns and virtues with which he wouldn’t have been credited beforehand.

The subsidiary characters are wonderful, especially Kaleb, who has no problem telling JC he’s an idiot.And what a lot I learned about farming! I know the Guardian didn’t give a favourable review , but it seemed to be based solely on the first programme.I wish you’d reconsider.

Time Greg, NHS manager, Fife, Scotland

I didn’t think anything was going to top It’s a Sin this year, and then along came Time .Staggering performances, not just from Sean Bean, Stephen Graham and Siobhan Finneran, but also from lesser known young actors.

A total bonus is the magnificent Brian McArdle.But you still need a writer, and Time has the best.Jimmy McGovern proves yet again he is the greatest British TV dramatist of at least the last 30 years.A staggering achievement.

‘There’s nothing here I did not see inside’ – a former HMP inmate on Time Read more Snowfall (series four) Mark Lyons, HR recruitment manager, Cork, Ireland

I have been enthralled by Snowfall, now in its fourth series.I love the seriousness with which it treats its subject matter, the crack epidemic of the 80s in Los Angeles and the involvement of the CIA.It has a great cast led by Damon Idris, an exceptional acting talent.The influence of the late great John Singleton is evident in every episode.


The Serpent

Absorbing, terrifying, distressing …The Serpent.Photograph: Roland Neveu/BBC/© Mammoth Screen Jackie, 52, higher education support, London

The woozy, hazy visuals and wandering narrative structure of The Serpent combine to put us in the bewildered position of the victims and those trying to solve the crimes.There were moments of tension so expertly achieved that I almost stopped breathing at times.Fantastic performances, a brilliant script and compelling characters were all served by the direction and visual style.Absorbing, terrifying, distressing.A definite highlight for me.

Mare of Easttown

Brilliant and believable …

Mare of Easttown.Photograph: Landmark Media/Alamy Amanda Wright, retired, Eardisland, Herefordshire

Mare of Easttown is more than a detective story.The plot is a vehicle to explore Mare’s character, rather than the other way round, which is usually the case.Kate Winslet was brilliant: un-showy, believable.

The Crime of the Century Lewis, 26, software engineer, Edinburgh

‘The crisis was manufactured’: inside a damning film on the origins of the opioid epidemic Read more The Crime of the Century from HBO and Alex Gibney is the best look I have yet seen at the well-documented opioid crisis in the US, covering everything from its shady origins to its almost inconceivable consequences.

Doctors, healthcare systems, government bodies, and big pharma all come out of it looking grossly incompetent at best, borderline evil at worst.It’s a reminder, as always, of how good we have it with the NHS, which despite its many flaws does not reward doctors financially for prescribing certain drugs.It is also just the latest warning on how not to deal with addiction, particularly to prescription drugs – a warning that I fear is not being heeded enough around the world, as the growing benzodiazepine crisis in Scotland shows.

Staged Ben Wright, Weymouth, test engineer, Dorset

After the first series, I didn’t think the comedy, cameos and moments of pathos could be bettered, but Staged series two was a masterpiece.Whether crying with laughter, being amazed at the talent or wiping a tear of sadness from my eye, I have thoroughly enjoyed watching (and re-watching) this gem.

The family dynamics make the series feel personal and intimate, with the conversations of the tenants being spookily close to my own discussions with my wife.The scene with Phoebe Waller-Bridge as “The Loo Recluse” has me weeping with mirth every time I watch it.The best comedy of 2021.

Gods of Snooker

So emotional …snooker player Dennis Taylor opens up about the 1985 ‘Black Ball’ final.

Photograph: Unknown/BBC/Mindhouse Productions Frankie Ward, eSports and gaming host, London

Gods of Snooker is a remarkable three-parter that made me care about snooker and reevaluate judging my dad for having it on the telly in the 90s.From the showmanship of Higgins and the heartbreak of his downfall, to Steve Davies appearing to have – gasp – emotions.

Then there’s Dennis Taylor sharing why 1985’s Eight Ball Final was even more emotional than it appeared, and Jimmy White having the mother of all crack cocaine addiction metaphors.Gods of Snooker is the BBC at its most brilliant.Where else would we be served such a subject in all its glory, despite the Matchroom Chas ‘n’ Dave singles being long since forgotten?.