Sunday, October 21, 2012

MI 5

Kind of forgot to blog for a while... now I am blogging about something utterly unimportant but need to get it out of my system.

I've been watching MI-5, aka Spooks, on Netflix for a while, and finally got to the last episode this evening (though I'm not 100% sure the show is over, the last episode was from 2011, so I guess it must be?  Though BBC shows sometimes take gaps it seems).  I really do enjoy the show.  I love the BBC in general, always have.  I think that they have better actors, given England's great theater traditions, and that they cast based more on talent than looks (as opposed to TV in Hollywood).  But the talent makes the actors more attractive, even though in general the actors are more average-looking (there are still plenty of pretty people, the percentage just isn't quite as unnaturally high as it is on American shows).

But.  I did get tired of the Americans always being the bad guys.  I know the show started in 2001 when we were getting involved in stupid wars and stuff, but, we remained the bad guys all the way through til the end.  Is this revenge for revolutionary war movies that make the Brits evil (even though the American settlers came from England?), or for all the bad guys having British accents in Star Wars (but so did Obi-Wan!)?  Really, when I think about it, British characters in American movies are more likely to be the good guy these days, especially WWII movies.  Traditional villains are more likely to be Nazis, communist Russians, or lately, Middle Eastern.  Just like the rest of the villains on MI-5...

In general, the show seems kind of obsessed with the American shoddy treatment of England and the formerly "special" relationship, which seems to have been downgraded.  Like high school girls where one used to be more popular and then the other eclipsed her, and now the formerly more popular one is obsessed, but the currently popular one couldn't care less.  Even in a recent episode, Ruth scoffs that one of the passcodes at the CIA is "1776."  Frankly, I find that unlikely, and if I pulled all of my ideas about Great Britain from watching this show, it would appear that they're still more upset about that whole revolution thing than we ever were. 

Also, the UK has ABSOLUTELY NO MORAL HIGH GROUND over the US  historically.  How about several hundred years of imperialism, so much so that "the sun never sets on the British Empire"  was the saying.  India.  IRELAND.  Nuff said.  OK.  So stop acting all holier-than-thou about American policies.  And really, the show considered a "special relationship" with RUSSIA to be morally superior to one with America?  I mean, I know we have our problems over here, but RUSSIA?  Land of Vladimir Putin?  Whatevs.  At least you had a more even portrayal of Mid-East politics than American shows do.

Also, some of the American accents just sucked monkey balls.  Sarah Caulfield in particular--I think she was supposed to be from Boston, but when I first heard her speak I thought she was supposed to be Irish (not coincidentally the birthplace of the actress who portrayed her), then maybe? southern?, but never really Boston.  Nothing against that actress, I saw her in something else and she was fine, but surely they could have hired someone who could really do a proper American accent, or, (heaven forbid!) an actual American?  I think the poor American accents stuck out to me because in general the acting is very good.  Or maybe because I can't hear if someone's doing some sort of UK accent poorly.

Finally, my last point.  This is sort of moot because if it really bothered me that much I should have just stopped watching the show, but, it was just so GRIM sometimes.  I mean, I should have known from that early episode where that poor lady gets her head deep fried (nearly stopped watching after that, it freaked me out so much), but really.  I doubt security services really has that poor a track record where multiple people in the same department die each year.  I think you'd really be doing your jobs wrong if you had a record as bad as that.  But maybe I just am unaware of just how many spies die each year (which I would have to be, I suppose).  Couldn't any of the characters just have had happy endings?  Like, hey, this job was great, but I'm ready to give it up now and become an elementary school teacher, or whoops I'm pregnant, bye!  or smell ya later I'm gonna go vacation in the Galapagos for a year and then start a new career as a dolphin trainer! or I met this girl and she's awesome and I'm gonna movie to Cardiff and coach a kids soccer team!  No, everyone had to die.  Violently.  And finally:  [SPOILER]

WHY DID YOU KILL RUTH?!?!?! For fuck's sake.  Unnecessarily grim.  You couldn't have given Ruth and Harry a happy ending?  Harry could retire and garden and play the stock market or whatever, maybe even take up a new hobby like water polo or something, and Ruth could do her new job, living in that cute house, maybe they could even have had a family,  who knows.  I don't buy this whole "We're not meant to be normal happy people" crap.  I'm sure they could have managed fine if they'd given it a try.  OK, goodbye MI-5.  I enjoyed watching you, even though you infuriated me.