Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Okay, I admit, I have to be at a loose end to write about TV programmes.
And maybe that's why I'm such an unreliable critic.
Sorry. Remember my initial enthusiasm for Norwegian noir?
I couldn't make head nor tail of it by the end of the series.
And how could I possibly have thought that The Crimson Field was better than Call the Midwife?
What was I on? Does my Yorkshire Brew habit completely drown my critical faculties?
Like many of you, I suffer from incurable bouts of PAST (Post-Aristocratic Stress) manifesting as Sunday evening dependency on opiates sugar-coated in period costume. Women who suffer from PAST are often particularly susceptible to triggers from wartime.
Sadly The Crimson Field turned out to be Downton Goes to War, mildly enjoyable but emotionally uninvolving. Scriptwriting by numbers ...
Nurse with a shameful secret in her past. Check.
Let's have another nurse with a darker, more dangerous secret. Check.
Mean, kleptomaniac lesbian nurse? Two for the price of one. Check.
Nurses running away from something? That'll be all of them.
Equal opportunities statement. As all VADs must have secrets, even the cheerful youngest nurse has a teeny-tiny, not very interesting secret. Check. Bless her.
As for the shocking finale ... I won't give it away, but it's so obvious what's going to happen that they might have let off a howitzer blast to alert you.

However ...
After a four hour orgy last night when I watched Quirke from start to finish, for once I can confidently say that this series is seriously classy.
Adapted by Andrew Davies and Conor McPherson. From John Banville's series of crime thrillers (written as Benjamin Black). With a cast that includes smouldering Gabriel Byrne and Michael Gambon.
Set against the underbelly of de Valera's 1950s Dublin.
With lovely shots of Dollymount strand and Georgian fanlights.
There has been some carping about it in the Irish papers - but I thought it was excellent.


Vintage Reading said...

Not afflicted by PAST but I do have a weakness for Nordic Noir or Scandi-crime (as it used to be called). Still mourning The Killing.

mary said...

The Killing was the best, Nicola. This last Norwegian one was so convoluted, I wondered if maybe it lost something in translation.

Cait O'Connor said...

Thanks for recommending Quirke, I shall get it from Lovefilm. I agree with the affliction PAST (I have it) but agree with you re, Crimson Field.

mary said...

It's coming up on BBC shortly, Cait. Sorry, should have made that clear!

Barbara C. said...

Was moaning over the fact that Crimson Field wasn't available in the US! Will hope Quirke is!