Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

The Big Bang Theory

..is, after Prosecco and Pizza perhaps the third best way to focus on the good things in life.

The TV comedy series I mean.

‘Third’ is just random, by the way, as in coming next in the list but not in order of importance, otherwise that would put ‘snuggling up with my man who just got back from Mexico’ fourth and thereby AFTER Prosecco, Pizza and The Big Bang, and  ‘reading The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of A Window and Disappeared would be relegated to fifth. I’d rather not put a value on these things. That will only cause all kinds of trouble.

I’m beginning to sound rather like Sheldon, aren’t I?

(I wish.)

Maybe I should reduce the viewings…


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Shouldn’t have watched it. Still recovering. Feel as though I’ve been hit over the head with a truncheon, or had my fingernails removed, or my bollocks tweaked. Thought it was brilliant (I like feeling shit).

Red Riding is a tale of bent coppers in West Yorkshire, set in 1974. The premise: 3 school girls go missing or are found dead in the same area over a period of a few years.  A rookie journalist, Eddie Dunford (played superbly by Andrew Garfield), just returned from a failed news-gathering trip down south, wants to make his name on the Yorkshire Post.  He goes from cocksure boy chasing the headlines to a severely damaged yet redeemed young man, surprised to discover the lengths he will go to protect innocent girls and expose corruption.

The corruption, indeed, is so deep-seated and pervasive it goes all the way to the top (including a property magnate; the head of the police force; and the editor of the newspaper)  and all the way to the bottom (the sadistic duo of coppers paid to torture Dunford in Abu Graib style) and back again – and round a few bends on the way. No one is immune.

It is too much for Dunford, and anyway he has fallen in love. He  gives up the chase and decides to start a new life with the beautiful Paula Garland (played by Rebecca Hall). He hands over his plastic bag full of evidence to a lowly bobby he has decided is “one of the good guys”. Later, we see the same bobby hand over the bag to his superior, and this same bag is filmed going up stairs, over a road, across a bridge, and the contents tipped out onto a charcoal burner, the incriminating photos, receipts and letters curling up as they blacken while the head of police looks on.

Paula’s role in all this is the most troubling. Her ten year old daughter went missing a couple of years earlier. Dunford interviews her in connection with the latest abduction but from the beginning they can’t keep their hands off each other. Each time Dunford meets her he gets beaten up by the sadistic coppers. He puts two and two together. “Who are you telling about me?” Turns out Paula is in thrall to property magnate John Dawson (convincingly played by Sean Bean who combines a kind of John Wayne bravado with a vicious sloppiness). And even when Dunford turns up with black eyes or broken arms (or both) she still ends up wandering over the hill at the back of her house to his iconic Corbusier-style flatpack mansion lit up in the early morning mists of the Yorkshire Moors. When Dunford asks about her relationship with him she says, “He has always been good to us, very good.” And she has always, presumably, fucked him. She has known him “All my life”. We are left wondering and wondering about this. Could he be her father? How old was she when he first started fucking her? And, when it becomes clear that it is indeed Dawson who has abducted and killed the children (your child, you want to scream at her, your child!) her glossy red lipstick takes on an eerie kind of smudge. A victim so abused and bemused herself that she has become the unwitting perpetrator of her own daughter’s abduction and enabled the cover-up to continue ad infinitum – and into the next two films.

This was in fact the first part in a trilogy of two-hour films commissioned by Channel 4 focusing on the police force in West Yorkshire in the 70s and 80s (next week’s covers the Ripper apparently). From the trailer that they annoyingly pasted onto the end of last night’s film, it looks like many of the usual suspects are back for more corruption. But Dunford? Surely he didn’t survive? Shades of the Terminator..

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