BBC2’s The Trip backs up my belief that 2010 has been a golden year for British TV.
Watching Steve Coogan and Rob Bryden’s brilliant (and mainly improvised) impersonations of the face-pulling Pacino, the weary Caine and the middle-distance gazing Gere as the duo tour the Lake District on a restaurant-judging mission is becoming one of the great joys of my week.
Even more intriguingly though, this study of early onset paranoia and disappointment is hitting so many male nerves over the country it’s operating like a human national grid.
I already know of one nearly forty-something for whom Coogan’s discomfort with his ageing face, his not quite sterling enough career and his inability to commit to any one lifestyle sparked a mini mid-life crisis. I bet there are others. This acutely observed and cruelly honest show says more about the modern male than anything British TV has thrown up in years.