Over the years, I’ve rather fancied myself as a wordsmith, hence the pleasure I get when writing blogs, or articles (much the same thing), or books. I also like to think I bring pleasure to many of my readers in these uncertain times when monosyllables rule, together with monosyllabic grunts, and literacy is going down the pan.
But fear not, every now and then the mould is broken and along comes a wordsmith worthy of the title. I was browsing through the Culture section of the Sunday Times (special request to Rupert Murdoch from David Attenborough and me, stop wrapping your supplements in plastic), and I came across Camilla Long. No, that’s not right, I came across Camilla Long some time ago, I can’t remember why, but she was one of those writers whose names are familiar for no obvious reason. She is also very easy on the eye, but that might be interpreted as a sexist remark, so kindly disregard it.
Anyway, back to the plot, which is more than she can say about McMafia, the jewel in the crown of BBC’s Sunday listings, starring James Norton, the former vicar of Didley, or some such place, and now going head to head with the Russian Mafia, whose very existence is vehemently denied by no less a personage as President Putin, and let’s face it, if you can’t trust Putin, who can you trust?
I watched ten minutes of one episode, so I am hardly an expert. It reminded me of that very disappointing series with Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie, sadly I can’t remember its name, but I have an overriding memory of the seriously emaciated Hiddleston running up and down a beach, and that was it! Who he was running to, or from, was never satisfactorily explained, but I might have nodded off. Whatever else, not my idea of a good night in.
Camilla’s review of McMafia is worth repeating. She describes Norton as obviously bored by his character as a “drippy, dull and unimaginative hedge-funder and clearly uninspired by his rictus-grinning, lollipop-headed “ethical banker” girlfriend.” Camilla cannot endure another minute of pillow talk between “these oxygen thieves” [a wonderful expression, and one I have set aside for my next court hearing] and if this is not enough, she goes on to describe their house as dull, their dinners are dull, they wear dull clothes, they have dull friends and talk about the weather in bed. She concludes her withering review with the comment that McMafia is supposed to be a sexy Sunday night drama, but try as she may, there’s absolutely no sex on offer. Even the prostitutes are told they can take the night off!
So should we!