TV

Boiling Point Review: BBC Restaurant Drama Deserves a Michelin Star


It’s so much more than just dinner. 

Vinette Robinson and Stephen Graham and the cast of BBC One's Boiling Point
Photo: BBC / Boiling Point TV Limited

Be nice to waiters. That’s the first lesson of new four-part BBC One drama Boiling Point. Be nice to waiters not only because it’s nice to be nice, but because however calm and smiling they emerge from behind those flapping kitchen doors, inside blows a hurricane. Personal dramas and business pressures, dodgy colleagues, nightmare customers, shifts that end at midnight and leave you buzzing with adrenaline that needs to go somewhere… it’s the perfect cocktail for dysfunction and conflict. Handily, that in turn is the perfect cocktail for TV drama, as we know from rightly critically acclaimed US series The Bear (watch that and watch this too; there’s plenty of room for both.)

Boiling Point’s second lesson is just to let this creative team get on with it. Give them a second series with the full six episodes immediately, please, because they clearly know what they’re doing. 

They should know, by now. Writer James Cummings, director Philip Barantini (The Responder) and co. first made Boiling Point as a short film in 2019 before it expanded like rising dough, first into a celebrated one-take feature film in 2021, and now into this BBC One drama with most of the original cast, and endless potential to return. It’s worked in every form, because this lot has the storytelling chops to grip you. 

Chops may feature in Boiling Point – pan fried, basted, sauced and artily plated with a locally sourced garnish – but it’s far from just a show about cooking. It’s a workplace drama about a group of people (and post-Covid, a whole industry) struggling to keep its head above water. Yes, they’re in a kitchen, but the characters put themselves under the pressure of a submarine crew or casualty ward to create much more than, as one relative carelessly dismisses their vocation, “just a bit of dinner.”

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