Wednesday 11 March 2009

More Stylish Drama...

I imagine most of you will have somehow managed to resist the allure of Mistresses, BBC1's sub-chicklit soap that wishes so much it was Sex and the City. Mistresses is about a group of daft bints, all of them old enough to know better, all of them apparently irrestistible to men and incapable of resisting in return - as Homer said of Sex and the City, it's 'about these middle-aged women who behave like gay guys' - so the 'drama' consists entirely of the various ups and downs (as it were) of their wholly unbelievable sex lives. (The men, of course, are all improbably good looking and all either dull or dodgy, or both.) I believe that, as with Sex and the City, many watch this tosh - or claim to - for the interior decor and the clothes, which are indeed, er, striking... Anyway, my point is not to write about Mistresses (it would be to waste criticism on unresisting imbecility, as Johnson said in another context) but of what followed last night's episode. A BBC continuity announcer said, with a straight face, that for 'more stylish drama' we should switch to BBC 4 for... Mad Men. Now Mad Men stands in relation to Mistresses pretty much as Rembrandt stands in relation to Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light. Yet the BBC seems to believe there is a common audience and a common appeal - the two programmes are also yoked together on the iPlayer trail - and that viewers of Mistresses will be left at the end of each episode thinking, Mmm that was stylish drama and no mistake. I wonder where I can find some more? Mad Men eh? Surely it can't be as stylish as Mistresses? Oh well I'll give it a try...
The BBC has lost the plot.


  1. I hope the following admission doesn't diminish me too much in your eyes, Nige, but I have to admit that we stopped watching Mad Men halfway through series 1. Mrs B and I both found that we were admiring it far more than we were enjoying it - I think the main problem was that I realised I didn't give a damn whether any of the characters lived or died. Contrast The Sopranos, where you grow really rather attached to even the psychos.

  2. Mad men, television running in slow motion, worth watching just for the suits, the wardrobe operative should win a whatever.
    Dexter, and thanks to Susan for pointing me at it, another series from across the pond well worth a visit, weird, funny and unbelievably a very likeable serial killer, well, as you do.
    Never watched sex in the city, saw 5 mins in the early days, life is too short, ain't it.

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  4. How kind of you to introduce us all to the work of Thomas Kinkade. I see now where I've been going wrong.

  5. Kinkade is a phenomenon, David - and check out the Personal Conduct section of his Wikipedia entry. Codpiece! Codpiece!

  6. "1 IN 20 homes in the US feature some form of Kinkade's ART!"


  7. I havn't had a chance to get into Madmen yet, being as I am currently on the second series box set (of about 7) of The Shield, which is a pretty good hard hitting cop drama type thingy from the states. Moments of cheese are evident, but I recommend it

    dexter is good too, I watched it on FX the first time round

    at some point in my life I would love to start watching The Wire, as I heard that was at near Sopranos level of quality

    All these box sets do get rather expensive after a while :(

  8. How on earth did you stumble across Kinkade, Nige? He is truly awesome.

    And I've come to the conclusion that there are certain things I will never have the time to watch, even though I'd like to - The Wire and Mad Men to name but a couple. In idle moments I find myself wishing that I was severely incapacitated again so that I could order my family to bring me things as I lay on the sofa catching up with stuff. I got to watch the whole of Band of Brothers a few years ago in this fashion. Bliss.

  9. Believe it or not Sophie, Radio 4 had a programme a couple of years ago about the Kinkade themed village - yes you can buy a cottage there and in effect live in a Kinkade painting! I've got a feeling I'm never going to watch The Wire either, barring some disabling incident. Life is truly too short...

  10. oh lordy, just been checking out Kincade - 'A self-described "devout Christian" (all of his children have the middle name "Christian")-and they are 4 girls!

    "Paint the light, Thomas! PAINT THE LIGHT!"


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