Thursday, 5 April 2012

Review – Ed Reardon's Week

Writing about writing is a bit like masturbating in public – more enjoyable for those engaged in the activity than any unfortunate onlookers.

Whenever I encounter a story/film/whatever where the main character is a writer past experience teaches me to expect nausea and self indulgence. The temptation for the off switch had always proved manifest.

The radio 4 series Ed Reardon's Week has hitherto been the exception that tested this rule to the limit. The series has proved funny and enjoyable. The self styled curmudgeonly author is a brilliant character.

So discovering a new series at least had me heading for the BBC iPlayer. With a back catalogue of seven magnificent series I was delighted to discover an eighth. Alas this time the rule about writing about writing seems to have kicked in. The authors having now run out of ideas are repeating themselves and, like most repeats, they've became tedious. Plots have become meandering and unfocused.

While series eight might not be so bad when compared with other comedy shows it's past its glory days. It's so sad for it to end this way – in such disappointment.

This new series looks like having a significant role for Jenny Agutter as Fiona. She does a sterling job but, great actress as she is, she cannot rescue the series from its oncoming mediocrity. She seems to have attached herself to the series just when it went past its sell by date. Most unfortunate.

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