Monday, May 2, 2011

TV I Love: Bob & Rose

After the repeated urging of my friend Jenny, I finally started watching Dr. Who on Netflix a couple of weeks ago. As soon as the title sequence started, I saw a name flash up and I got really excited. The episode was written by Russell T. Davies (who I later found out was the show runner for the first four seasons) and I knew I was in good hands.

About 8 years ago, I was in the middle of moving from my first apartment to my second. I was packing, I was home by myself, and I couldn't sleep. So I flipped on the TV and did some good old-fashioned channel surfing. I landed on Showtime on Demand, read the short description for a British series called Bob & Rose, shrugged and turned it on.

Here is the premise of Bob & Rose: a straight woman and a gay man fall in love. Hilarity and confusion ensues. I think in the hands of anyone lesser than Russell T. Davies, this concept could be anything from trite and unfunny to downright offensive. But Davies has a way of creating lovely three-dimensional characters who speak fabulously heartfelt, yet realistic, dialogue. The show has one of the most beautiful and heartbreaking break-up scenes I've ever seen. Plus--and I think this happens a lot with British shows--I appreciate the fact that the actors are normal-looking people. They're not hideous, but they're not supermodels and I have an easier time believing they're roaming around bars in London, dateless for a night.

Bob & Rose was what the U.K. calls a limited series: one story told in one 6-episode season (kind of like the U.K. The Office). At 2 AM that night, I watched the first episode. My cable was supposed to be disconnected sometime around noon the next day. One guess as to what I was doing into the wee hours of the next morning. In a nutshell, anything that keeps me up with its quality of story--be it a TV show, book, movie, etc.--will always get a gold star in my book.

By the way, I actually really like the idea of limited series and wish there were more of them in the states. Why? Because I think the stories end up being more controlled and refined when the creators/writers know the whole arc from the start.

And, in case you were wondering, I think Dr. Who is pretty fabulous too.


  1. Yay Russell Davies!! I definitely would love to grab a beer with that man.

  2. Sarvenaz, I've never watched Bob and Rose but I've read about it in a book written by Russell T Davis (No period after the "T", BTW)and Benjamin Cook called Doctor Who: the Writer's Tale: the Final Chapter. It chronicles the 4th season of Doctor Who, as well as the 5 specials, in a series of emails and texts between Davis and Cook. You're right, Davis is a gifted writer and he talks about how and why he writes, and gives wonderful advice, e.g., "Allow the bastards to be lovely, allow the heroes to be weak, and then they'll come alive." That holds true whether you're writing scripts or novels. The book is available on Amazon. Buy it. Read it. Then maybe you can talk about it with everyone. Suzanne Lucero