It's a sin
When Nick and I conceived Bottom of the stream we saw it as a way for us to watch and enjoy movies together in a way that we always have. Only now we would publish our thoughts and random conversations to the world. Random unknown B movies are some of my favourite things in the world. I would much rather sit and watch some random low budget piece of crap that some epic blockbuster that has cost 10s of millions to make (although I still have time for them too.) However and some of you may struggle to believe this movies are my love but TV is my passion. I don't think you can beat a well made TV show and so Netflix to me was perfect. The ideal combination of movies and TV all in one app.
So I hear you saying why would a podcaster whos podcast is focused on films on Netflix write his first blog post on a TV show that is on Channel 4.
Because HOLY FUCK what a show.
I've been wanting to start writing a blog for the website ever since we started this show and I have just been looking for the right opportunity. And then Channel 4 dropped what to me is the best piece of British TV in years. Over the years I have been a huge critic of British TV. Once you've seen one ITV cop drama about a serial killer or a missing kid (or both in one show) then you have seen them all. And it is not very often that a show comes along and baulks at that and says, no screams, at you. That is not what I am. What I am is a heart breaking, soul crushing, gut wrenching piece of visual drama
That is what Its a Sin stood up and said last Friday when its first episode debuted on Channel 4. I had seen a trailer for it earlier in the day and being a fan of Russel T Davies previous works I thought yeah I will give that a go. Once episode 1 was finished I was hooked then the lady came on and said “the rest of the episodes are streaming on all4 if you can't wait” So on Sunday night I settled down to watch episode 2 and then suddenly 4 hours had gone by and a whole box of tissues was scrunched up around my feet and my life will never be the same again.
Its a Sin features a cast of virtual unknowns in a show about the 1980s AIDs pandemic written by a guy who lived through it. I'm not going to lie to you it is not an easy watch. You will be laughing one minute and be in floods of tears the next. But that is what good TV should do to you. It should shock, it should tell the hard hitting stories and it should be relatable. It's not often that a show is all of those things and more. You will fall in love with it's cast of homosexual characters and there female best friend, You will feel like you have moved in to the pink palace with them and then one by one you will slowly watch there lives get destroyed by this horrible disease that they wont even admit is real. Much like the people who lived through this in the 80s you will watch your new friends die one by one. Nothing is sugar coated here. Nothing is kept from you this is raw emotional TV at its absolute best. I don't want to be too spoilery but there is a scene towards the end where I had to remind myself to breathe.
From Olly Alexanders lead role as Ritchie Tozer (not the kid from IT all grown up) via Callum Scott Howells loveable Colin and Lydia Wests stand out performance as Jill all the way to Keeley Hawes incredible performance of mother in denial Val, every single person in this show is awesome. each individual performance bar none is award show worthy. I saw a post on twitter earlier today that suggested that BAFTA should add an award this year for best ensemble cast because to deny any one of these guys an award for there performance in this would be a travesty and I couldn't agree more.
As a child of the 80s ( I was born sometime during episode 1 of this show) I should have grown up being educated about this I should be fully educated on what AIDs and HIV is but the plain and unfortunate truth of the matter is I learned more during these 5 hours that I ever did in the previous 39 years of my life and that says it all about the way the AIDS epidemic was handled by the politicians of the day. These people were dying in there thousands every day but lets sweep that under the carpet and pretend it isn't happening and that is the only sin I see here.
Finally to put things into perspective and because I've educated myself since watching this show. Nowadays HIV if managed by medication can not be transferred from person to person even during unprotected sex. And health secretary Matt Hancock recently said that by 2030 HIV will be all but eradicated in this country. That is excellent news but by then that will have taken 50 years. Covid-19 had a vaccination in lass than 1.
In summary, if you haven't already go and watch ITS A SIN. Its the best piece of TV to come out of this country in years.
Love you all