Years and Years and Years and Years

Just when you think there can’t possibly be any more TV drama quite as good as the series you’ve finished watching (and yes I know Killing Eve is coming back but you’d have to be under a rock not to know that) along comes Russell T Davies to knock you off your feet and turn you upside down and spin you round and round. Years and Years is quite simply astonishing drama. A pinch of Black Mirror, a dash of The Thick of It and oodles of what can only be called Russell-T-Daviesness, that unique quality that he brought to Dr Who and now splashes all over this slightly futuristic drama, make this highly watchable. Emma Thompson plays against type as a nasty Katie Hopkins-ish politician, part of the political backdrop to the story of the Lyons (definitely a reference there) an extended family including a left-wing political activist, a politically naive and rather annoying wheelchair-user (good to see him casting against the usual angelic type there) and a housing worker who falls in love with a Ukrainian guy. These stories of gay love, deportation, exploitation, technology and Trumpian politics take place against the backdrop of a banking crash which propels the father (Rory Kinnear) from rich householder to cycle courier forced to decamp with his family to his mother’s (Anne Reid) huge house. Two storylines culminate in a devastating denouement in episode 4 – and it’s not over yet! There are two more episodes and since they haven’t put this up as a box set we’ll have to wait. As God intended. And quite right too.

Back in what we are pleased to call the real world, the Queen must be having interesting times trying to make conversation with You Know Who. This Tangerine Nightmare is the last person anyone wants over here (except Boris – but did you see that embarrassing video they posted on Big Ben?) but he doesn’t have the sense he was born with. If you really want to take over the NHS the last thing you should do is tell everyone. Perhaps now people will wake up to what the real Brexit game is.

Kirk out

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10 thoughts on “Years and Years and Years and Years

  1. Surely, though, as a Corbyniite, you recognise the sanctity of the Fraudernedum result and want to see Brexit go ahead, lest it lead to the ‘riots’ you confidently predicted in another posting?

    It would follow from this that you think the sale of the NHS to American business interests is a price worth paying to maintain the ‘civil order’ that will be sacrificed if Brexit doens’t go ahead?

    Corbyn asked for a meeting with Trump, but his request was declined – allegedly, because Trump feels his is a ‘negative’ person.

    I find it very painful to be in agreement with the President.

    As to Years & Years…..the concepts are interesting and credible but the execution is lacking. I don’t think any of the characters are relatable or likeable. This woudn’t matter but for the feeling I get that the auhtor intended otherwise. I’m no fan of Mr. Davies – I hated what he did to Doctor Who, filling it with his own prejudices and agendas and his dead hand is in evidence in Y&Y, too. There is something contrived about his presentation of multi-racial families with the requisite gay uncle so that all the PC boxes can be ticked off. And his decidedly camp sense of humour keeps intruding at unwelcome moments (the ‘sex robot’ in the first episode). Murray Gold’s manipulative music doesn’t help, either.

    1. Gosh erm no obviously not. All I’m saying is there’s no easy answer. I think I’ve made my views on Brexit and the NHS clear. As for Russell t d, de gustibus non disputandum eat I guess

      1. You may have made them ‘clear’ but they’re hardly coherent. From what I can gather, you voted Remain but you feel that the Leave vote – a result of a binary choice in which millions of people made their decision on the basis of mendacious promises about money for the NHS, an (erroneous) belief that Britain is ‘governed’ by Brussels, a dislike of straight bananas (‘they’re unpatriotic, y’know’) and a yearning for some mythical yesterday which virtually no-one actually remembers and those who do reckon wasn’t up to that much – should be ‘respected’. No matter that the 17.4 million concerned can easily be shifted in to three categories (the evil, the uninformed, and the genuinely stupid), no matter that the result of leaving the EU will be decade upon decade of economic woe, general poverty (for all except Trump, Farage and Murdoch-types and the ever-prospering hedge-fund manages) and Britain’s collapse into the arms of unscrupulous, non-European business interests: you’d rather that a few tin-pot fools are disappointed and threaten to go on a rampage.

        Well, I can think of many words to describe your attitude: but I think the kindest one might be ‘altruistic.’

        I find your altruism especially moving (if perplexing), given that you have children. I think it’s a very special type of altruist who is prepared to see their children’s lives, as well as their own, blighted by this stupid, and entirely avoidable, act. Because the economic facts speak for themselves: if it’s unable to trade with the EU, Britain will have to prostrate itself before the Chinese and the Americans and accept their terms. And if they want to carve up the NHS, Britain (even a Britain led – by some impossible quirk of fate – by Jeremey Corbyn) will not be in a position to say no.

