The Split …when comedy is lost in tragedy and no-one knows (Spoilers)

I got annoyed at the TV this week! It wasn’t the news or Question Time but a TV series Sarah and I were watching on catch up.

The programme was called The Split and it’s all about a family on the brink. There’s several strands to the story.

  1. A law firm in crisis. It’s one of those old fashioned family firms but oldest daughter has broken away in order to join a much larger company.
  2. The family specialise in divorce law -and so there are a number of little stories about divorces and pre-nuptual agreements.
  3. The youngest daughter is about to get married -but will they get to the altar.
  4. Dad who walked out many years ago suddenly shows up again.

The eldest daughter Hannah’s marriage is under pressure, one of the lawyers at the new firm had been in a relationship with her many years ago. He now is trying to get her back after his own marriage ended. Hannah resists but her life is thrown into crisis when it emerges that her husband has had an affair. Continue reading

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A Tragic Victory (2 Samuel 18)

Absalom should not have died that day. It was unjust, avoidable, a tragedy. I’ve mentioned a few times recently the difference between comedy and tragedy. Comedy ends in victory, joy and celebration. The protagonist is better off at the end than at the start. Tragedy ends in disaster for the central characters. Continue reading

Easter and the Unseen Obvious

April 1st is traditionally referred to as “April Fool’s Day.” It’s beloved of practical jokers everywhere.  The idea is that before midday you are allowed to play tricks on people, try and catch them out, fool with them.

One of my favourite April Fools was the day that a newspaper published an article announcing that Ian Rush was about to leave Liverpool to join their nearest and greatest rivals, Everton. That’s almost as bad as someone going from Bradford to Leeds or West Brom to Villa.  Or the time that a friend phoned and managed to convince his girlfriend that he was one of her professors and that he was calling to let Students know that the University’s main building had been declared unsafe and closed down meaning no exams. Continue reading

Easter – Comedy or Tragedy?

I love a good comedy whether it’s a sitcom like Not going Out, stand up provided by Live at the Apollo or a panel show like Mock the Week.  However, did you know that the word “Comedy” didn’t used to refer to a performance, routine or story that made you laugh?

When the ancient Greeks or William Shakespeare talked about comedy they were using the word to contrast with Tragedy. It’s fairly obvious what we mean by “Tragedy.” In Romeo and Juliet, the hero and heroine end up dead, taking their own lives. In Hamlet, pretty much every one dies.  Tragedies have sad endings where things are worse than at the beginning. Comedies on the other hand finish better than they started. For Shakespeare that mean that they finished with a wedding feast (e.g. Mid-Summer Night’s Dream). A comedy may have it’s ups and downs, there will be plenty of tears as well as laughter. There’ll be danger and death. Yet throughout a comedy there is hope.

The Easter story in that sense fits the “comedy” genre. It’s a story of love and courage as Jesus heads towards Calvary. There’s cowardice, desertion and betrayal. There’s tears, and there’s death. If the story had finished on Good Friday with Jesus’s execution then it would have looked like a Tragedy. But the story did not finish there for two reasons. Continue reading

Why Cold Feet disturbed and challenged

I’m just catching up with last weekend’s TV having been in Austria for Hannes’ induction (watch this space for a report). So last night we settled down to watch Cold Feet.

The week before, we had discovered that Olivia, one of Karen and David’s twins was now pregnant aged 17.  This week picked up on the consequences and followed Matthew (16) and Olivia’s intense, heart breaking struggle about whether or not to keep the baby or to have an abortion. Continue reading