Friday, 6 April 2012

"White Heat" BBC Drama Series

Unable to read much, and feeling completely under the weather, I have watched more TV in the last week than probably since before I had children, 28 years ago.

I've watched some films, recorded episodes of "Upstairs Downstairs" and "Homeland."

Plus "White Heat".  This series is so boring that it is only tolerable if watching recorded episodes, so that one can fast forward frequently.  In fact, one could run the whole thing at double speed and miss nothing except the dialogue, what there is of it.  Long silences, people moving in slow motion, and people just standing or sitting doing and saying nothing, are the norm.

So why  am I watching it?  Oh, it's the settings, of course.  Starting in 1966, and moving through the 70's, which is the era when I was young.  It's about a group of flat-sharers moving through their, and British, history together.  Like the main characters, I left home to share flats with various people, in my case a little later, 1971.

How I remember those orange and brown colour schemes, the hideous kitchens, the mustard-coloured tea-cups, the dingy lighting and painted anaglypta wall-paper.  One of the really well-researched items of background is the use of the large brown earthenware teapot, slammed down direct onto a kitchen table, the centrepiece.  Yes, that is indeed typical of the period.  "Coffee", as in filter, followed by the discovery of the miraculous cafetiere, and later the capuchino machine, is not yet on the horizon.

I still have a blouse almost identical to the one worn by Lilli in last night's episode, white cotton with a frilled colour and pintucks down the front.  Mine has long sleeves, though.

The abortions, almost fatal drug addictions, kipper ties and early computers are also familiar territory.

If only it didn't move so slowly and painfully, and if only the characters were more likeable, instead of being handpicked archetypes.

I will persist, though, if only to revisit the decorating schemes of my own past.

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