Last Night's Television: Dolce Vito – Dream Restaurant, BBC2
Off The Hook, BBC3
The Love of Money, BBC2

Slim pickings at the end of the road

It all started so well for Dolce Vito – Dream Restaurant: food, drink, Italian countryside, and a barmy but lovable protagonist in the form of Vito himself. A few weeks in, though, things were wilting. His plans for a Modena restaurant fell through, as did his hopes for one in Florence, and then in Benevento. Vito's energy began to veer towards the manic end of the scale. A kilt appeared, the faux how-will-he-get-through-this-week's-catastrophe became a bit too, well, faux – and, somewhere along the line, I tuned out.

Last night, I thought I'd pay him one final visit, for old time's sake. After all, it was the final episode. And look, there he stood, in his smart new restaurant in – what's that? – Bologna? Looked like a few more plans changed along the way. He has named the place Passion, a perplexing (ironic?) choice given the British-themed menu. At any rate, it all looked very nice indeed: airy halls, high ceilings, pretty polished tables and chic European table-clothes. Just the sort of place you want to tuck into fish and chips. But, it was opening night, and – décor aside – the ingredients weren't looking good. Actually, the ingredients themselves were rather nice (posh cheese, salmon, beef etc) – but everything else was a recipe for disaster. The menu read like a 1970s dinner party: prawn cocktail, bangers and mash and cheescake. Inexplicably, Vito had eschewed a "soft" opening in favour of a full-on ceremony, complete with press, VIPs and critics. The only problem is that no one had been able to access the kitchen until the day before, so the head chef was forced to teach his army of Italian chefs the English cuisine overnight. Helpfully, he didn't speak Italian.

Would he pull it off? Or would it all fall apart? Oh, the tension! In the event, it seemed to go smooth ly (thanks in large part to the gallons of Scotch Vito had shipped in). "It's just like Italian food," grinned one (possibly intoxicated) guest. The newspaper critics were less vocal, though Vito was not shy of trying to influence them. "What are you going to tell your newspaper?" the TV crew asked one, shoving a camera in his face. "Uh, that it was very good," he grinned nervously. Before long, Vito's making speeches and proposing to his fiancée. "But we're already engaged!" she giggled, nervously. "Just tell me you'll marry me," boomed Vito. "Er, ok then..."

After last week's pulse-setting introduction, perhaps part two of the BBC2's The Love of Money series was always going to be a disappointment. In fairness, this segment, The Age of Risk, which examined the boom decades before the 2008 crash, was no less comprehensive than last week's instalment – just rather less thrilling. It took us through the rise of the neo-liberal orthodoxy of the 1980s, through its adoption by New Labour in the 1990s, and on into the housing boom of the Noughties, the explosion of the Chinese markets and the plunging interest rates that followed 9/11. In contrast to the 24-style account of Lehman Brothers' demise, this was a more conventional documentary, part analysis, part narration.

By far the most impressive aspect was the calibre of interviewees: Hector Sants of the Financial Services Authority and Nigel Lawson, but also Gordon Brown (again, cutting a far more impressive figure than we're accustomed to seeing these days), Alistair Darling, Mervyn King and, most impressive of all, Alan Greenspan, seemingly still struggling to come to terms with the markets' fallibility. Roland Amali provided this week's villain. The "father of sub-prime", he founded Ameriquest, the first of the indiscriminate brokers, rewarded by George Bush with a plum job as US ambassador to the Netherlands and then by his clients with hundreds of millions of dollars worth of lawsuits – small consolation to those still paying the price of his ideas.

Next week is the last in the series, Back from the Brink. It promises to explain "how close the world came to the brink of a total economic collapse" and talk to "the key players about how they battled to prevent a new Great Depression." It sounds like just the sort of thing the Prime Minister's advisers should be watching before they start planning the election. Whether or not they will is another question. I, on the other hand, will certainly be tuning in.

As for watching a third instalment of Off the Hook, well, things don't look promising. Last night was little different from the previous offering, except that our four heroes have been moved out of their grotty off-campus accommodation and into the more civilised confines of the student halls (which, I suspect, are considerably plusher than the average university digs). There's still the nightmare neighbour, the hot girl that everyone wants (different name, same role), and the end-of-episode party-that-goes-wrong. It's not that it is unfunny per se – there is the odd laugh courtesy of Shane, the best friend most people would give their eyeteeth not to have. And it's terribly well intentioned. But – and I feel slightly cruel saying this – it's just a little lame.

a.jarvis@independent.co.uk

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Muscling in: Noah Stewart and Julia Bullock in 'The Indian Queen'

opera
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TVViewers predict what will happen to Miller and Hardy
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in season two of the series

Watch the new House of Cards series three trailer

TV
Arts and Entertainment
An extract from the sequel to Fight Club

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant, Eve Myles and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch series two

TV Review
Arts and Entertainment
Old dogs are still learning in 'New Tricks'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest' - and other Neil Patrick Harris Oscars jokes

Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Patricia Arquette making her acceptance speech for winning Best Actress Award

Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears

Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

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.

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn