Despite the shameless commercialisation of my more recent blogs – Saving England’s flag and Anti-war song for England’s football fans – I’m one of those who’s happy not to care about football. So last night’s France-England match was mostly avoided. Although I did tune in for what turned out to be the last four minutes and saw both French goals.
We’d spent the weekend in purgatory for dad’s 60th and being in the mood to veg-out decided to watch whatever was on instead of the football: Dalziel and Pascoe. Now I know this is a most successful series, pulling in many punters since 1996, but it’s barely registered on my radar. Having seen last night’s repeat I’m glad of that. It’s a show the Daily Express calls ‘classy, cerebal (sic) and witty’ and is praised by the Daily Mail for its ‘irrepressible humour’ (I had no idea until reading this Mail quote that it was supposed to have a comic touch).
Anyway. Last night’s episode was dramatically entitled Truth and consequences, first broadcast 19 November 2001 and set in 1999. You can read the synopsis for yourself, but it was clearly supposed to have some political overtones dealing as it did with an ex-mining community. It turned into an incredibly ham-fisted portrayal. Each time we visited an ex-miner’s home, club or pub they’d have music from the mid-80s playing, but when we went to the posh newspaper editor’s house it was bang up-to-date. Cars and fashions were similarly dated as the producers rammed home the message that these people were living in the past, incapable of putting the 15-year-old strike behind them. Yet now, of course, our forward looking heroes would unearth some hidden ‘truth’ – great betrayal and corruption – with which to rubbish that past, lancing the boil and allowing the community to move on. What tosh!
Selling out British TV……Dispatches from Purgatory