Tuesday, 9 May 2017


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No, not this police procedural melodrama with its plot-holes, reversals and plot twists but Nordic drama The Legacy, now in Season 3. I love it. Filmed entirely on location, in the sun, wind and rain on a fixed set within the rooms of a large, old and unmodernised house; no soundstage anywhere in sight and with a fixed and established cast of real, complex characters it follows the lives of six young-ish to middle-aged people loosely related, in contemporary Denmark.

The house they all live in was owned by the mother, a world-renowned artist who dies apparently leaving an unsigned Will and as a result, the property and the surrounding rich farmland is inherited unintentionally, by the wrong person. It’s hard to explain why it’s so great. Very well acted: it wins loads of TV Awards every year for almost everyone associated with it; beautifully written and terrific dialogue; thoughtful plot-lines: at the moment it’s all about the problems of trying to farm organically but that will evolve. It’s not afraid of being non-PC . . . which I find very attractive. In the previous series for example there was a lengthy section about Thailand and it was absolutely not afraid to say that the cops were open to corruption and could be bribed. No poncy pissing about.

The Guardian thinks it is soap-opera and other critics consider it visceral; I disagree with both judgements. It is about feelings I suppose but it is so, so intelligent: it comes at things in an original, thoughtful and frequently unexpected way. Who would have anticipated that the wastrel Emil would be the one who became surrogate father to little Melody? But that is what they have written.

I mean, what do you want from radio or television? As I have said on several previous occasions, I don’t actually watch much TV Drama. Some music programming; a lot of Arts shows; occasional documentaries, the one earlier this year about the lack of hospital beds rang a lot of resounding bells for me; the odd film that I may have missed in the cinema. Never watched Broadchurch; pretty much hated Happy Valley; still loyal to Homeland; gave up eventually on Good Wife.

I think what I want is exactly this: real, complex characters trying to hold on to what matters and save whatever they can from the wreckage of their relationships. Like Kiri and her family, really.




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