By Any Means episode 4 review

Burton and Taylor review | She couldn’t get enough Dick

Published by jamdog on 22nd July, 2013.

Burton and Taylor review

BBC Four

As part of their ground breaking season The Century’s Great Love Affairs – the Shit Parts, the BBC present Burton and Taylor a one-off 90 minute drama focusing on the couple when they were no longer sexually attractive, in a relationship with each other or doing any good work. Who wouldn’t want to watch that? The year is 1982. Richard and Liz announce they are appearing together in a production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives. In acting terms this is about as exciting as Louise and Jamie Redknapp announcing another round of Thomas Cook adverts but this was never about acting. This is about Richard (Dominic West) and Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) – just the very idea of them.

Yes,  just the idea. Because the reality is of two washed-up tubs of shit living off their reputations. Taylor is pissed up and pilled up and Burton has been phoning it in for years. She’s forgetting her lines, turning up late for performances and generally playing the Hollywood diva card fate dealt her like a pro. Although the audience loves the first night he’s angry because the crowd want a window into their relationship, not the play. No such conflict exists for the critics who unequivocally say they’re stinking the joint out. Now there’s tension between them. Although they both have other partners there’s still something there. In her case alcoholism, in his old man achey limbs. This truly was a great love affair – 20 years before all this shite.

Although they both have other partners there’s still something there. In her case alcoholism, in his old man achey limbs. This truly was a great love affair – 20 years before all this shite.

Things come to a head when she misses a night and 90 percent of the audience just piss off – not even bothering to check out the understudy. It confirms everything Richard had feared. To retaliate he marries his broad in Vegas leaving Liz to read about it in the papers. She retaliates by bringing a parrot on stage and mugging to the audience. Well at least they kept their dignity.

The clear message from the story is we all end up the same way: fat and shit on some stage somewhere, past glories behind us,  half-crippled with arthritis, in love with some dumb broad we know will destroy us.

As moderately futile 90 minute explorations of the ex-factor go, I suppose this is alright. You certainly can’t fault Pest or Bone’em Carter, both doing good work with some pretty thin material. 6 months after Private Lives he was dead of a brain haemorrhage and she lived to drink another day. The clear message from the story is we all end up the same way: fat and shit on some stage somewhere, past glories behind us, half-crippled with arthritis, in love with some dumb broad we know will destroy us. Next week, Coleen Nolan and Shane Richie: how the dream died.

The verdict: Not strictly necessary.

Marks out of 10: 6

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Burton and Taylor
Author Rating
2

Related posts:

Tags: , Categories: British drama

Facebook

Like the review? Try the e-books

Comments are closed.