I’d resisted watching the new drama series Industry because it looked utterly trashy – schlocky, I believe is the word – and so it is. But it’s also kinda fun. It features a slew of graduate recruits on the trading floor of an investment bank trying to sell something or other. So far it’s not at all clear what they are selling but I don’t care: the insults are excellent, like the dark side of The Apprentice and the slang is terrific. Here are some snippets:
‘he’s impressed with that US tail ride work you did’
‘let’s go for it in half a yard’
‘offer is five beeps’
‘half a yard done, four cents’
There’s more where that came from, oodles more. I suspect the slang is 100% pure bullshit, but if even one tenth of it is for real, that’s joyous. So yes, it’s a schlocky series but with a main character who’s black and fighting against the odds, you have someone to root for so I’m probably gonna keep watching. Same goes for The Crown, where I’m up to episode 2 and which has attracted some ire by not sticking to the facts. ‘Why don’t they tell the truth?’ lamented the Daily Express, to which the obvious reply is, ‘why don’t you?’ – but also, ‘it’s a drama, not a documentary.’ Episode two in the latest series focuses on a visit to Balmoral by Margaret Thatcher and Dennis in which the Prime Minister is utterly humiliated by not being able to fit in. The beef is that this was totally invented. Well, I have no problem with them inventing things so long as they don’t conflict with the main facts and are more or less consistent with them but the problem I had with this episode was that they over-egged it. I find it totally plausible that some members of the Royal Family would try to get one over on a Tory Prime Minister who was not ‘one of them’ but the rudeness was overdone and as a consequence I struggled to believe in it. They could have done much more with the subtle class distinctions – in fact the class war – generated by Thatcher, not only between the government and the working class but between it and the upper classes whom Thatcher despised almost as much. She was a true priestess of the meritocracy and had no time for inherited wealth or power. Nor have they – so far anyway – brought out any of the difficulties in the Prime Minster’s relationship with the Queen, what with Thatcher being the first female Prime Minister and there being some dispute as to which of them was actually Queen. On the plus side the Diana story is shaping up very well. So we’ll see.
OK that’s us up to date. I now have to return to the novel which today is grinding uphill like a train running out of steam.