Thursday, September 17, 2020
I thought the crime drama Des, which finished last night (although, in these streaming days, when does anything truly finish?) was excellent and not just, I hope, because it stirred in me memories of when the horrible details of the real Muswell Hill murders were trickling through in the 1980s.
The media response has been pretty much unanimously positive, although obviously that’s not enough these days. I’m intrigued by the modern model of writing about TV, which seems to consist of watching a show, describing what happens, then transcribing what people are saying about it on Twitter. Clive James it ain’t.
For example, here’s the Daily Mail, reporting that viewers were shocked by Dennis Nilsen’s decision to plead not guilty at the end of episode two. This wasn’t, of course, a piece of dramatic wrong-footing that the writers plucked out of the air, like the death of the Keeley Hawes character in the overrated Bodyguard; it was a historical event. It happened. Back in 1983, it made the news. Now, apparently the fact that some genius took the time to tap out “Excuse me what? My heart dropped in my chest when he said ‘not guilty’. God give these families peace.” is also news.
As is the fact that the main takeaway for some viewers from a drama about a serial killer is that there was too much smoking.