        Then’s the facts, I’m afraid.

      2. Um well I dare say I am incoherent. We live in incoherent times. I plead guilty to altruism too but personally I want to remain. I’m just suggesting that many people will feel betrayed if we do and that matters. Incidentally my support for corbyn or anyone does not imply agreement with everything they say

    2. Not all supporters of left wing ideas, currently most likely to be pursued by Corbyn although a different leader with the same kind of leaning would be at least as good – it’s not about him but his policies – are pro-Remain. I’m very reluctantly pro-Remain, because I see the EU as a globalist neoliberal club which encourages monopoly capitalism, and TBH I don’t trust them on the NHS much more than I’d trust the US judging by some of the things which have gone on in EU countries in that respect. Nonetheless I did vote Remain because the campaign to leave was hijacked by the Right, which one could to some extent blame on Corbyn and the Labour Party.

      Regarding Years And Years, I agree with you about Doctor Who, and as for much of Torchwood, he basically seemed to nick ideas and even characters from the Buffyverse and shoehorn them into the Whoniverse (although Children Of Men was brilliant IMO). The problem is that without RTD we probably wouldn’t’ve got Doctor Who back at all and after he left, others could repair the damage to some extent. Years And Years, though, is more his show. There is an issue with unrealistically large proportions of gender and sexual minorities in it, as in much of his other stuff, which reminds me of Alan Bennett in that he seems to live in a world where nobody is cishet. On the other hand, it’s best to write about what you know, and he clearly knows that, and there’s the question of redressing the balance where previously everyone was either cishet or a caricature. As for the sex robot, well, I would have to declare an interest there because of my novel, although it doesn’t exactly include them, but they’re out there and raise important issues, to coin a phrase. Nevertheless, Years And Years scores in two ways for me. It integrates something which at least resembles emotional realism with other aspects of technological and social change which feel like they’re proceeding smoothly from the present day into the next decade in a manner which works well for me at least. And I do find the characters likeable. I like the way a generally socially liberal person is swayed by personal contact in the wrong political direction, for example.

  2. ‘Betrayal’ is a fact of political life. How many times have politicians failed to deliver something they promised? If even Tony the idiot taxi-driver from 63 Up can change his mind about Brexit, then others can. The only people who will cause trouble are the people who always cause trouble – like that lovely,patriotic chap who stuck a knife into Jo Cox before shooting her and ensuring that her two daughters will grow up without a mother. Those are the people who REALLY want Brexit. I think it’s our moral duty to make sure that THEY are disappointed.

    1. Jo Cox’s murder persuaded me to vote Remain. Even so, not everyone who dislikes the EU and considers it harmful is right wing. They recognise, for example, that the working conditions which existed in the “U”K thanks to the Trade Unions and Labour governments before we joined were better than the EU’s own regulations on the matter, and that it isn’t so much the free movement of labour as the freedom to exploit people throughout the subcontinent. Also, and we may not like this (I don’t), Leave voters are often motivated by altruism in the sense that they believe they’re doing the best for their communities and recognise the likelihood that they will personally be financially worse off as a result, but consider sovereignty to be a more important issue.

      I haven’t seen ’63 Up’ yet, but these people are not idiots. They have what might be called a vernacular education which may be short on critical thinking, but they are not learning disabled. The studies which established the lower IQ of Right wing voters focussed on the social axis of conservatism rather than the economic side and also emphasised the role of fundamentalism, which applies less here than it does in some other parts of the Anglosphere. I also strongly suspect it was devised in an environment which tends to include many people with socialist tendencies, so the definition of intelligence is likely to be biassed. Having said that, I am myself such a person.

  3. I’m always puzzled as to why people who are politically opposed to the former Foreign Secretary persist in referring to him by his chosen pet name ‘Boris’, as if he was someone they liked and would be prepared to go for a drink with. By referring to him as such, you are unwittingly colluding in his ‘matey’ plan. His name is Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. I refer to him as ‘Johnson’, which doubles nicely as an insult as it’s the American slang word for ‘penis’. Although sometimes I call him ‘Blow Job’.

    1. I call him Boris because of my personal connection with him, and his friends and acquaintances have always called him that. I also recognise his talents in certain areas, which unfortunately don’t include not being a right wing extremist. I’m not on first name terms with him but a mutual acquaintance always called him Boris, so I call him Boris.

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