Saturday, 13 April 2013

L'amour du Jour

I like nothing better in life than to settle in on a Friday night with a glass of wine, some snackables and something decent lined up for my viewing pleasure.  Not very rock n roll I know, but then I have never pretended to be any other way.  At least not since my early twenties.

As time has gone on I have grown to appreciate the art of the television series.  As I have discovered over the years, for someone with  a very short attention span, a good television series is perfect for holding the attention in palatable portions, avoiding the risk of investing 2 hours in a film that may slowly rot the mind.  

My time is too precious to fill with the average.  I have my favourite films which hold a special place in my heart and I tend not to risk new ones unless I am sure they will reward me (or unless it's a recommendation from someone who knows me very well)

One of my favourite television writers is David Renwick.  Best known for creating the characters of serial grouch Victor Meldrew in One Foot in the Grave and magician's assistant unwittingly turned 'supersleuth' Jonathan Creek, one of my favourite shows of all time (think Midsomer Murders directed by David Lynch) 
Step forward Love Soup.  One of the less well known of Renwick's creations.  A comedy/drama which ran for 2 series between 2005 and 2007.

 Our protagonist is Alice played by the brilliant Tamsin Greig

Alice undertakes a soul destroying 2 hour commute every day from Brighton to London where she manages a small perfume concession in a large department store.  Outside of this rather mundane normality, she navigates her way through a myriad of whimsical and surreal encounters with TV producers, actors, writers, businessman, necrophiliac playwrights, political activists and generally some of society's most interesting and non conventional characters. 

In Series 1 we also meet Gil

He is an American comedy writer who's many hang ups often render him catatonic with anxiety and self doubt.
He is Alice's soulmate, but, will they ever meet?

Of course not!  This isn't Notting Hill!

The recurring themes in Renwick's work are social awkwardness, the insanity of the world around us, the darker recesses of the human mind, the vacuous nature of showbusiness and celebrity and the fantastical within the mundane.

  There are also clear literary and cinematic themes running through nearly every episode.   The story of the week will often unfold in parallel with a Samuel Becket play, a poem by Edgar Allan Poe or the plot of a Marx Brothers film.

 And, just when the landscapes of leafy Victorian terraces, trendy wine bars and theatres start seeming a little too cosy, Renwick will throw you a curveball in the form of a killer ventriloquist dummy, a random suicide or Ronnie Corbett in drag. 


A touch of traditional retro glamour is added by Alice's perfume counter colleagues Milly & Cleo (Montserrat Lombard & Sheridan Smith - always good value)


 The delicious soundtrack of crackly 1920's jazz and a stellar supporting cast of very familiar faces make this as close to perfection in TV land as is possible to get.

Yep, there is no denying that his work speaks volumes to me.  David Renwick strikes me as the kind of child who would have searched for the Faraway Tree.

Thank you David for sharing your reality with me



  1. I think I must have seen a snippet of the Ventriloquist's dummy one because it rang a bell with me but I think I must have turned off because those things creep me out!x

  2. I LOVE YOU!

    At last someone else who remembers and appreciates Love Soup! I loved that show. I can't understand how it seemed to slip under the radar...I mean, it's not rocket salad is it ;)

    1. Ha ha, I thought you might like this one. Good old Cleo! :)

  3. I love tv series, sometimes you need a break after the kids are gone to sleep but watching a whole film is impossible! I love tv series and this one sound intriguing and whimsical! I knew Tamsin Greig in Episodes, she's great!
    Love xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. I adore Tamsin Greig and so is The Stylist. We're mad keen Black Books and One Foot in the Grave addicts. I LOVE the look of this program, but clearly it's going to be one just for The Phoenix and I, however I love it when the kids are in bed and we can wallow in the wonderful and completely insane world of mass-murder, serial killers, black-black-black comedy and the generally unsuitable. I love the pic of the two characters in the cinema, clearly NOT impressed :) Thank you for sharing something new - I'm hunting that one up now! xoxo

  5. I'm sold! As someone considering getting rid of tgheir TV, I know exactly what you mean about being fussy over how to spend your time glued tothe box. I'm actually excited about this show after reading this. I haven't been engrossed in anything for ages. I don't always have to enjoy the story, set or premise of a show, it can be the costumes or just one character sometimes. That was true of 'An American Horror Story'. I loved the styling of it, and the subtle black humour often missing from American series.
    Cheers for the tip!

    Lucy x

  6. Oh no! We don't agree on something! I hated this, though admittedly I would just watch Sanjeev with the dummy, that looks hilarious. I do really try to make my tv watching count nowadays,although recently I've turned into a Breaking Bad bore xxx

  7. Great pictures! Love the blog!

    Lets follow?


  8. This looks really good. I'll have to check it out. I used to love Jonathon Creek.

  9. I am not up on a lot of Tv programs not really watching it seems to take up so much of ones time. I do watch a little at the weekend though. I have to say that puppet is rather freaky looking. Just to say that I have started up my new blog be lovely to see you there, dee xx

  10. How intriguing!

  11. I've never heard of this series, but I do love it when you find a good one to love, although I'm not very good at remembering to watch every week I normally forget and then end up buying the box set which is great as you don't have to wait for the next episode..

  12. This sounds (and looks!) very interesting. I don't pay much attention to TV, but I haven't given it an honest chance, either. I can see how it could be a great art form, though. I think the only series I've watched through that really struck me as a work of art is Twin Peaks. Then again, that may just show how little I know. ;)

    Great images!

  13. Wow. This looks SO GOOD I'm going to find it immediately and swallow it whole. Thank you!!!

    Sarah xxx

  14. I love this show, and anything he touches is TV gold. I don't believe it!


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