Sunday, 9 March 2008

What's Wrong With This Colour? - BBC's 'White' Season

For many viewers, the announcement of a new season of programmes regarding one specific topic, set of values, or a social issue, means that in amongst the documentaries and short films, you will expect a drama that will be good enough to challenge the viewer's perceptions on the issue around which the series of programmes encircle.

This time, this lies heavily on the shoulders of 'White Girl', a one-off TV play, to deliver on such a promise. Starring Anna Maxwell Martin of 'Bleak House' fame, and newcomer Holly Kenny, who plays the character that sets up the central premise of the story, the drama addresses the positive and negative aspects of the attitudes towards the Islamic community that are thrown up by the actions of the daughter of Ms Martin's character. As for Miss Kenny's character, Leah, undergoes a transition from white working class sensibilities to those that the members of the Islamic community hold dear. This tale seems to be the central focus of what this series of shows is all about - the alleged disappearance of white working class Britain. Leah is the fictional representation of every child who finds themselves embracing a multi-cultural society. I have yet to see it myself, but all the critical indications suggest it is a promising effort on behalf of writer Abi Morgan. There is always the possibility that it might contain controversial elements, but I think that, now and again, we need our programme makers to put the cat amongst the pigeons.

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