Arts and Entertainment

In E4's new US import, Saturday Night Live alumnus Andy Samberg stars as Detective Jake Peralta, a police officer who doesn't take his job as seriously as he should, yet somehow manages to get results. As his squad leader Sergeant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews from Everybody Hates Chris) put it: "The only puzzle he hasn't solved is how to grow up."

Pilkington: 'Sometimes it all gets too much: two hours in a room with Ricky can seem a long time'

How We Met: Karl Pilkington & Ricky Gervais

'Sometimes it all gets too much: two hours in a room with Ricky can seem a long time'

Mongrel Island, Soho Theatre, London

"Work is more fun than fun," Noel Coward once declared. As far as we know, though, Noel never had to drudge from nine to five in an office processing the timesheets of care-workers. That happens to be the fate of Marie, the twentysomething harried and likeable central character in Mongrel Island, Ed Harris's accomplished, if slightly trying play.

Last Night's TV - Twenty Twelve, BBC4; The Secret War on Terror, BBC2

At the top of their Games

The return of the sitcom

Thanks to the awkward realism of The Office, the traditional sitcom has spent the last decade firmly out of fashion. But as the success of Miranda proves, a show filmed in front of a live audience can still have the last laugh. By Tim Walker

DVD: Modern Family: Season 1 (12)

It may not be Curb Your Enthusiasm but Modern Family, which adopts the kind of awkward, quasi-documentary style popularised by Larry David's cult comedy – still guarantees plenty of laughs.

Funny families who have the last laugh

As Modern Family screens on British TV, Sarah Hughes says that America has at last found its own Gavin & Stacey

The Aliens, Bush Theatre, London

The veteran director Peter Gill makes his belated debut at the Bush with this sensitive, beautifully acted production of The Aliens, our first glimpse in Britain of work by Annie Baker, the much-lauded young US dramatist. It's a deceptively slight piece that, while it can't live up to the plaudits of the New York critics (who reached for comparisons with Chekhov and Chardin), evinces a real talent for the kind of gentle humour that illustrates how the sadness and the silliness of life are interwoven.

Cultural Life: Tricky, musician

Books: I've just started reading 'The Black Hand' by Chris Blatchford. It's a biography of a guy who dissented from the Mexican Mafia. Reading it you can tell he was super-intelligent and could have had a very different life. I've also been reading Freddie Foreman's autobiography. He was one of England's biggest criminals, bigger than the Kray twins, but he didn't do the press. I've known him for 15 years – he's a good friend of mine, and it's always interesting reading about someone you know.

Ricky Gervais: I'm taking The Office to China

Comedian Ricky Gervais is making a version of his hit show The Office for Chinese television, he said today.

Down Terrace (15)

Whenever a British gangster film lumbers on to the horizon one tends to fear a) the worst and b) the appearance of Danny Dyer.

Mackenzie Crook: More than just the Office boy

Mackenzie Crook is famous for playing Gareth in that sitcom but, as his recent stints in the West End prove, he's no gormless sidekick

Marc Blake: In hard times, it's the Gavin and Staceys we want to snuggle up to

Modern sitcoms may seem cutting age, but they are more conservative than ever. And they are driven by old-fashioned virtues

The saviours of Channel 4

'Peep Show' proves that a television series doesn't have to be a ratings blockbuster

After The Office, it's the Man from the Pru next for Ricky Gervais

It is not the usual stuff of celluloid blockbusters – a quirky "dramedy" about two twenty-somethings in the 1970s who work as building society clerks in the dull suburban surrounds of Reading. Then again, nobody thought that about a comedy set in an office in Slough either.

Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen