Tag Archives: murder

Telly Tuesdays : The Ice Cream Girls

Last week I looked forward to the conclusion of ITV’s 3-part drama, ‘The Ice Cream Girls’. In previous episodes, we were introduced to Poppy, a quiet woman just released from prison after serving a long sentence for the murder of a teacher when she was a teenager. She had been tried alongside her friend, Selena, whose lawyer mother ensured that she was found not guilty. The episodes use flashbacks to explore the question of who was really to blame for the murder of a man revealed to be a manipulative abuser of young girls, as well as the impact of the event on the girls’ lives as they have grown up. Selena has since achieved a good education, married and had a child, while Poppy’s fractious relationship with her stepfather and feckless mother leaves her isolated upon her release.

Throughout the series it is impossible not to feel sorry for Poppy, both of the excellent actors portraying her at different ages left in doubt that she was innocent from the beginning. Her desire for affection clear from the first scene involving her mother, who betrays the cardinal rule of parenting by choosing her husband over her child. I found her the most irritating character in all this, she displays no hint of backbone while her husband remains hostile towards Poppy and it becomes easy to see why the teenager was so open to manipulation by a man willing to give her attention. Like mother like daughter I suppose. Yet the lack of a resolution once (spoiler alert!) Poppy’s innocence has been proven is incredibly frustrating. The much loved younger siblings whom Poppy has repeatedly asked for return, and yet there is no comeuppance for the man who has always believed in her guilt, or for the woman who excluded her eldest child from a family meal.

For Selena, her sense of guilt worsens as the story progresses, though it is unclear until the conclusion whether this is due to lies in the courtroom or the lies told to her new family, who know nothing of her past. Again the young actress portraying her teenage self shines in the scenes involving her abuse by a teacher.

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Telly Tuesdays : Broadchurch

I’ve decided to make a change to my categories, as writing about travelling just made it more clear to me that I’m not going on holiday anytime soon. So instead I’ve decided to switch to another major interest of mine, television. Yes, the majority of the programmes that I watch are via iPlayer, Netflix, YouTube or Sidereel, but it still counts as TV, plus I work unsociable hours so the only other option is to turn off my brain and make do with Jeremy Kyle.

For the past 8 weeks I’ve been ever so slightly obsessed with an ITV crime thriller called Broadchurch, a detective series in which Olivia Colman and David Tennant investigate a small community after a young boy is murdered. The best elements of it were the dual allegiance of Colman’s character, who is an active member of the community and mother of the dead child’s best friend. At first she refuses to believe that anyone within her community could commit a murder, yet over the course of the series she begins to doubt herself. I have loved watching Olivia Colman since I saw her playing the scatterbrained mother Harriet Schulenburg, and I still don’t feel like I’ve recovered from Tyrannosaur – arguably the best film I’ve ever seen that I never want to see again. She is perfection, so I knew I wanted to watch Broadchurch as soon as I saw that she was in it.
Then there’s David Tennant as the distant and blunt detective with the failures of a previous case and as well as a serious illness weighing heavily on his mind. Plus he’s my favourite Doctor Who, so enough said really.

But the series did have its problems. At times it felt like I was watching some sort of sequel to Hot Fuzz, complete with comedy accents, a token outsider and Colman back in the police station. And by the end it seemed that the writers were fixated on creating every character into a paedophile (not so much like Hot Fuzz). But either way I love a good puzzle, so was immensely proud that I correctly guessed the killer from the first episode, even if everyone else did too.

That was the main failing of the programme, in such a small community there are only a certain number of people that you can paint as a suspect before the one person that no one suspects becomes glaringly obvious. I won’t spoil the reveal for anyone who has yet to watch, but the reasons behind the child’s murder are equally dubious, and many elements of the investigation are left unresolved (WHY was Danny arguing with the postman!?). However it has been announced that there will be a series 2, so it will be interesting to see how the writers work around the complete lack of serious crime in rural Dorset coastal towns, unless the people of Broadchurch are just very, very unlucky. The closing moments of the series seem to suggest that the two detectives, who were the only three dimensional characters anyway, will move on to pastures new to escape the demons that Danny Latimer’s murder unearthed.

It wasn’t perfect, but it kept me hooked.

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Wednesday’s Got Issues: Syrians are massacred and the UN doesn’t care

Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik

This week it seems that everyone has begun to talk about the unrest in Syria, particularly in the city of Homs, but that’s all that they are doing, talking. I’m not going to pretend to know all of the details regarding why President Assad is murdering his own people, or even why the UN and various governments seem reluctant to take action against a violent dictator. However, as I recall, the action against Colonel Gaddhafi was a lot more decisive and swift, and I refuse to believe that any governing body can think that it is preferential to do nothing.

Today the main story has been the deaths of American journalist, Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik, an undeniably tragic occurrence for people who strived to tell the stories of those without a voice. Hopefully the high profile nature of this news story will spur the authorities into action against Assad, who, according to Colvin’s final report, has been purposely attacking densely populated civilian areas and refusing to allow anyone to leave. However, it should not be the sad deaths of two dedicated professionals that inspire our world’s leaders to aid the suffering Syrians, the very fact that a government was murdering their own people should have been enough.

As I understand it, the hesitation is due to the strong Syrian army, powerful position of the country’s leader and, probably, it’s ownership of oil (please correct me if I’m wrong). But the fact that it may be a challenge to overcome a terrible regime should not be a deterrent. Many Syrians have died in their efforts to attain freedom, and their sacrifice should not be in vain. Call me crazy, but the entire United Nations against one administration doesn’t sound like much of a fight. I can’t understand what they are waiting for, do they think that a homicidal tyrant is simply going to stop his vengeful attack? Or are they waiting for all of the dissidents to be murdered and for the country to return to a dictatorship, so that they can return to the more important matter of rewarding the bankers that caused a global recession?

Hopefully our world leaders will grow a backbone soon, for the sake of the Syrian people.

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