Edge of Darkness Part II, and the Equalizer

by Suw on July 1, 2003

I meant to post about this yesterday, but the time seemed to slip away from me, roughly like today has.

Watching Edge of Darkness on Sunday was a bit strange, I have to admit. There were a few things that struck me about it: how you’d never get away with saying to a cabbie these days ?Wait here for 10 minutes?; how harsh the ring of the old rotary phones was; how much nicer red telephone boxes were than the perma-vandalised ones they have now; how different London looked 18 years ago.

But the main thing that struck me about it was the pace. Or lack of it. I hadn’t realised how we’ve become so used to our tv dramas being so fast moving, so full on. There were whole scenes in Edge of Darkness where, and take a deep breath now, almost nothing happened! And it was so quiet – quite often there was simply no incidental music. As a result, I found myself really not concentrating on what was going on.

Maybe that’s just because I’m finding it hard to concentrate on anything at the moment, as I’m a touch on the stressed side. Or maybe it’s just that our 30-second culture has had more of an impact on me than I had ever imagined it could have. I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person who’s capable of coping with something more subtle and intelligent than the diet of soundbites and shtick that we’re usually fed, so it was a little alarming to find myself missing the pace, missing the tension, missing the overblown string section discordantly upping the emotional ante.

Of course, I guess maybe there is another explanation. Maybe it was just dull.

Next week, I shall put that all to the test and will watch it all a lot more carefully. I really hope I don’t discover that I’ve been brainwashed by high-speed tv.

Actually, I did start on this process by watching The Equalizer. I used to absolutely love The Equalizer. Back in the 80s I had a crush on Edward Woodwardwardward which I never really understood at the time. Now I can see that not only was it the precursor to my love of Inspector Morse and John Thaw, but was basically because Robert McCall was the only well dressed character in the entire series.

Jeeze, but 80s styles were appalling.

Anyway, yes, another programme with a distinct lack of pace and incidental music. Not to mention fairly ropy script and some pretty dodgy acting. It just doesn’t really compare to Edge of Darkness in terms of subtlety and finesse. If Edge of Darkness slipped poison in your coffee whilst you were watching the waitress, The Equalizer whipped out a semi-automatic and gunned you down in public with several hundred witnesses, all of whom saw precisely nothing.

Still, it was vaguely entertaining, and I guess that’s what counts.

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