Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Some TV Is GOOD!

Image courtesy of The Telegraph
Taking one of my niece's blackboard reminders from my previous post, I have to say that last night,  BBC's first installment of a five part documentary, showed how good TV can be.
(You can read the full story if you click on the link in the caption of the photo, or if you're quick, you can watch it on iPlayer HERE)

Three families each spent a week living facsimile lives of  three very different Edwardian families -  lower, middle or upper class - their houses cheek by jowl on one street, but equipped according to status.

There was no going back to 21st century lives each time the cameras stopped rolling. Oh, No! The pattern of their lives followed their historical counterparts twenty four seven.

The younger children from the upper class household had a full time Nanny, and their parents soon realised how at odds with present day family life this arrangement was, with only a couple of hours interaction per day between parent and child. Nanny was a substitute for both mother and father.
Father lead a somewhat lonely life of leisure, but Mother and eldest daughter, incarcerated at home, almost died of boredom - until they discovered the delights of bicycling.

I think the two youngest of the middle class children were below school age, but they were the most traumatised to begin with, when their father suddenly turned into the strictest of ''My word is law, and children should be seen and not heard!' kind of parent. In fact, it was not long before he chose to ignore the given script, and cuddle his small son. Their teenage daughter was co-opted to the role of a virtual unpaid servant, there to assist Mother in the running of the home, while Father spent a long day working as a clerk in a local government office.

But the unwary teenage daughters of the lowest class home had a rude awakening, when they realised they needed to work to supplement the family income, for their father had no permanent employment, but had to go out into the real world each day, to find any casual work he could. The eldest girl was taken on as a scullery maid in the 'rich' house two doors away, while her sister and their mother, took in washing to earn a few pennies.

Although this lowliest family of the group had the hardest task to survive on the pittance they earned, their teamwork  served to give them a true, family spirit, and despite deprivation, it became clear they had the most rewarding emotional life.

Children from the other two classes would have been lucky, back in the day, if they managed to survive emotionally, with virtually no parental loving as we understand it today...

I can't wait to see next Tuesday's installment of the series.

15 comments:

  1. Do you know? Harry & I really enjoyed that programme.
    BBC1 does do some good drama.
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm sure this has been broadcast before. However, good television programmes always benefit from another airing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. No, this is a new series. The last one, about two years ago, didn’t have the same class distinctions between ordinary families – it was all about shopkeepers!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I need to look for this. It sounds fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
  5. In other words Jinksy, we don't know we are born these days.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Penny...We get BBC America, and I can't find that program listed on our schedule, but I will keep looking.
    Hugs and smiles,
    J.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't have a TV, Penny, but I would have liked to have seen this :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How about using "BBC iPlayer" on your computer?

      Delete
  8. "...and their parents soon realised how at odds with present day family life this arrangement was, with only a couple of hours interaction per day between parent and child."

    I suspect a lot of today's parents will draw parallels, though. Nurseries, pre-schools and 'after school' clubs, etc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But at least in 2012 they are allowed to kiss, cuddle and communicate with them when they are together! The kids in the documentary were deprived of all that loving contact, just as they would have been back in Edwardian times.

      Delete
  9. It was wonderful. I saw an interview with the 'posh' kids (who ended up being the poor family in week one)and they seemed to have learned a lot from the experience. Can't wait for the next installent.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love your synopsis of the show. I don't think I could have survived not having personal contact with my children...sounds like a very intersting show.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We have a 'reality' program as such are called here, where wives are swapped for a week (except no bedroom activities) at least on TV. WOW does that ever disrupt a family setting. Usually, the swap will be matched to the deficiencies seen in the family, like children with no responsibility, or guidelines of behavior vs. one with extremely strictand hard rules for behavior, discipline, task, etc. It is not my favorite reality show.

    I mainly watch one call DANCE MOMs where the Wicked Witch is the vastly morbidly obese dance instructor who somehow has a renown studio. Most of her students love her, but feel like, as all classroom settings, there is one who is teacher's pet and receives the choice performance assignments.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Unlike North Americans, you Brits produce some good TV. Last night we watched Endeavour (Morse when he was young), and we have just re-watched some old episodes of Prime Suspect. Inspector Lewis starts with his new episodes on PBS next Sunday. And of course, Downtown Abbey is just great.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Glad the "lower class" family found the true meaning of life. There has to be a lesson there? Money is not everything - Dave

    ReplyDelete

Curiosity Cats can leave a whisker here...but not before noting, please, that I choose to have an award free, tag free, meme free blog. But by all means, talk to me by email - I love to 'chat'...