What’s on the telly?

Line of Duty (BBC 1)

When shall we three meet again? On Sunday nights at nine o’clock, that’s when.

The-long awaited sixth series of Line of Duty dropped into our lockdown laps on Sunday night, with millions of viewers glued to their TV sets for early clues in a story that looks set to be long and winding and shocking and baffling. We hit the thick of it early on with a police team all geared up to unmask the murderer of a journalist and then being diverted by a suspicious armed robbery, delaying their arrival at the suspect’s house only to find a young man with Down’s Syndrome under an assumed name. This is Terry, the same young man who in series five had been manipulated into criminal activity and had a body in his freezer. DI Kate Fleming has left the anti-corruption unit (or has she?) and is now working for the murder investigation team, whose boss is frowner extraordinaire DCI Jo Davidson who diverted the team to the armed robbery, the delay allowing allowed the real suspect to get away. Her boss DS Ian Buckells makes a paperwork ‘error’ giving the real killer a three-and-half-hour head start on his pursuers. Are the two coppers in it together? Who knows. Meanwhile, Hastings still has his job but is being snubbed by those at the top and Steve Arnott is sporting a beard almost as big as he is and quaffing beer and tablets for his bad back. Acronyms said really quickly pop up like old friends and add to the fog. Will we be any the wiser after episode seven? Probably not. I’m still trying to fathom the first series. I fully expect Lindsay Denton to turn up like the ghost of Banquo. She could do yet.

Blinded by the Light (Netflix)

Feelgood comedy drama in Luton.

This coming-of-age comedy film is set in, of all places, Luton during the late 1980s. Against a backdrop of clashing cultures, racism and the gulf between parents and their children, it tells the story of a young British Pakistani man who longs to be a writer, against the wishes of his traditionalist father. The boy is buoyed up by the music of Bruce Springsteen, to which he is introduced by his Sikh schoolfriend. He finds romance in the shape of a bohemian classmate, much to the dismay of her aspiring middle class parents. I’m not a Springsteen fan but there is plenty of other music from the era to move this lovely, feelgood, albeit predictable story along. Some beautiful cinematography, creative use of Springsteen’s lyrics as graphics and a funny cameo by Rob Brydon in an 80s wig. Highly recommended.

A New Life in the Sun (All 4)

I don’t wish to scare you but the sea is sliding to the left in this publicity shot.

My guilty pleasure is watching property programmes in which people make life-changing choices. Escape to the Country and A Place in the Sun make me wallow in the scenery and then scream at the television when the couples are rude to the presenters or the presenters are so off-target with the choice of properties you wonder how they got the job in the first place. Having done the Sunday chores, we were filling time before Line of Duty started when we stumbled across an episode of A Place in the Sun. Mike and Louise were trying to find a holiday home near Barcelona. She hated pretty much everything she saw, apart from the first property, and he was equally sniffy. There was a strange, unspoken chasm between both of them. I thought she might have been after him for his money as it was clearly not his personality, although, to be fair to him, she was being a bit of a female dog. It was fascinating to watch, wondering what might be being said off camera. It was obvious to me there was no love loss between them. ‘They’re not going to choose anything,’ Mr Grigg said. ‘They’ve just gone for the jolly in Barcelona.’ But then, at the end of the programme, Ben Hillman announced the couple had decided to make an offer on property one. Well, as they say up north, I’ll go to the foot of our stairs. As the credits rolled, the voiceover added that after returning home, Mike had had second thoughts and decided not to buy the property. Louise, however, had decided to go for it on her own. So what happened? What went wrong? Were they on the verge of splitting up anyway before the production company whisked them off to Spain? Will we ever know?

By Maddie Grigg

Maddie Grigg is the pen name of former local newspaper editor Margery Hookings. Expect reflections on rural life, community, landscape, underdogs, heritage and folklore. And fun.

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