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The Greatest Shows on Earth

The Greatest Shows on Earth

Mon Jun 24, 10-11.05pm, C4

By Gabriel Tate
Episode two
‘The Man with the Ten Stone Testicles’ precedes this series at 9pm on C4. It’s the sort of show to make us realise that we live in a glasshouse when it comes to sizing up the television of other nations. But, in Daisy Donovan’s defence, she’s not out to ridicule the pop culture of far-off lands in ‘The Greatest Shows on Earth’.

Tonight’s foray to India finds talent shows, inevitably, ruling the roost. But she also investigates soap operas and talk shows, both of which have compelling and alarming things to tell us about a society in which the suppression and exploitation of both women and children are still depressingly commonplace.

So it’s a shame that so much time is spent following Donovan’s preparations to appear on ‘Dance Maharashtra Dance’ – mildly amusing, but revealing far more about our host than about the country she’s visiting. It’s worth watching, however, for the amazing Warriors of Goja, a troupe of Sikhs whose feats of martial arts and tolerance of pain – featuring mallets, cars and beds of nails – are eye-wateringly impressive.

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