Ed Williamson

News, Reviews & Features
  • Review: The Hustle is a like-for-like switcheroo

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 13th May 2019

    Now then, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was one of those I had on VHS off the telly and watched a lot as a kid, and believe it or not, I'm quite happy to allow a reboot without moaning on the internet about how my childhood has been stolen from me, as though MGM had coerced the 12-year-old me into confessing to a murder I didn't commit then used its corporate weight to lobby against my release and discredit the one witness who saw it all and could exonerate me, meaning I had to spend my teenage years in the big house, punctuated only by making recorded calls to the true crime podcast that was covering my case but whose final episode would end "Well, he's still in prison. Get 50% off your new mattress if you use the code DIAL-MGM-4-MURDER at checkout." I mean yeah, they haven't done that. What they've done is a bit weird though.

  • Review: After Life is not deft enough to avoid causing friendly fire

    TV Review | Ed Williamson | 22nd March 2019

    To promote his new Netflix show After Life, Ricky Gervais is out doing the podcast rounds, and telling anyone who'll listen why people who are offended by any of his jokes must have misunderstood them. He's probably right in some cases. But what he never considers, or at least never acknowledges, is that if a lot of people are misunderstanding your jokes, maybe it's because you aren't skilled enough at delivering them.

  • Leaving Neverland and our need for chaos

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 8th March 2019

    In the summer of 2002 Michael Jackson came to Exeter, my hometown, where I was living again having just finished university. In a series of events that are ludicrous in hindsight, some businessmen had bought Exeter City FC out of administration and installed Uri Geller as a co-chairman. Geller duly brought Jackson and David Blaine down for a public appearance, in which they drove round the pitch in an open-topped car with a load of children.

    I didn't go. But I do remember watching it on TV, noting that, despite the hit his image had taken from the Jordy Chandler trial, he was still surrounding himself with children wherever he went. And thinking: "No one in this guy's life ever pulls him aside and says, 'Listen, Mick: maybe ease up on the kids in public, eh?'"

  • Review: The Lego Movie 2 plays nicely but has no new surprises

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 10th February 2019

    My nephews were younger when the first Lego Movie came out. I mean, everyone was. But in 2014 they were five years younger; a lifetime when you're under ten. The elder one loved it; the younger probably not quite at the age where he could be relied on to sit through anything for more than ten minutes without chewing his shoes. They'll love this too, because they're still under ten and they're idiots, despite the older one being quite capable of comprehensively schooling me about dinosaurs. Me, I think maybe the magic has faded a bit.

  • Review: Green Book is a road trip that takes Route 1

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 6th February 2019

    If racism can be solved in microcosm, film often likes to suggest, then can't we all just get along? Sure, except for all the massive systemic obstacles to that. The buddy relationship at the heart of Peter Farrelly's Green Book, one in which a white racist comes to accept a black man as a friend, wants us to believe that prejudice can be chipped away at through prolonged exposure to its object; that we only hate what we don't know. There's probably a broad truth in that. And yet social media has introduced everyone to people and cultures they'd otherwise never interact with, and Twitter in particular seems to make people even more determined never to change their mind. So is this any use?

  • The Apprentice: season 14, episode 12 recap: "High Nut Content"

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 18th December 2018

    It's drawing to its close and we're all better people: informed, educated and entertained. Let's build on this experience and learn to live together in harmony, then burn the world in a big skip.

  • The Apprentice: season 14, episode 9 recap: "Bad-Up TV"

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 30th November 2018

    In a meta twist, the housemates, if they're called housemates, are appearing in a TV show in a TV show. It's a bit like the Larry Sanders Show, only with a big pink-lips inflatable sofa and the creeping sensation that all around you is decay.

  • The Apprentice: season 14, episode 8 recap: "Don't Make an Exhibition of Yourself"

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 21st November 2018

    I worked in an art gallery for a year or so. A guest at an event once asked me to order him a taxi, so I called a minicab, then when it turned up outside he obviously thought it was too downmarket and so pretended he didn't realise it was for him and continued to wait in the foyer. I let him sit and wait. He sat there for a good ten minutes before it drove away, then another five before he wandered over and asked whether his taxi was on its way. "Oh, you mean the minicab that was outside?" he said, feigning a puzzled look, when I told him it had just left. "I presumed that couldn't have been for me." And the moral of this story is that all art galleries should be burned down.

  • Review: Bros: After the Screaming Stops drops the boys in at the deep end

    Movie Review | Ed Williamson | 12th November 2018

    Echoing throughout Joe Pearlman and David Soutar's documentary are the words of Terry Wogan to Bros: "What are you going to do when the screaming stops?" It's a question pop bands with a predominantly teenage female audience have been asked from The Beatles onwards, based on the assumption that pop fandom is transitory; a girlish fad that will inevitably be grown out of. Certainly for most it abates as you grow older, but it lies dormant, easily rekindled by a Google image search, or the discovery of a dusty mixtape in a drawer, pocked with hand-drawn hearts.

  • The Apprentice: season 14, episode 6 recap: "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet"

    TV Feature | Ed Williamson | 7th November 2018

    I'm happily watching the snooker on ITV4. It's an engrossing second-round match in the Champion of Champions tournament in which Kyren Wilson is opening up a confident lead over Judd Trump, and I'm nicely settled in after dinner and oh, what's this notification on my phone? Why, it's a Google Calendar reminder to OH SHIT I'VE GOT TO WATCH THE FUCKING APPRENTICE