The corrective effect of the Ocean's 8 cast ripples out into chatshows: Norton tonight has a sofa full of smart, funny women. Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter discuss their new heist movie, with Years & Years playing their latest single, If You're Over Me.Jack Seale, The Guardian, 15th June 2018
The teenage girls living in the council house in Wolverhampton in Raised By Wolves (Channel 4, Monday) are a bracing breath of fresh air. If you saw the 2013 pilot you'll know what to expect; this semi-autobiographical sitcom about growing up in the 1980s is written by Caitlin Moran, the journalist and How to Be a Woman author, and Caroline Moran, her comedy-writing sister.
There's Germaine/Caitlin (played by Helen Monks), a stroppy 16-year-old sex-fixated extrovert; Aretha/Caz (Alexa Davies), her sarcastic, world-weary sidekick sister; and a gaggle of smaller children, "the babbies", in a chaotic bookish household headed by Della (Rebekah Staton), their no-nonsense mum.
Now commissioned for a series (under its Irish director, Ian FitzGibbon) and set in the present day, the first episode is mostly about Yoko getting her period, necessitating a family outing to "the aisle of shame" at Boots. "I don't think I want to be a woman, Mum," says Yoko as Germaine - she really is annoying - gleefully piles on the bloody (and hilarious) horror stories. "Nobody does, love, but the men are too chicken shit to handle it, so here we are," says Mum.
The girls love their movies and literary references, and inevitably, in their nonconformist clothes - Germaine channels Helena Bonham Carter - they're bullied. "There are CCTV cameras everywhere, you know," warns Aretha as a yob tries to steal her scarf. "George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-Four was entirely prescient."
They talk like this all the time. The only out-of-sync element punctuating the knowing dialogue and girl-power capers is a cheesy subplot involving Grandad, in his fluffy robe, getting prepped to seduce Granny over a pot of beef bourguignon that seems to have wandered in from a 1980s sitcom.
In just about every interview with Caitlin Moran, Wolverhampton - her birthplace and the setting for Raised By Wolves - is referred to in a way that suggests it's a British shorthand for cultural sinkhole. But Della, who is fond of a pithy life lecture when she's not blithely ignoring the kids, explains, "We're not northern twats, we're not southern twats, we're midlands twats." If you were ever a teenage girl - or, better still, have one - this is refreshingly honest and occasionally laugh-out-loud stuff.Bernice Harrison, The Irish Times, 21st March 2015
This warm coming-of-age comedy set in 1966 stars Gregg Sulkin as a geeky 12 year-old who wants his bar mitzvah to be a huge party. Problem is, his parents (Eddie Marsan and Helena Bonham Carter) have scheduled it for the same day as the World Cup final (which, of course, without a hint of irony, England reach).Patrick Smith, The Telegraph, 26th June 2012
On the one hand, I preferred this episode to the previous two because it was more focused on Warwick Davies and, for the first time, actually felt like a sitcom about his showbiz life. On the other hand, this was easily the least funny episode yet, capped by a woefully unfunny cameo from Helena Bonham Carter - continuing the running "joke" that most people, especially famous people, sneer down their noses at dwarfs.Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 25th November 2011
Warwick is facing more blows to his self-esteem: he's cut out of a BBC current affairs interview, finds his Dwarves For Hire clients are mutinying, then discovers his website is under attack from a 16-year-old schoolboy, whom he attempts to confront, with devastating consequences. Warwick lands some work as a stand-in, but Helena Bonham Carter demands he be replaced in his scene by a bin with a face painted on it.John Robinson, The Guardian, 23rd November 2011
You suspect Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and BBC2 are getting their defence in first with this "making of" doc, screened before the start on Thursday of their new comedy series, Life's Too Short, starring dwarf actor Warwick Davis.
Gervais insists they aren't making fun of small people, though the Davis character has "a small man complex". Celebrity guests doing Extras-type cameos - Johnny Depp, Liam Neeson and Helena Bonham Carter - tell us why they wanted to take part.Alison Graham, Radio Times, 5th November 2011