With Suranne Jones’ excellent performance in Unforgiven, just finishing on UTV, the BBC laid a major claim to a BAFTA so early in the year with Julie Walters’ powerful and poignant performance in A Short Stay In Switzerland, about a lady Doctor’s wish for a planned assisted suicide. The moral dilemmas were well woven into the script but visually the piece was sympathetic to the actual person’s wishes. Would you, in the knowledge of an incurable degenerative brain disease, go ahead and take your own life abroad, because British laws forbid it.
At times, it was difficult to watch this programme and I recorded it to take it in smaller doses. I was angry and sad but never happy as there was no usual God’s holy will. In slow slow scenes, the content gathered momentum and Walters’ acting was amazing. The indignities the character suffered were painful to watch and a fine argument between the religious Harriet Walter, who said her friend was a coward, did make me hesitate. Life is a precious thing but so is memory and I won’t forget this programme in a hurry.
Remember the controversy about whether it was Dingle or An Daingean some time ago, well all that is forgotten in the lovely TG4 series Mo Ghra Go Daingean. It’s so real, so everyday with tourists, rain, real characters, weddings, wedding-planners, new butchers, organically reared bonamhs, happy chancers, pubs, more rain, more soup, more rain and less tourists. Multi-cultural moments, complainers, honeymooners and happy-go-lucky people. Does the road to recovery lie in such places.
When the BBC go to rub it in, they go too far, with a series of doom and gloom about recession. First there was 1929 The Great Crash, about the collapse of Wall Street and the American economy in the space of one week of falling share prices. Then the rot went on for ten years without any real or significant recovery. No quick fix solution or Stimulus package. Then there was a world war before it got better.
Then BBC2 gave us a double whammy or Credit Crunch Britain and me head was spinning. Question is, if people lose jobs and money is in short supply, why do experts say we need the stimulus to spend more to bring us out of recession. It’s a headwreck, that’s what it is.
Another Waterford woman features with hunky and tattooed Dr. Mark Hamilton on RTE’s How Long Will You Live? This time it wasn’t such a recovery story, as legal secretary, Geraldine Goodison, tried to give up cigarettes before her wedding. Lots of fine local shots of Millennium Plaza, Ferrybank and Atheneum Hotel. Geraldine kept going back on the fags and then, no doubt feeling sorry for herself, starting to kick the habit again. Fair dues to her, she looked beautiful and fair dues to RTE to show a story without a really successful conclusion.
Lost is back on RTE2 for the fifth and possibly second last series and I am no more the wiser except when I read the various theory websites that attempt to explain what is happening. Whatever! Those who got off the island, or was it into a time warp, are now trying to get back onto or into the island, if indeed it is an island. I’m still puzzled by the polar or white bear in the first series. The originators have farmed out scripting to some new writers since last year’s screen-writers strike and the initial US ratings are down a bit. Why are the escapees going back and what are they going to do now? Either way, viewers will decide the future, not the guys who dreamed up this mystery.
RICHARD AND JUDY: UKTV are having more than just teething problems with its new Watch channel. They haven’t the coverage they planned and had to move Richard And Judy from teatime to eight o’clock as, at times, the viewers were as low as 13,000. Prickly problem for Cactus TV, who make the show.
TRISHA: Poor Trisha, since she moved for a better deal to FIVE, The Trisha Goddard Show has been axed from this year after four good years on new channel.
PERSIAN BBC: Pity the BBC who spend 15 Million a year on Persian tv service. They have an English speaking correspondent in Iran who files regularly from Tehran but the Persian language service will not be allowed to have any staff in the country.
YOUNG BUTCHER: BBC plan a show Young Butcher Of The Year, like an X-Factor format, and are looking at hairdressing as well.
7 BOB NOTE: To launch the new Minder series, FIVE printed fake 7 pound notes as a promo gimmick from the phrase – as bent as a 7 bob note. On the note is a photo of Shane Richie who plays Archie Daly (his Boar on the Note/boatrace/face). The launch took place at a boozer actually called The Barrow Boy And Banker.
CUT BACKS: As part of a BBC crackdown on expenditure, there will be no champagne at wrap up parties (end-of-shoot celebrations). Bosses have put a cap of £25 per head on such affairs.