Monday, February 11, 2008

Lust for originality? Try City of Vice

Have any of you caught City of Vice on Channel 4 (Mon nights, 9pm)?

It really is one of the most original things I've ever seen on telly. Set in 1750s London about the author/magistrate Henry Fielding and his blind brother on a mission to clean up the streets. Because it's primarily based on fact, and facts from the past that you don't hear often, it's like nothing you've seen before. No screen writer on a concoction of drugs could conceive of half the stuff in this drama. The subject matter can be very 21st C; like prostitution, poverty, and homosexuality but it deals with them in an 18thC way (thankfully avoiding the monotony of ceding to politically correct fascism), where a crime is a crime and you pay by the noose.

The episode that dealt with homosexuality (where a Jesuit priest had been killed) midway through had a gay marriage, where the partner dressed as the bride enacted a fake giving birth. I was watching this thinking WTF, then the voice-over starts to explain that it was custom at the time for sodomites to have such rituals. It comes up with all these things you would never hear of normally. Even the character of the blind brother is very unique, using his other senses to super-power effect and leaving noone in doubt of his superiority of birth and disposition.

It even has some CSI: 18thC London tactics. The blind brother smells a herb brewing which can be used to induce miscarriage, from which they deduce the victim's daughter has been raped.

I recommend.


  1. Set up to record the episode that's on tonight...

  2. I wish I saw more TV, I really do. I see almost nothing these days for various reasons. I miss it. Even series I swore I'd keep up with like Ugly Betty, Torchwood and Heroes are starting to slide. I have no control of the TV where I live and I'm almost never there anyway.

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  4. Just to clarify in case i get into trouble cause I'm not sure if it's a faux pas word or not but the sodomite reference is taken from the television programme. Tonight's one was very interesting too, but I'll say nothing if Atreus hasn't seen it ye

  5. I just don't watch tv....people think it's odd, and I suppose it is, I only ever watch if I have ironing to do and then I try to watch a movie, I hate the commitment tv requires, it sucks you in, my time is rally precious and I try to value it as much as I can!