July 31


The New Wife review- a hellish reunion for one man and his exes


Cat Behavior

Shouting, mistrust and jealousy are what happens when you move in with your current and former partners, children and cats. Also, another reality Tv hellhole that is Darkness

” Could you ever live with your partner and your ex ?” asks Kieran Bew, narrating. Er, almost certainly not.

” Would moving in together solved in your acrimonious relationships, even if your ex and your partner don’t get on ?” Let me think about that one. OK, thought about it. Again , no. And what are you even try?

That’s what Ashleigh, Matt and Donna are doing in The New Wife( Channel 5 ). Ashleigh strolled out on Matt with their daughter. There is a lot of bad feeling between them about how the relationship ended. Now Matt has another daughter with his new partner, Donna. Ashleigh and Donna clearly loathe one another.” Can these three find a way to live and work together for the sake of the children ?” asks Kieran.

Is it really for the sake of the children, I’m wondering? And is it possible, if they can’t be reached over access themselves, that they could discuss it with some kind of mediation, maybe with the help of the law, if it came to that? Save them all having to move in together for a few weeks. Call me a cynic, but it is almost as if conflict is the desired outcome and that it could be less for the sake of the children, more for the sake of television entertainment.

Anyway, Matt, Donna and baby Grace turn up at the house where Ashleigh lives with little Bella. And, immediately, there is tension between Ashleigh and Donna; if they were cats their backs would be arched, their hair on end, and they would be hissing at one another. Actually, there are a couple of cats in the house and that is a problem for Donna: she was told there wouldn’t be any and she is worried about them being there with the newborn and her breastfeeding. I am not sure if that entails she is worried the cats are going to steal her milk, latch on, one on each breast, and then attack Grace because they haven’t had their fill.( We are talking regular domestic moggies , not big ones like Siberian tigers, say .) I think if the cats hadn’t been there, Donna would have found something else to have a go about.

Anyway, it defines the tone for the week- and the display. Ashleigh and Donna are at each other, shouting , not listening; resentment, mistrust and fur fly back and forth between them. Face to face they say one thing; behind each other’s backs, something different. Not getting any respect seems to be the main gripe( not just for Ashleigh and Donna, but also for everyone these days, have you noticed? It’s all about respect ).

Matt bouncings between them, hopelessly and miserably, or sneaks off for a crafty smoke. Oh, and then Ashleigh and Donna form an unlikely alliance and gang up on him; I might even feel sorry for Matt if I wasn’t too busy feeling sorry for myself for having to sit through this.

Just when it appears as if things are never going to get sorted out, they all suddenly see the light, set their differences aside and start being nice to each other. It is all one big happy family. It’s a familiar narrative: after the conflict, solving- and justification for the show’s existence. Hey, don’t be cynical. And don’t forget: it’s for the sake of the children.

From one hellhole to another: in Darkness( Discovery Channel ), three strangers are set separately into an abandoned mine complex in Death valley. They have a week to find each other, discover a cache of water and food, and plot a way out. It is pitch black in there, did you guess?

From a survival point of view, it is an interesting idea, but, as TV, there are obvious issues. Even with infrared and thermal-imaging tech, all we insure are monochrome figures in the shadows. Which would be fine if our human moles were entertaining or hilarious. But firefighter Michael, paramedic Stephanie and bushcrafter Jason were obviously picked more for their ability to survive and find their way out, than their TV personalities. A minotaur would have livened things up. Even only a load of rattlesnakes in the food box. Yes, that works- because they would have been able to hear them.

I had questions that weren’t answered- about toilet arrangements and sleeping. Was there any hooking up in the dark ?, I wonder Hey, you know what would have improved it? If Stephanie had previously dumped Michael for Jason and had children with both of them, and she had to get out for their sakes. New Husband Love Tunnel. With rattlesnakes. Now we’re talking.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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