I’m over at Threads today writing about The Fall. Here’s how it starts:
“You’ve heard the story you know how it goes
Once upon a garden we were lovers with no clothes
Fresh from the soil we were beautiful and true
In control of our emotions till we ate the poison fruit
And now it’s…
Hard to be
A decent human being”
I watched the first season of The Fall through my fingers, declaring after – or sometimes even during – every episode that I was not watching any more.
The most common response offered around lunch tables and in hairdressers throughout Northern Ireland when someone asked: “Did y’see The Fall last night?” is that it’s very… dark.
It’s very dark. And compelling. And complicated.
And now it’s back, available on Netflix for your viewing pleasure – I use the term lightly – whenever you wish.
I watched the initial through-fingers-episodes because it was set in Belfast. A BBC crime drama/psychological thriller set in Northern Ireland starring Gillian Anderson (from the X-Files!) as Superintendent Stella Gibson and our own Jamie Dornan as Paul Spector, the sexually-motivated serial killer she is pursuing. We don’t often see our streets or hear our accent on TV and we wanted to watch, even as it was hard to watch. It was dark, yes, but it was a change from the usual dark story of our troubled history.
During that first series in 2013, I had a newborn that was sometimes sleeping in the Moses basket beside us as we watched women being tied up. Sometimes she needed nursed, before, after, maybe during Paul Spector’s fetishes. I made my protests and I covered my eyes and I declared myself finished with it. Until the next episode when I started watching over my husband’s shoulder again.
My internal conflict as I watched The Fall mirrored the debate being played out in the media and among critics. Very highly acclaimed by some, just as persuasively denounced by others. Risky, intelligent, feminist. Unnecessarily graphic, repulsive, misogynistic.
Read the rest here.