The action and events which take place in TV programmes are never going to be what would happen in real life because it’s a drama and has to engage the audience watching. However there is a balance between being carried along by things which could never really happen because you’re so involved in it and it being beyond credibility. Mostly I watch these shows, knowing they’re unreal, knowing that there are all sorts of errors and mistakes in them, but not minding because the story, or the characters or the acting or the location keep me involved. I can forgive inconsistencies, lack of continuity, and factual errors so far but when they become so noticeable, and then become a distraction, then a detraction, that’s when i stop watching.
I started watching ‘ Grantchester’, an improbable series about a 1950’s vicar cum detective because I know Grantchester very well, it’s a small village on the river just south of Cambridge. I’ve swum along the river which runs through, canoed, punted, picnicked, walked beside it… So I have a good reason to watch. In the first three series there were so many times when I muttered to myself ‘well, that wouldn’t have happened‘ – for example, men embracing. In the 1950’s men did not embrace, only a firm handshake was what even close friends exchanged. However, it’s such a likeable show that I continued watching and was pleased when series 4 was announced.
The first episode of the new series started with the vicar and a police inspector waiting in a car; a man appeared and they got out and the policeman attempted to arrest the man. There were no other officers there, just the vicar and policeman who was waiting for the suspect. Later, the policeman and the vicar, at the police station were in an interview room interrogating another suspect – no-one else was present, neither of them took notes. It seemed to me that this was utterly implausible. It would have taken hardly anything to have another actor as a constable, he wouldn’t have had to say anything, just be there. There were other things which happened which just didn’t seem likely, even though everything was very well acted and the costumes were beautiful.
I shall keep watching; sometimes it’s nice to have something which is pleasant and not too challenging when you’re winding down and getting ready for bed… so I will keep watching, and I’ll try not to be too nit-picking and critical!
My featured image shows my mum on a boat on the River Cam – this would have been taken about ten years before the story was set.