Mr Drew's School for Boys,Channel 4 -TV review
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Wednesday 21 May 2014
In Mr Drew's School for Boys (Channel 4), headteacher Stephen Drew set himself the task of taming a group of eight-to-12-year-old tearaways and last night's final episode was a chance to assess how far they'd come.
Under the improving influence of Mr Drew's patience, all of the little monsters had – at some point or other – revealed glimpses of the charming individuals they may yet become. The – no doubt heavily edited – graduation ceremony was another opportunity to make their mother's cry, and this time with tears of pride, not frustration. Mr Grist had them read poems written in their English class and all were lovely – particularly Clark's dragon-themed one, which gave insight into how his tantrums can take even him by surprise. Credit, too, to the boys for managing to sit still through Mr Drew's motivational speech. Excellent teacher he may be, compelling public speaker he is not.
As every teacher emphasised, four weeks isn't even nearly enough time to effect the kind of dramatic transformation that TV documentaries like to portray, and this episode was refreshingly realistic about the setbacks. A postscript followed up with the boys at home, where some, sadly, had already been excluded from school. Most, however, had made a lasting positive change to their attitude to schools and family. Though perhaps Dominic's Zen approach to education was taking it too far: "Now I like school, it's like a spa, it's really, really relaxing and fun" and formerly hyperactive Zane was so changed that he appeared sedated.
It was Zane's mum who best summed up the parents' collective mood of cautious optimism: "It's not gonna happen in four weeks, but it is gonna happen."
Review: A panoramic account of the hacking scandalbooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
- 4 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >