Friday, February 15, 2008

Snooker Loopy Nuts

The gorgeous Keeley Hawes and her amazing pink nosed puppies...
I’m loving Ashes To Ashes.

I’m loving the music – Visage, OMD, Vangelis – though I’m a little perturbed by how many of these quintessential eighties tracks I still play regularly on my MP3 player. Stuck in a time warp? Who me? (Have I gone back in time? Am I in a coma? Am I insane? Etc, etc...)

I’m loving Gene Hunt’s interrogation techniques – pin your chosen scrote down across a snooker table, spread his legs, line up your cue and slam the pink into the top corner pocket.

Pot black indeed.

I’m loving the clothes and the make-up – white jackets, red and black colour combos, hair swept back on one side, Siouxsie Sioux eyeliner.

But most of all I’m loving Keeley Hawes as DI Drake.

The woman seems to be constantly drunk. Not that she’s a hard ligging boozer or anything; she’s just totally intoxicated by her circumstances...

Unlike Sam Tyler who experienced his time in the 1970’s as a bad trip – all paranoia, angst and the fear – Drake is living her time in the 1980’s as a lucid dream. Her ethos seems to be, as this is all happening inside my head I can do whatever the hell I like.

The result is interesting. It gives her character a tragic-positive spin as she flirts not just with those around her but also with the entire eighties construct that her mind has created whilst retaining an awareness of how badly some of the events she is now reliving actually turn out.

It gives the show a far lighter touch while at the same time allowing it to probe deeply into the blacknesses that lurk on the edges of Drake’s psyche – the death of her cold, calculating, career minded mother for one thing. Drake’s childhood was obviously very dark and I think a few more ghosts are going to come out of the woodwork before the series ends to challenge her glib responses to her predicament.

Yes, in relation to Life On Mars, Ashes To Ashes, is undoubtedly formulaic but to my mind it’s a formula that works. Ashes To Ashes is essentially a mirror to Life On Mars – its missing, long lost twin – with Gene Hunt acting as the bridge between the two. DI Drake is the yang to Sam Tyler’s Yin. The light to his dark. The female aspect to his male.

Quite where Gene Hunt fits into this faux Eastern philosophy I don’t know.

I’m just hoping that DI Drake has the good sense not to challenge him to a game of bar billiards after work...

16 comments:

TimeWarden said...

Another cracking episode and very funny with it, especially at the beginning. However we earn a living, whether as landlord of a pub, marrying into royalty or even enforcing the law, we are indeed all prostitutes. And in the 80s, Mrs Thatcher was our pimp!

Did you spot the cameo from Steve Strange, of Visage, behind the bar? Enjoyed the music, too, though it is a little distracting when you want to start singing along, and annoying for those with whom you're watching!!

Steve said...

Mrs Thatcher as Huggy Bear...? Hmm. Frightening! I did indeed spot Steve Strange and the reference to Boy George! I have to admit the music is distracting. I only have to hear an intro and I can "name that tune in one"... I'm sure I've annoyed Karen once or twice by talking over the next piece of dialogue in the show by exclaiming "ooh, that's so-and-so, I haven't heard that in ages!"

Reluctant Blogger said...

Oh yes, she was just so sexy. I love the off-the-shoulder attire. I insisted that we watched it in Carcassonne. Perhaps not the most romantic thing to have done on the evening of Valentine's Day but hey, a girl has got to have her fix!!!

And yes, I kept talking over it saying "oh that's so and so" and yes, some of the music I hadn't heard in ages and it took me right back!

How is your eye now?

Steve said...

Hi Gina - wow! You made sure you got your fix of Ashes To Ashes in Carcassonne? Now that's what I call devotion to a cause! Hope you're having / had a great time.

My eyes aren't too bad now - still a little pink and bloodshot and rather crispy around the edges... but getting better! ;-)

Flaming Nora said...

I'm also enjoying A-2-A very much too. The music brings back so many memories! (too many!)

Steve said...

I know what you mean, Nora - it's actually quite distracting; especially for an old "eighties-head" like me!

Old Cheeser said...

I missed it unfortunately - well it was Valentine's night wasn't it! Hopefully it'll get repeated on BBC3 or something...

Liked your Chaz and Dave title! That's one 80s group I bet DOESN'T crop up on the A2A soundtrack though...

The Hitch said...

Ai yah
Im making some cds for eve and everything is at least 5 years old

Steve said...

You'd be wrong there, OC - Gertcha featured in this very episode with Gene Hunt doing a congo to it. It was very disturbing.

Hitch - only 5 years old? You're Mr Modern compared to me. I'm still listening to stuff that's 20 years and older!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

How come 80's batwing sleeve fashions look so good on Keeley Hawes but so bad when you see them hanging forlornly in charity shops!

And not many women could get away with blue eyeshadow and still look foxy either.

Agree with you that she's taking an interesting approach to how she plays the character Steve.

Matthew Rudd said...

Anyone who has Visage on their mp3 player is okay by me. More bands should make videos depicting a man's chest being cut by a fingernail.

Steve said...

Ah batwing sleeves... that brings back a few memories, Laura. Not that I ever wore one or anything... I must say that, gorgeous as Keeley Hawes is, I'm not loving her hair...

Matthew, if only that was the benchmark for all music videos...

Old Cheeser said...

Oh noooooooooo!! Chaz n Dave in A2A?! They are surely scraping the bottom of the barrel already...

Then again I guess one could term it "ironic"...

Steve said...

Hey OC, at least it wasn't "Rabbit"... ;-)

The Sagittarian said...

So, this is some kind of serious version of Kath and Kim?

Steve said...

Hoi Amanda, don' get my goat, pacifically it's nothing loik Kath 'n' Kim...!