Occasionally a TV series leaves you thinking, what the hell happened there? and the latest Beeb drama, FatherMotherSon, was one of these. From the trailer I thought it looked a bit trashy but as OH and son frequently tell me, I make up my mind very quickly about things. I’m tempted to retort, ‘that’s because my mind works faster than yours,’ but I restrain myself.
Well! I’d like to review it for you but that would be asking a bit much at this point. What I experienced was a load of very short scenes, seemingly unconnected with each other and involving a variety of characters and locations. I realise that short scenes and seemingly unconnected characters are a staple of TV drama these days, but this one seemed determined to push the trope to its limits and the effect was bewildering. An American businessman arrives in England, an older journalist (stereotype of the old-faithful dogged type, except this one’s a woman) resigns from a media corporation while everyone watches her silently, a woman accepts a gift on the river bank from a homeless man and they embrace. Various other characters spin around in situations too fast to recall, like faces on a merry-go-round. Eventually it transpires that the American businessman (a stereotypical asshole) is the young man’s father, arrived to take over the media corporation and show his son what a terrible job he’s been doing, and the woman is his divorced wife and the young man’s mother.
Some journalist takes pictures of the mother embracing the homeless man and sends them to the father in an act of blackmail. This is supposed to be a terrible thing but I was thinking, who cares? So your divorced wife embraces a homeless man – so what? Then the young man goes up to his huge, soulless plate-glass penthouse, orders a prostitute, has weird sex and in the morning is seen snorting cocaine before going down to his car. He then has a meltdown: crashes the car, screams, bleeds, vomits, collapses, then drags himself up in the lift whereupon he screams, bleeds, vomits and collapses in the doorway. In the final scene he is taken to hospital where for some bizarre reason they cut off the top of his skull (are they trepanning?) before removing the skin to expose the brain. Why? None of this makes any sense! And unlike other dramas which may not yet make sense but you have confidence that they will, I have no confidence that this will become comprehensible – and worse, nor do I care.
I may watch an other episode out of sheer dumb curiosity but unless it improves radically I doubt I’ll stay the course.