Daily Archives: December 19, 2010

Casualty: Nick vs Ruth – this time it’s personal

(Series 25, Ep.16) Have you noticed how, whenever anyone of note arrives in Casualty or Holby, we always see their feet first? Generally it’s high heels stepping out of a car, but occasionally it will be a firm, manly tread arriving in the hallowed corridors. “Who’s that?” we’re supposed to ponder to ourselves. However, this time I didn’t, because even by his feet ye shall know him – hurrah! Nick Jordan is back!

And not before time, as Dr Ruth Winters is, quite frankly, out of control. The rest of the staff wasted no time in filling Nick on on her various crimes, the greatest of which is, of course, ousting Charlie up to the Psych Ward (to work, not as a patient, as I always feel I have to point out). Despite offers from other hospitals, Nick decided that he really ought to stay put at Holby, because what Ruth really needs is a worthy adversary, and he is such a man.

There’s nothing like a worthy adversary to make you up your game, though, and Ruth called in a favour from her sort-of husband (the one who’s trying to pretend he’s not gay), who immediately managed to offer Nick a surgical post in the hospital. I’ve no idea what the hierarachy is supposed to be in that place, when doctors can just find each other jobs without apparently having to go via the board or HR or anyone. And has a surgeon ever been appointed at Holby in recent years without having to fight Jac Naylor for the post first? (Yes, I know it’s a different programme, but it is supposed to be the same hospital).

Nick is wise to Ruth’s little game, and has said he’ll go to the interview as long as Ruth reversed several of her more irritating measures. It’s warming up to be a great battle between those two.

Meanwhile, Lennie resorted to desperate measures to try and find a bone marrow match for his sister, but despite some not terribly ethical or legal business involving taking blood tests without patients’ consent, he was eventually forced to tell her that he wasn’t a match, and now she’s gone back to Scotland.

Adam and Maverick Nurse Kirsty kissed, but as usual with Adam the relationship looks doomed to failure, because it seems her horrible husband has muscular dystrophy, and she feels obliged to look after him.

And Yuki has gone to Birmingham, for good! I’ll miss the little fella.

Posted by PLA                   (more Casualty posts)

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The Archers: Dodgy sexual politics in Ambridge?

Listening to The Archers omnibus this morning, I found myself getting increasingly incensed by the appalling mothering of Kate and loony behavior of pregnant Helen, having a right old go at a bewildered Tony, as she threw her metaphorical steriliser out of the pram (and since I imagine she plans to breastfeed, I was confused that she even bought one, especially since it sounded, via radio, to be bewilderingly huge). I even tweeted about it.

Then a friend, and fellow omnibus listener called, and said how cross she was that the writers are ‘presenting women facing difficult choices’ as being so crap and so mad. ‘Oh bloody hell yes, it’s not real,’ I reminded myself hastily, and deleted the draft emails to Social Services.

So I contacted the Diva of Archers blogs, Qwerty, (and the reason, after a ten-year absence, that I even listen to the show again) who gave me permission to trespass on her regular Pauseliveaction patch and have a rant. Please bear in mind I’m not as regular or attentive a fan as her.

But this morning, after pausing for thought, I did feel my friend has a point. Helen and Kate are characters created by the writers of the Archers, and hells teeth, if you cease to be annoyed by how whiny, selfish, narcissistic, passive-aggressive and ghastly they both are and remember we are hearing the voices of actors, speaking lines written for them, you do start to wonder if there is some misogyny afoot.

The character of Helen (or ‘Hell-en’, as Qwerty calls her) is pretty unrelentingly unlikable. Could we not have an over-arching storyline about either her, or single parenthood, that does not start from the basis that someone choosing to have a baby on their own is not stark staring bonkers and thoroughly unpleasant to boot?

I know this is supposed to be a traditional, conservative rural community, but I’m still hacked off that, when Brian Aldridge brought home the child of his dead mistress, Jenny not only had to put up with the humiliation, she also seems to do all of Ruairi’s childcare.

Then we’ve got the gruesome Kate, the most careless mother in the world, leaving her offspring willy nilly across the globe, all of whom are distraught at her inability to keep her children on one continent at the same time.

Come on Archers writers, will you stop writing storylines that kick women in the teeth? Can we muster something good, positive, constructive? If you need a really good example of a show where women, and particularly older women (Candice Bergen as Shirley Schmidt), are written fabulously well, with lots of character, lots of power, lots of sex and chutzpah, go and watch Boston Legal. Then do please, buck up.

Posted by Inkface              (more Archers reviews/rants here)


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