Posted by: Paul | June 17, 2010

Father And Son

No, not another post about parenting. Nor about the Cat Stevens / Boyzone number. And no World Cup post today either!

Last night we started watching the new ITV drama, Father and Son, which was broadcast four nights in a row last week. This is a disconcerting trend in broadcasting – I struggle to find an hour a night to fit a drama in, let alone follow something for almost an entire week, so thank goodness for the convenience of PVRs and being able to watch what you want, when you want…how did we get along with VHS before?

Anyway, my overwhelming feeling watching this was that it’s an Engliah attempt at producing something on the level of The Wire. And you know what? It’s not half bad. Ordinarily, trying to ape something so universally lauded is an exercise doomed to failure, but there’s an English grittiness to the inner Manchester setting that is all our own and lifts it above mere homage.

Michael O’Connor (Dougray Scott) is an ex-Manchester gang lord making a new life and a new family in Ireland after a lengthy stint in prison. The son he left behind in the city, who refuses to have contact with him after the murder of his mother (we don’t know the exact circumstances of that yet), is implicated in a murder over a gang war he has never been involved in. Thing is, his son Sean is a good kid who has never been in trouble, and is the innocent victim of an elaborate scheme set in motion by a former associate of his father involving guns, prison, and a kidney transplant.

I think this could be a winner. It’s got the same dual focus as The Wire – Police on one side, gangs on the other – and the quality of the script and performances so far falls into the box marked ‘tough and uncompromising’. Looking forward to the rest, but I really don’t see why they couldn’t have scheduled this weekly? No need to rush it out in advance of the World Cup, quality is worth waiting for.

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