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Lustbox: Endeavour Morse

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I feel a little guilty putting young Endeavour in the Lustbox – it seems far too crude for him. But lovely as he is, Shaun Evans doesn’t provoke in me all the feelings that Endeavour does, so poor old young-Morse will have to suffer the indignity as best he can.

There’s a quite magical alchemy going on with Endeavour (the show). It’s been excellent from the beginning, but Coda, the last episode of the third series, was one of the best bits of British TV I’ve seen in ages. They’ve taken a good idea, thrown every piece of talent they could find at it and produced a real, bittersweet gem. And the jewel in the crown is young Morse himself.

Shaun Evans is simply astonishing in this role. You can see the man Morse will become, even as you realise that Endeavour is in some ways a very different person from the prickly DCI in his future. Evans never makes the mistake of impersonating John Thaw, though he clearly channels him – there are moments when a movement, a stance or simply a thought flickering across his mind can floor you.

And obviously it helps to be beautiful (regular visitors to the Lustbox will know I’m a sucker for a pretty pair of eyes and cheekbones you could pare parmesan on), but there’s a stillness in Evans’ performance that makes it impossible to take your eyes off him.

The setbacks that young Morse encounters, particularly his unluckiness in love, are heartbreaking  – doubly so if you allow yourself to remember that there will never be a happy ending. Looking at Endeavour – clever, respectful, kind and with a “weakness for the fairer sex” (as Felix Lorimer tells our hero in Coda), it seems impossible that he’s destined for such a lonely life.

I can’t be the only one who wishes she could change that future.

 Jo the Hat

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What to watch if you don’t like sport

“My lustrous hair distracts people from the odd bulges in my shorts”

We’ve got interminable football followed by Wimbledon followed by the Olympics. I’m pleased the England boys and girls are doing so well in Euro 2012, not that we’re seeing quite so much screechy pub activity when the women’s team are kicking ass. But, in general, this is not a great time for those of us for whom PE lessons were a time of unspeakable horror. So what can you do? Box sets can come into their own during these dark times. I’ve been watching (daft crime writer/detective) Castle and (daft medical/flirt fest  follow up to Gray’s Anatomy) Private Practice with some Frasier thrown in for good measure. Of those three, Frasier is the only one I’d describe as high calibre, but even the other two are moderately entertaining, and none of them feature sweaty grown men in bad ponytails running around a field.

Sport messes with the telly schedules which is profoundly irritating to the many millions of people whose good mental health relies on their soaps being reassuringly regular.

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