Playhouse Presents, TV review: Back to the drawing board for The Dog Thrower director Jon Ronson


Click to follow
The Independent Culture

I don't suppose that in Matthew Perry's wildest dreams he imagined that when Friends finished in 2004, he would find himself playing a man who visits his local London park to throw his dog in the air. But then with no lines to learn, I can see what might have been in it for the actor.

The Dog Thrower was the first offering in a new series of Playhouse Presents on Sky Arts, the well-funded strand that has achieved some notable success with A Young Doctor's Notebook and Psychobitches.

I can only imagine that Perry's stellar presence earned it top billing in the new series, because the kindest thing I can find to say about this oddly fey, mostly dialogue-free affair, written and directed by Jon Ronson – his first foray into non-documentary – is that it was, well, oddly fey. But then these films are experimental – and some experiments, by their very nature, are bound to fail.

A closing caption stated that "animal experts, model and stunt dogs were employed to ensure animal welfare throughout production". Terrific, but I think it might have been equally important to have employed someone to say, "That's lovely, darlings, but back to the drawing board."