Personal Affairs BBC 3 review

Personal Affairs BBC3 review

Published by jamdog on 27th November, 2013.

 Personal Affairs BBC3 review

BBC3

I often wonder if guerrilla script editors hijack scripts like these, inserting cunt dialogue to sabotage their success. How else would you explain in an otherwise promising opener lines like “I am so up shit’s creek without a hobnob!” and “Ian’s still in his chateaux in fleur-de-la ponce!” and then “I’m worried about Grace. Am I being paranormal?” I don’t know if it started with Shirley Valentine with its “marriage is like the Middle East – there’s no solution!” bollocks but cunt dialogue is everywhere these days. Its aim is to be thought of as “eminently quotable!” in that eminently unquotable Kathy Lette/Diablo Cody/Sex and the City style. “Wassamatta boys?? Can’t handle a bunch of independent ladies who tell the troof ’bout MEN??” Yes, that must be it. Nothing at all to do with you being the distilled essence of nause.

“Cunt dialogue is that eminently unquotable Kathy Lette/Diablo Cody/Sex and the City style. ‘Wassamatta boys?? Can’t handle a bunch of independent ladies who tell the troof ’bout MEN??’ Yes, that must be it. Nothing at all to do with you being the distilled essence of nause.”

Enough of that shit. Flirtations with cunt dialogue aside, Personal Affairs is pretty good. Created by Eastenders scriptwriter Gabbie Asher, it follows the fortunes and follies of four PAs in a bank in the City of That London.

First up we have Baby Spice, Lucy (Laura Aikman): she’s the ambitious blonde Essex girl with a head for figures and a shit builder husband Bob (played by Eastenders nomark Joe Absolom). Will anyone realise this twat could be an associate of the firm one day? My money would be on “yes but not after several heartbreaking near misses and moments where she almost gives up altogether”

“The subtext is that if you don’t offer unqualified support to this man-hating professional cocksucker then you’re a BASTARD who HATES INDEPENDENT WOMEN. Got that?”

Then we have Ginger Spice, Grace (Olivia Grant). Assistant to the eccentric Texan Rock Van Gelder, Grace seems to have the perfect life but in private she is an emotional wreck who leaves stalky messages on a lover’s answerphone. What’s up with that?

Next up Posh Spice, Nicole (Maimie McCoy). Sultry, gap toothed and slutty, Nicole is a Primark Big Suze from Peep Show, Big Flooze if you will. Big Flooze inadvertently shags Bob the Builder in the lift without realising he’s Lucy’s husband. The programme publicity tells us that she “uses poor men for thrills and rich men for their wallets” and in case you’re in any doubt yes, the subtext is that if you don’t offer unqualified support to this man-hating professional cocksucker and endorse everything she does then you’re a BASTARD who HATES INDEPENDENT WOMEN. Got that?

“Will anyone realise this twat could be an industry standard singer/dancer one day? My money would be on ‘yes but not after several heartbreaking near misses and moments where she almost gives up altogether’.”

Moving on, we have Sporty Spice: Midge (Annabel Scholey), the non-conventionally attractive scouse brunette with a heart of gold and… oh fuck we really are in Shirley Valentine territory aren’t we? Midge is a singer/dancer wannabe whose true talent is being able to sing and dance to an industry standard level like Mister G from Summer Heights High. Will someone realise this twat could be an industry standard singer/dancer one day? My money would be on “yes but not after several heartbreaking near misses and moments where she almost gives up altogether”

“Given that there was a metric tonne of exposition to get through in this first episode, they’ve done a pretty good job.”

Bringing up the rear is Scary Spice: Sid (Ruth Negga). A gorgeous mixed-race goth, Sid’s just a temp at the bank and is pulling some kind of insane revenge heist with Crawford, her sexually dysfunctional bipolar borefriend. I remember the Ethio-pie Negga from Criminal Justice. She really is a remarkably tidy piece of flan. If you’re reading this, Ruth, the answer is “quite possibly”.

OK, so cunt dialogue aside, I like this. The characters aren’t quite as punchable as you have every reason to expect, conflict and intrigue are set up well and there are some strong supporting characters propping up the principles. You can only hope this develops into slick, frothy fun with occasional moments of poignancy – something like Hustle mixed with Coupling. Given that there was a metric tonne of exposition to get through in this first episode, they’ve done a pretty good job.

The verdict on Personal Affairs: Could be a keeper.

Marks out of 10: 7.5

 

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Personal Affairs BBC3
Author Rating
3

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