Sympathetic Characters – Generally Speaking

Pray for us

Gave a BBC period piece a shot, and it was okay.

If you know what it is, I don’t have to name it.  If you don’t know what it is, then I don’t want to name it.

Speaking generally, it’s a spy show in which we are supposed to care mightily about what happens to an old Bolshevik couple that has outlived their usefulness to the cancerous ideology they helped to bring about.  It’s an odd thing, this unspoken understanding that we would want anything but the just desserts to come to this old couple.  They feast with the wealthy in Warsaw as the Germans begin prowling about the Polish bushes, and aside from being old, we are given no reason to care about them.  They are parasites who cheered as a regime took the reins of their mother country, and cheered as their king was martyred.  They delighted as children, their betters in every way, were slaughtered in a basement.

I’ve no idea their ultimate fate in the show.  The alien mindset of the writers was too off-putting for me to stick around for more than three episodes.  Maybe the old couple gets what they deserved in the end.  Maybe they wind up spirited off to America, there to do to my countrymen what they did to theirs.  It doesn’t matter – I don’t care.

Ultimately, that’s the worst thing about the show.  It is a spy game set weeks before the Wermacht outflanks the Maginot Line, and all of the drama rises from the most casual understanding of history.  None of it comes from the events shown on screen.

Let me walk that back. There is a Polish thug, a towering and gloomy figure who speaks little and says an enormous amount.  I want a show about THAT guy.  I want a show about the Catholic Polish facing their own Alamo, pinched between two atheistic murderous regimes.  He’s the real hero of the show, and they relegate him to a few cameos because they don’t understand people or heroism.

It’s all just so gross.