Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Ashes to Ashes: half in love with easeful death

I didn't really take to Ashes to Ashes when it started, but this third season has been very good, and tonight - the first part of the grand finale - was some of the best writing I've seen from the BBC for years. Some lines in A2A have always been clunkers, and there were a few tonight, but overall I think the writing is quality. The dialogue isn't super-witty or daring, but there is an oblique edge to every conversation. The camera-work, acting and direction were all good too.

I think some people may dislike the overtly metaphysical (or you could say supernatural) tone that is creeping in now, as reality breaks down. I agree that this type of spooky stuff can be crass and ponderous, particularly when delivered by very cheap BBC special effects, bless 'em, but I thought the sincerity of the acting and writing overcame this problem.

It is hard to know what Gene understands about himself or the world. He and Keats don't seem to have normal interiority, and this adds to their unearthly quality. When Gene says 'Do you remember lads when we were cast out of Paradise?' you understand the function of what he says in the show - that he's referring to Heaven and/or Manchester - but you can't really deduce why he's saying it, or what kind of thing he believes he is. I think that's very clever. Similarly you literally can't model any longer whether Gene is good or evil - I think you just can't. And yet you like him. In this way the show is really pushing you into a corner. I also notice that the actors are increasingly looking right at the camera, out of the telly at you.

When there was a knock at the door, two minutes from the end, my son (who claims not to be watching) shouted 'I bet that's Sam Tyler'. I bet it is next week.
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