Monday, September 22, 2008

Women business

Soundtrack: Queen + Paul Rodgers - "The Cosmos Rocks". Have to say, just writing that feels weird. More details to follow, later on. But for the moment, let it suffice to say that yes, I have got my hands on the new Queen album and it's a special edition and it's got pretty pictures of Brian May on it and it's all...a very strange feeling. Not to mention listening through the whole thing. As I said: more to come. But, I do love "Through the night".

Once again, just have to extend my most sincere support and fondest acclaim to the BBC, the brilliant beeb, for all their talent, new ideas, superb contributors, and for continuing their long, unceasing series of great productions; a catalogue of classic shows that has yet to disappoint me. And - even more impressively - new material keeps popping up, on a regular basis; surprising yours truly, for one, with moments of unparallelled grandeur any odd evening. Such as, this very monday night, when I turned on my beloved TV; my new BFF, as it were, in order to make increasingly frequent contact more convenient; and on the screen, who else do I see but Sarah Parish, red lips and starry eyes zooming into focus. Complete overjoy. Favourite woman, "Doctor Who"-guest actress, starlet, beautiful, grand and impeccable Sarah Parish, also known for having made memorable appearances in "Blackpool" and "Recovery" and, well, loads and loads more. At the moment, she stars in "Mistresses"; a new hit series from her old and best employer, which is also why she showed up on my telly, all of a sudden; and, no wonder it was a pleasant sight - not only because of the show as such, but because it's her and she's on the Norwegian state channel for everyone to watch. Brilliant! As for the series; no less important; this is an intense, sensually charged drama about four girlfriends and their tolls in life; their ups and downs and daily work. How they juggle their careers, family lives, friendships, hobbies, lovers and dreams, pursuing happiness, pay raise, great looking men, and anything else to make life better. It's well-written, well-enacted, well-directed; no surprises there, with BBC putting their name on it; and it's about a group of girls whom one can easily identify with, because - take note, "Sex & the City"-copycats! - they are not perfect, they are not blissfully carefree, or supermodel pretty. They are human beings; with ordinary, human issues to deal with; charming, of course, and intelligent and stylish, and perhaps overdramatizing petty things, now and again, that wouldn't be enough to upset your average girl, but for the most part they're true-to-life girls-next-door, with problems of the kind most representatives of their sex can relate to. Someone you can laugh along with, not at, and - same thing about the crying. Yup, shed a tear or two, but fortunately it never felt awkward; supposedly, because the thematics here never feels pointless. Which is, moreover, why I deem this the best chick-flick-series out there, right now; actually, the only one worth watching. Most appealing aspect of the program, as far as I'm concerned, is the above-mentioned identification factor; which allows you to engage in the struggles of these four women, knowing you could have made the exact same mistakes yourself; learning, thereby, that you aren't that hopeless, or reckless, or silly, in spite of all your crazy whims; at least, you are not alone, neither in suffering from whimsicality nor feeling like a complete fool about it; for it's something other girls have (had) to deal with too. The disappointmens you encounter on the road of life, to make use of a lovely cliché, because it's Monday and I'm friggin' tired, have befallen multiple poor souls before you, just like the sins you commit, or may have commited; over which you've been tormenting yourself half to death, out of self-reproach; have been done, and done penance for, many a time already. So, no worries. Watch the beeb and learn from the best and not to worry. What else, the women in the series get to experience the others' problems as well; their situations being developed into matching and complementing each other, hence depicting both sides of the coin, so to speak, which is essential in a show that's mainly about what it says in the tin, namely infidelity, and being a mistress. Which, again, is not always what it seems, and - I haste to emphasize - not the only topic here, but it's the one red line throughout, upon which the main story of the show is based. Being somebody's lover, the lover of somebody, or discovering that somebody you love is having an affair behind your back. And, by all means, it's a lot more complicated and less pathetic than such a "tagline" could indicate. Sarah plays Katie, skilled doctor and former lover of one of her own patients, whose son now seems to be falling for her, and she is drawn between an attraction to him, probably founded on familiarity; the memories of what she once had with some very similar; and the knowledge that she ought to avoid any involvement with the young man, out of ethical reasons. She shares her secrets and her conflicts of interests with the three others, and they do the same with her; Trudi, the troubled 9/11 widow, trying to make ends meet and recovering from the loss, played by no other than Sharin Small - Marie from "Dear Frankie"; where she was absolutely stellar, in yet another best friend in the world-role - whereas the gorgeour Orla Brady plays Siobhan, whose main trouble is her marriage to Hari, with whom she's trying to conceive, and finally, there's Jessica, a party organizer, played by Shelley Conn - and the group's "wild card". Also, the closest thing you get to a "S&tC"-resemblance here. Samantha wannabe, no doubt. But younger and less cynical. And with a much more emotional involvement attached to the sexual experimentation. The series deals, mainly, with relationships and with a typical female approach. Still, it's a relief to witness the lack of generalizing and attempt of being politically correct; instead, it's downright controversial at times, and pretty straightforward. It's honest. And the four women are intensely likeable. So, yes indeed: sometimes, even I; your regular, pink-colour hating, chess playing, computer hacking, sci-fi loving, trainer-wearing geek; have to induldge in some proper woman television. Yet, I must admit, the only time I take any delight in doing so, is when said television has something downright proper to offer me. And, in that respect, I recommend "Mistresses". (And "Sex and the City", of course, but that's an obvious call.) True, it's not really a show for men. Male viewers would, however, I strongly suspect, not endure any great pain from watching this; considering the general attractivity and winning qualities of those fab four. Plus, they could actually end up learning a thing or two about woman behaviour. I did. This is like a dummies' guide to female peculiarities; both near the positive and negative end of the scale. Why we say or do those unforgivable things we do. Why we complain about seemingly petty things. Why we are the way we are, which we - quite possibly - haven't figured out, yet, ourselves, and never will. The series doesn't provide all the answers, far from it, but it's a great look and a means to obtain some further insight. As for the male viewers, they might even learn a little about their own mistakes; there's a couple of flawed male personas here, as well, but they're quite easy on the eye, and very nice at that. No bad guys or good guys, just a bunch of complex characters who brighten up my Mondays and proves why BBC is the best production company there ever was and why prioritizing TV sessions is so much easier when you've got something British to look forward to! Did I mention how much I love "Top Gear"? And "Hell's Kitchen"? And, well, all the costume dramas? And "Doctor Who", coming soon - at Christmas! Woohoo!

"Mistresses" is on Mondays at 21:30 pm, NRK 1. Available on DVD (of course, and yes we're lagging a little behind here in Norway, as always) through Amazon. Me wants.

1 comment:

Randi said...

Og poeten gjør ihvertfall det hun kan for å markedsføre gode BBC serier - i en poetisk velskreven stil med vel gjennomtenkte ord - god lesning....det er bra det finns poeter som ser på TV.