Some series take a while to get into their stride. I wasn’t sure about Motherland at first but it’s really grown on me, especially now series 2 is up. Motherland is about a group of delinquent mothers plus one stay-at-home dad and their struggles with a rival group of yummy-mummies, not to mention the bureaucracy of the school and the demands of their respective jobs. Anna Maxwell Martin, fresh from being the smug boss in Line of Duty, plays a Julia, a harrassed mum who is always late, always rushing, always dropping her kids off at school with the wrong shoes or without their swimming gear, and with the most selfish husband imaginable. In series 2 she refuses a promotion on the grounds that she’d be doing three people’s jobs instead of one, and sets up on her own as a ‘mumpreneur’. At the same time yummy mummy Amanda (Lucy Punch) has set up a ‘store’ (‘it’s not a shop’) selling the kind of overpriced tat Fran used to sell in Black Books, and an online campaign starts against the ‘yummy-mummification’ (great phrase) of the high street. It’s full of surprises and of course you’re always rooting for the delinquent parents against the yummy-mummies.
One of the reasons I like Motherland is that it’s anti-aspirational. These are not bad parents; they do genuinely care about their kids but they’re running a race they can’t particularly be bothered to win. What’s not so good is that I’m feeling the same way about the Labour Party at the moment. Do they really care about winning or are they just content to sit about in opposition and bleat a bit at odd moments? The polls for today’s elections make depressing reading and I’m going to have to force myself to go out and vote because I really don’t have much enthusiasm for it right now.
Yesterday was the 200th anniversary of the establishment of The Guardian. In true self-deprecating style they didn’t make a huge fanfare about it but they did release a special inset including articles from key moments in the past such as C P Scott’s 100th anniversary editorial which includes the phrase ‘Comment is free; facts are sacred.’ There was also a facsimile of the very first edition on May 5th 1821 with adverts on the front as was the case with all papers then. So that was interesting.