Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Help an hour of my life's been stolen: ITV's Drama season kicks off

ITV are class if nothing else. The network that brought us Sherlock Holmes , Midsommer Murders and the great voyeuristic drama Diary of a call girl, kicked off it's drama season tonight. All during the bits of the World Cup  Adrian Chiles bored us with , we got to see the princess and the PURRvurse veg in her bedding, we also got to see the dramatic best bits of IDENTITY, the new ITV cop drama meant to get us all excited about identity theft. Well just to make sure we didn't forget it was on, we got several trails on Corrie and in a presumably unrelated story line, Sean and Michelle create a fake facebook account using Liz MacDonald's identity to see if Violet has posted any pics of her baby son .....Sean's kid,  keep up people ......I'm sure it will all end in tears.

Now in real life an identity thief gets your credit card and books a flight to Warsaw , buys a flat screen telly and tries to empty your bank account. Once he's done or you've reported your cards compromised, the party ends. To build a programme on such a thin premise requires a lot of suspension of disbelief and some cracking good writing.

So did that happen?

 Identity finally starts with an OTT  dramatic  situation  in which the police try to keep a man from committing suicide over a man named Smith .....  He' hasn't done nuffink  Guv  honest  it was all Smith.....He hates me, he wants me ruined..... Ok so we get it , whackjob out for revenge of some kind.  It gets better, seems our victim was in Afghanistan and saved some  soldiers life, he's well hard, that's why he tried to kill himself with a sniper rifle yeah.... And the aptly cast Keeley Hawes plays a DCI based almost entirely on Alex Drake formerly of 1983 (Identity theft). She has worked hard to create an Identity division  and by gum  it had better work warns her boss.... she even has a broken detective she's brought in from the cold who spent 10 years under cover working with the Bulgarian mafia or something. Whatever you do,  warns the gaffer, don't try and fix him , he's past his sell by date, yeah we get it , don't get close, don't sleep with him , don't be surprised when he screws up.

The look, pacing and acting of this drama are a near perfect copy of the style of Spooks ( MI5 for you Americans), oh my  Identity theft again! They even have the gadget guy and the woman who goes through bank statements and web sites, thrilling I know.  The only problem is, however you light, act, and film this, the script is some of the worst writing to hit our screens since some first year drama student wrote a Harry Potter fanfic . Over the top speeches, wholly unbelievable dialogue delivered in bad pantomime style reminiscent of mob films about London in the 80's, written by people who live in the country and eat nothing but veg. It gets worse, the so called plot , if you believe it, is that the bad guy has done this before, he steals a person's identity to torture them as they spend the rest of their natural lives in prison or commit suicide. His latest victim spends the ep looking like a deer in head lights  gibbering about how this person knows everything and he's a waste of space and deserves to be dead. Well yes , I don't disagree, but I though you're supposed to sympathize with the victim?  Half way through the hour I lost any interest I may have had in any of the characters or the denouement of the story.  I think they arrested the son of the geezer the veteran rescued in Afghanistan. Seeing as most identity thieves are anonymous, almost never caught and not psychotic vengeance mad mental patients, I don't see how this expensive, well cast , badly written badly acted  ITV detritus will survive the next few weeks. Bottom line is that I didn't give a toss about any of the characters at the beginning and cared even less when I tuned out.  With luck it will be quietly moved to a later time slot and sold off to a market where this sort of thing looks good compared to repeats of Columbo. On the Vogon Poetry scale of bad . 10 being where you gnaw your own leg off after 10 seconds, this was at least a 7 bordering on 8.5. Had I not tried to last as long as possible ( 30 minutes adverts included in my case) I would have turned it off after the opening 5 minutes.

The good news is that you now know to plan around this. You could have watched the Well good show, but we already know that's a 10 on the Vogon scale, you could have watched a repeat of Cities of the world  or just taken a walk. Being a divorced Dad I could have watched the BBC thing A Century of Fatherhood, but I think I'll pass as I was having a mostly good day till now. Tomorrow the football returns and the hope of nations hang on the whims and talent of referees and footballers.  Sadly it's ITV's turn to make a hash of the coverage yet again, so I'll   just be tuning in for the kick off and forced to  migrate to five live for commentary. Come on you Oranje, we all want a Holland Germany final.

Before I forget, Digital spy reports that

Johnny Depp has been linked to a movie version of Doctor Who.According to website Tor, an article appeared on PubArticles which allegedly quoted former showrunner Russell T. Davies.Davies reportedly said that he was in the process of developing a Doctor Who movie and promised that the Daleks would be involved. However, the article was later removed.Tor has now claimed that sources in the film industry have confirmed that Depp will star in a Doctor Who. It is unclear how genuine the reports are as Davies has previously said that he has no plans to make a Doctor Who movie. film, which would be released in 2012.
This from the same site that couldn't get the weather right if they stuck their heads out the window. Digital Spy make The Sun look like the Times of London some days. All I can say is, better be as accurate as all the other equally imaginative Who rumours floated in the past.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for that! I had a feeling it wouldn't have any content worth watching that we hadn't already seen in the trailers.

I appreciate your hard work, taking one for the team, so I didn't have to sit through it!

Mietek Padowicz said...

My pleasure Gav.