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Southcliffe, Channel 4, 9pm various days

tvWe stayed somewhere with no Wi-fi earlier this week. Lovely Daughters rediscovered the joys of swimming, sports, cycling, and terrestrial television. Bargain Hunt anyone? (Lovely Daughter #2: “What’s this??” Oh dear, it’s the sort of thing people used to watch before there were different channels to choose from.)

Lovely Daughter #1 rediscovered the concept of communal space and ventured out of her room to watch terrestrial TV. Oh, look, she’s watching Southcliffe. Quality TV drama, I have been led to believe by the Radio Times. I wonder what she thinks? Maybe we can bond through shared opinions of TV programmes and I can encourage her to express her critical arguments on paper/screen.

“You watched Southcliffe last night,” I say. “What did you think?”

“Not very good.”


“Everyone dies. So it’s pointless.”

“How can everyone die?  You’ve only got up to Episode 2.”  I look more closely at the Radio Times.  “Oh, it’s about a serial killer.  Anyway, do you want to write a review of it for me?”


“So I can post it on my blog.”

[Rolls eyes.]

“Everyone dies in Macbeth,” I persevere. “Is that pointless?”


“Do you even remember what happened in Macbeth?”

“Sort of. There was a floating dagger.”

“Did you like it?”

“No. They talk funny.”

Now, Lovely Daughter #1 is, I am told, a level 8c in English. This is pretty good. This is about the top level you can get at the end of Year 9. I am not sure how this has happened, as she never willingly reads a book. I can only give all credit to the wonderful Miss Hamilton for this. But I am not sure where this leaves the future of the delights and mysteries of the English Language, as my level 8c seems to sum up her opinion on everything as “dunno”.

So this morning I sit down to catch up with this “superb”, “compelling” drama on 4oD (well, that’s what MSN said). And, oh, I see what Lovely Daughter #1 means. In the words of Lovely Daughter#2, “What is this??”

I sit through three quarters of episode 1. Then I can’t bear it any longer and Google it. Have I lost my sense of taste? Have I missed something?

Newspaper reviews seemed to love it.

But these people had it better sussed:

So this is not so much a share of Southcliffe as a share of comments on Southcliffe, which summed it up thus:

“Not a patch on The Returned.”

“How can something with no story have even been commissioned?”

and my favourite

“As we spotted the fake SAS early on we’ll press on as outside the sun shines.”


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