TELEVISION / Reviews of the week

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The Independent Culture
The Mushroom Picker (BBC2 Wed): 'An orgy of outrageous over-acting . . . The Mushroom Picker is certainly black, all the darker, I suspect, for its Russian roots . . . I hardly think a domestic product would leave us with the spectacle of an erring wife having been beaten to death with her husband's crutch, and still categorise itself as a comedy.' Peter Paterson, Daily Mail.

'If you like your rumpy- pumpy served with lashings of borscht and vodka, you will enjoy the new three-part black comedy . . . An unexpected delight.' Compton Miller, Daily Express.

'Lynsey Baxter played her (lead part, Clea) beautifully, with a touching mix of vulnerability and wan decency . . . Nigel Terry (Kostya) also had a plausibility problem to overcome . . . Terry achieved a nice balance of the absurd and the awful.' Benedict Nightingale, Times.

'This Wednesday night slot has spawned some memorable and outrageously sexy three- parters, but none so bizarre as this black comedy.' Pam Francis Today.

'The first episode . . . was an excellent starter. Roll on the main course.' Sally Brockway, Sun.

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