Monday, 9 July 2012

Blackout Episode 2: The Jury Got Bored

Hmmm …

Can I make a confession, here … ?

I’ve literally just turned off the television set, and switched on iTunes.

Partly because I like to have some music on, when I’m writing: and I’m in the mood for Amon Tobin’s Out From Out Where album seems to fit my mood at the moment .

But mostly where I’ve gotten more than a little unhappy with episode 2 of the 3-part BBC drama, Blackout.

Set in a nameless city, Blackout sees Christopher Eccleston as a corrupt local councillor who works out that he’s beaten someone to death, whilst drunk.

That first episode sees him then going to run: after heroically saving his sister from being shot, whilst ALSO being very honest about his addiction issues.

The little of episode 2, that I saw tonight … ?

Saw Demoys — the Ecclestone character — dealing with his initial days in office as mayor.

And ALSO having to confess what he’s done to his wife, Alex — an on form Dervla Kirwan — after she finds some incriminating evidence, hiding in the airing cupboard.

All this … ?

All this, and trying to deal with his alcoholism … 


Now, I HAVE to admit, there’s a reason — possibly more than one — for me turning, off half way through.

Now, you’ve possibly realised I’ve been to the odd meeting of Brentwood Council’s planning committee, haven’t you … ?

And from what I’ve been told, by  both Councillors Chilvers and Kendall, local councils don’t have councillors who are full time paid employees: as the series seems to be implying Ecclestone’s character is.

Nor — again based on my own very limited experience* — is a mayor anything much more than a ceremonial role: or, at least, a casting vote in case of a tied council meeting.

Except in London, where Boris Johnson and his immediate predecessor, Ken Livingstone, had a HELL of a lot of influence on how the budget got spent.

So that rankled.

The other thing that got me … 

Hmm … 

Was the simple fact of the main character’s alcoholism.

Oh, it’s generally well — and sympathetically — handled, don’t get me wrong.

I found it easy to accept someone who’s come to realise that he’s killed someone in an alcoholic blackout, then taken a bullet in a fit of remorse.

You and I would be just as vulnerable.

But I’d also found it very hard to accept that that person would THEN stand for an important elected post.

Having seen a little of how rehab programs work, and having seen how the Liberal Democrats dealt with former, Charles Kennedy, I found that VERY tough to accept.

What’s more, on top of that … ?

On top of that, relationship between Demoys and the Russian nurse — also a recovering alcoholic, who’s trying to help — are nicely written, but flawed, I feel.

The little I know of how 12 step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous work, tell me that having a sponsor of the opposite sex is generally considered to be … well, let’s say it’s frowned on, and leave it at that.


Now, to be fair … ?

To be fair, I’ve not seen ALL of the series: although it seems obvious to me that Episode 3 will see Demoy’s guilty secret coming out.

Either because of his’s victim’s daughter’s investigation, or through the work of the DI Bevanº character.

And, again, trying my best to be fair, the cast are all performing strongly: and the script, per se isn’t bad.

However, for me, personally, I’ve actually found it quite hard to suspend my disbelief, and keep watching Blackout.

As far as I’m concerned … ?

The series is a definite turn-off.

One I won’t be wasting more time on.

*        I’m hoping someone can maybe leave me a comment or two, to correct me if I’m wrong, here … 

º        Andrew Scott who played Moriarty in the recent BBC 1 series, Sherlock.

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