2018-10 October

It is spring Down Under, with longer days and warmer nights, the birds and bees and blooms doing what comes naturally. I prefer writing in spring and summer when I can close down the house, crank up the air-con and hibernate through the heat until it passes – lovely!

I have caught up on some TV shows like Killing Eve and Call the Midwife, both of which were entertaining in very different ways.

I found Killing Eve mesmerising for its unexpectedly subversive dynamic between Eve (the investigator) and Villanelle (the assassin). It messes with your head when the murderous bad girl alternates between being endearingly sweet and deliriously vicious as she ‘does her job’, i.e. creatively killing people. At the end of Season 1, the only way Eve manages to stay alive is by playing on Villanelle’s penchant for women (her singular weakness, it seems) long enough to slip in the knife, to betray her. In terms of queer visibility, do we really need another psychopathic lesbian on film? Admittedly Villanelle has a certain charm, but seriously? It’s been done.

In wild contrast is Series 6 of Call the Midwife which finds Patsy and Delia ‘riding off into the sunset’ together at last. I have enjoyed watching these two nurses wrestling with the perils of being queer in the 60s. The plot and script were very respectful and gentle with the development of their story and its final denouement. It’s a pity we won’t see more of them, but ‘happily ever after’ always means the story’s end. No real nurses were harmed in the making of this queer sub-plot, yet it reminds us of the many who struggled to stay sane, find love and maintain decent relationships, no thanks to ignorant folk. And yes, I did once know two such nurses who, despite the naysayers, came through love intact.

Is any queer visibility a good thing, or can we afford to be a tad more discerning these days? Happy spring/autumn, YLW.