Daily Archives: March 3, 2010

Holby City: Duty before love

With the folks in A&E overwhelmed by something or other, it was up to the rest of Holby City Hospital, and specifically AAU, to deal with the casualties from a bus crash and a hostage situation.

Cue Linden, Jac and Elliott doing extraordinary things under extraordinary stress, the stress largely due to the failings of their fellow staff members. Michael Spence and Leslie Ash made a total pigs ear out of ensuring that operating theatres, ICU and the wards were emptied of non-urgent cases. New consultant Mr Geddes made a fuss in theatre so Elliott had to shout at him and order him out, then he decided his shift was over and he’d pop off home. Young Dr Oliver Valentine was as much use as a bus ticket on a train.

Faye had earlier had an argument with The World’s Most Beautiful Heart Surgeon, and Joseph had gone off in a huff in the car, with Daisha bagging a lift with the grumpy-yet-gorgeous surgeon. Faye was upset, and what with the pressures of the shift and everything, ended up snogging Linden under a fire escape, as you do. But wait! This was no casual snog – she was in love with him, she reckoned. It was enough to make Linden almost smile. Almost.

But then, when Faye finally tore herself away from Mr Cullen and got back to looking after patients, she discovered Joseph’s blood-stained tie on the floor. News of two more casualties from the hostage scene came in – and everyone braced themselves for one of them to be Joseph. Faye had to rush to the chapel for a quick pray, and a quick bargain with God that if only Joseph was safe, she’d stick with her wedding vows and not skip off into the sunset with Linden.

The first casualty arrived, with a makeshift chest drain poking out of him. Who do we know who could improvise a chest drain on the spot? Joseph! And here he was, alive and well and dealing with the second patient, who was critically ill – and was also the lovely Daisha.

Will she survive? Will Linden let Faye walk back into the arms of Joseph yet again? Will Joseph want her back? How long will it be before Mr Geddes gets the sack and Connie Beauchamp is lured back to Holby? Tune in next week, when all, some or possibly none of these things will be revealed. It is Holby, after all.

Posted by PLA

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In Treatment: Hopping aboard Gabriel Byrne’s therapy couch

I nearly fell at the first fence watching this, firstly because stupid TV scheduling put it on too late for me. The solution has been to  watch it on DVD.  The second problem arose over the fact that there are moments in the first episode when the otherwise gorgeous, chocolate-voiced Gabriel Byrne looks disturbingly like Gordon Brown. It’s the eyes I think.

In Treatment comes in bite-sized, 25 minute slots, and was originally aired an episode per weekday evening. Each features a therapy session between Byrne, playing psychoanalyst Dr Paul Weston, and a particular client. The show is entirely lifted from a  highly successful Israeli series written by Hagai Levi, BiTipul,  which is Hebrew for ‘in treatment’.

I realised early on that, as with The Wire, you need to pay close attention to what’s going on to keep up with the action (or rather, inaction, since almost everything takes place with the protagonists sitting talking to each other). Lots of small things come together to form a bigger picture as the episodes build.

The first series (‘week 1′) kicks off with a session featuring troubled but beautiful Laura admitting how much she is in love with Paul/Byrne. You can’t blame her really, tho’ she looks too young to have seen The Usual Suspects . I have to confess that, having trained as a counsellor myself, I was watching it with a  slightly critical stance, yelling “why aren’t you seeing your supervisor about this?” at the screen. Clients falling in love with a therapist and vice-versa, AKA erotic transference and countertransference, are common enough therapeutic occurences to be sure. What’s interesting, and important, is how the situation gets handled. In this episode, he does not handle it especially well, clinically. But that’s the point – this isn’t a series about how to be a therapist, it’s about what happens when someone is lurching towards a crisis in their personal life and how it impacts on their work.

Here, it sets the scene for an interesting dynamic later in the ‘week’ on day 5, when Paul decides he needs to return to see his old therapist, played very nicely by Dianne Wiest.

In the intervening sessions, we meet other clients, like Blair Underwood as fighter pilot Alex, denying he is traumatised by killing children during a bombing raid. Wednesday’s child is a suidical gymnast, and Thursday we see a couple falling apart trying to decide whether or not to go ahead with an abortion.

The next DVD features Week 2, when we see all the same characters in their second sessions. It’s gripping stuff, and I’ll be watching with more than a professional interest, and I don’t just mean in Byrne.

Posted by Inkface


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Lustbox: Captain Jack Harkness

Considering that John Barrowman is a classic example of a ‘technically fit’ man (i.e. clearly not beaten by the ugly stick but still not provoking dirty thoughts or fluttery pulse), I acknowledge that I shouldn’t really be lusting after Captain Jack Harkness. Especially as all his sexiest scenes are with men.

When Jack snogs Ianto like the world’s about to end (which is more often literally true in Torchwood than most dramas, let’s be honest), well, blimey, is probably the safest response in a public arena such as this. (By contrast, Jack’s flirting with Rose is interesting dramatically, but as stimulating as, um, Paradox, for example.)

And then there’s the palpable homoerotic tension in ‘Utopia’ (Doctor Who, Series 3) when Jack and the Doctor (the delightful, delicious, de-lovely David Tennant) flirt with death – and each other. My tongue goes all funny just thinking about it.

Do I need to state that, generally speaking, men snogging doesn’t do it for me? I liked Queer as Folk as adult drama, but the actual action, as it were, didn’t do what Captain Jack does for me. As Ianto says to his sister, “It’s not men. It’s just him. It’s only him.”

And so I say a heartfelt thank-you to John Barrowman and Russell T Davies (not to mention the member of the production team who found that uniform) – between you, you have made a lot of people – including me – very happy.

Posted by Jo the Hat


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