What to watch on TV

There’s lots of great TV to watch which is perfect for these cold, dark evenings when all I want to do is snuggle up on the sofa with my crochet. On the weekend I watched The Swimmers which is about two professional Syrian female swimmers who make the trip from Syria to Germany as refugees. They cross the sea to Greece in an overcrowded dinghy and have to spend hours swimming in the ocean to prevent the boat from sinking. It is frightening to watch.

There’s a scene in the movie of a mountain of lifejackets in Greece left by the hundreds of thousands of refugees who made the journey. I wondered if this was true so looked it up and indeed it is: The lifejacket ‘mountains’ of Lesbos. I guess it’s too much to expect the people smugglers to have a conscience and take them back for the next group?

What has happened to all the life jackets now I wonder? Are they still there? An article from 2019 suggests they were still there then and amounted to about 12,000 cubic metres of waste. Another article from 2018 reports how they are being repurposed into other items. I couldn’t find anything more recent than 2019.

We also watched The Crown recently and I was a bit disappointed by it. I felt the other seasons were better. In previous seasons they weaved Royal family dramas around historical events like the Suez Canal crisis or the London Fog. This series felt more like a soap opera with too much emphasis on the marital problems of Charles and Diana which, frankly, I’m not particularly interested in. I felt Diana’s character was lacking in substance too. Diana did so many good things for charity when she was alive but this series had her sitting watching TV for much of it. I also felt the Queen was poorly cast. Perhaps I couldn’t get past Imelda Staunton as Umbridge from Harry Potter but I found her portrayal to be unfriendly and lacking warmth.

One show I highly recommend is The Hour, another brilliant TV series set during the Suez Canal crisis that depicts the BBC struggling to report the news freely at a time when the BBC was banned from reporting for 14 days on any topic that was about to be debated in parliament. Can you imagine that? Those are the topics exactly that should be debated and fortunately this rule was scrapped in 1957. We take our free press for granted here but it wasn’t always this way and I suspect we are now an exception in a world where most of the press is not free. We have fantastic journalism in the UK especially investigative reporting. And of course we are all free to criticise our leaders as much and as often as we want.

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