Talk is Cheap

Talk To Me b

No-one Said It Would Be Easy … (Retrospective Catch Up #1)

The Other Viewer and I have recently finished watching Talk To Me, the recent Sunday night drama offering from ITV. Told over four weeks, it was a tale of complex and interweaving love stories that were anything other than straighforward.  I always have a bit of a problem with Max Beesley because every time I’ve seen him (in recent outings here, in Hotel Babylon and in the much-acclaimed Bodies) he always seems to be playing exactly the same character, a velvet-voiced Mancunian with some inner turmoil that never, ever reflects on his face.  Some say “wooden” but I wouldn’t be so cruel.  May be he’s still traumatised from his fling with a Spice Girl.  Anyway, Max played a talk radio DJ (Mitch), a serial shagger who was secretly and, eventually not so secretly, in love with the fiancee (Claire) of his best friend and colleague (Woody), who himself was the unwitting object of the affections of his production assistant (Faith).  Mitch’s sister (Kelly) was suffering in a loveless marriage (with Scott) and ended up pregnant and arrested after a fling with an underage pupil (Aaron) at the school where she worked and Claire’s best friend (Ally) was getting more and more depressed after a string of unsuccessful one-night stands until she ended up with Claire’s boss (Harry).

If that’s your idea of an engrossing storyline, Talk To Me was probably right up your street.  To me, it was like a visual realisation of a Mike Gayle novel with all the wit and warmth removed.  The production style was pretty typical of its contemporaries as the scenes were shot in that oh-so-familiar steadicam style, with a grainy, gritty feel to it.  The musical score was somewhat abbrasive too, as modern pop/rock songs blared out to signal the end of each scene, although I suppose it added to the radio theme that formed the backdrop to the script.  What kept me going, though, were the performances from the three female leads, Laura Fraser as Claire, Emma Pierson as Ally and Kate Ashfield as Kelly who all added depth and a certain sadness to their troubled characters.

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