Television Review

WHAT MUST it be like to be young, free and in social classes ABC1? Just to be so wanted - to know that everybody would like a piece of you. To walk past a newsagent and see the style magazines signalling wildly "It's you we want - read us", or switch on the television and find that everything is aimed at you personally. When you're young and financially uncommitted, you need never feel lonely.

How this feels for everybody else is another matter. If you're over 60, you can get a little buzz of flattery from switching on Channel 4 in the afternoon and catching the adverts for cheap life insurance without a medical examination. Otherwise, the quest for the yuppie vote can get rather galling.

For one thing, you have to put up with programmes like Spin City (C4), a sitcom that's only claim on anybody's attention - apart from the powerful Michael J Fox fanbase - is its savvy, hip veneer. Fox plays Mike Flaherty, deputy mayor of New York, whose life is a whirl of press conferences. In theory, this is a smart, insider's view of politics; in practice, it's an under-powered, stereotype-driven comedy. Last night's episode contained one likeable aside - planning a photo-op at the zoo, the mayor wonders whether the penguins wouldn't lend a touch of formality - but otherwise it tended to confirm the theory that you should never trust a sitcom in which the star shares a first name with his character.

The problem of yuppie love extends beyond the media. Two out of the three films that made up The Pull of the City (BBC2) have argued that courting the affluent young can have serious social side-effects. On Monday, Harvey Molotch showed how the regeneration of New York's inner city has been largely financed by businesses in search of money making opportunities. There have been obvious benefits in terms of, for instance, the recolonisation of public spaces - semi-derelict parks have been made clean and safe. The downside has been the replacement of public spaces by private ones. One street vendor talked about the way that some pavements in Manhattan have become militarised zones, patrolled by private security guards who move on anybody who doesn't look right. The young and smart have flocked back into parts of New York; but the poor are increasingly marginalised, shut out from society and its cashflow.

Last night, George Monbiot observed similar processes taking place in London - the cultural diversity of Spitalfields, for example, has attracted a new, fashionable crowd. But in their wake has come big business, driving up prices and driving out the people who made the area interesting in the first place. This sounds like a problem; but Monbiot's diagnosis made little sense. He wanted organic, self-regulating development; but he wanted it limited by legislation to control property prices. And underlying this there seemed to be an assumption that there are two kinds of money - the good kind, which comes with tattoo studios and graphic designers, and the bad kind, which comes with banks and lawyers. On occasion, Monbiot is a thoughtful commentator; here he came across as having read one too many style magazines. The young and fashionable strike again.

Arts and Entertainment

Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington plays MI5 agent Will Holloway in Spooks: The Greater Good

'You can't count on anyone making it out alive'film
Arts and Entertainment
War veteran and father of Peter and Laust Thoger Jensen played by Lars Mikkelson

TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success

Arts and Entertainment
Carey Mulligan in Far From The Madding Crowd
FilmCarey Mulligan’s Bathsheba would fit in better in The Hunger Games
Arts and Entertainment
Pandas-on-heat: Mary Ramsden's contribution is intended to evoke the compound the beasts smear around their habitat
Iart'm Here But You've Gone exhibition has invited artists to produce perfumes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living