Bite sized dramas are looking like they're going down a treat. I say this because we are indeed getting a lot of them lately. What with Dark Angel, Moorside, Apple Tree Yard, Little Boy Blue and more recently, the BBC's Three Girls, it's fair to say there's a healthy appetite for these 3 to 4 part dramas which grab the attention straight off, and keep you watching.
By Andy Simon @AndySimon55
Bite sized dramas are looking like they're going down a treat.
I say this because we are indeed getting a lot of them lately. What with Dark Angel, Moorside, Apple Tree Yard, Little Boy Blue and more recently, the BBC's Three Girls, it's fair to say there's a healthy appetite for these 3 to 4 part dramas which grab the attention straight off, and keep you watching.
Or is it just me?
Anyway; the BBC's latest in this genre, 'Paula', is no exception.
Actually; as bite sized dramas go (and I've seen a few) Paula started off rather slow I thought. However after about 35 - 40 minutes, it really picked up so much so, that by the time I reached the end of part one, I was hungrily scanning the TV schedules to find out when episode two was coming up.
Paula, played by Olivier award winner, Denise Gough, a thirty something high school teacher who evidently is very good at her job but total rubbish when it comes to her love life, has had a bit of a fling with Philip, the handsome and very married PE teacher.
Paula has been trying to finish this fling with Philip, played by Edward MacLiam, a task which does not escape the attention of the headmaster. Naturally, the headmaster has a quiet word with Paula and tells her in no uncertain terms and via un-gentlemanly language to get it sorted, or he may have to lose some staff.
On top of that Paula discovers she has a small rat infestation in the basement of her flat, and calls in the services of ducking & diving white-van-man, handyman James, played by Tom Hughes, aka Prince Albert: Victoria, to remove the infestation.
And it's here things get interesting.
James, like Paula, has his own set of problems, what with having way too many mouths to feed and his landlord threatening eviction by the look of things, James is now extremely desperate for cash so much so, he even sinks low enough to pinch the money from his own dementia suffering mothers bank account.
What a nice chap eh?
James sorts out Paula's rat problem, then sorts out Paula, due to the instant and mutual sexual attraction felt between them.
And after being handsomely paid in more ways than one by Paula, James heads home the next morning with the cheque which could (if James does the right thing) keep his landlord at bay, for a while at least.
Unfortunately for James though, his landlord is already waiting for him along with a couple of gorillas and so pockets the cheque, leaving James back where he started, namely; skint.
And it's here the story takes a sinister twist.
To cut a short story shorter, James discovers Paula's fling with Philip and decides to blackmail him. Thing is; it doesn't go too well and James ends up losing it with Philip and whacks him over the head (and more than just once) with a brick.
We end part one with the Police involved (obviously) and Paula coming to terms with the death of her married ex lover.
So there you have it. Another one of those bite-sized-dramas that will keep you watching right up to it's assumingly grim conclusion.
As I said before; these short dramas are highly digestible, with their typically fast paced plots, slick acting and good direction, to say nothing of the eerie music that adds even more emphasis to the already often dark and moody atmosphere.
Bite-sized-dramas? Yeah I love em! Especially when they're good. And Paula looks like another goodie.
At the time of writing; episode one of Paula is still available to watch on the BBC's iPlayer service.
Thanks for reading.