DATELINE: Crying Out Loud
A friend insisted that London Spy, a BBC TV series airing this year, was on a par with The Night Manager, the LeCarre miniseries.
So, suckered in, we watched.
Both stories deal with unpleasant people over in MI-6, the British Secret Service, but the heroes of each tale are diamentrically at odds with each other. London Spy is a closet gay man, mysteriously done in, turning his inept, flibbety-gibbet boyfriend into a quasi-pathetic detective.
Ben Whishaw is wishy-washy Danny, one weepy, weak protagonist who finds romantic love with a spy who loved him. Danny, however, is weak as water—and easily manipulated. He learns that the love of his life lied to him at every step of their relationship. It brings him to tears.
Gay kink is moderately investigated as Danny seems to be set up by his boyfriend’s spy pals. Danny is no saint, but discussing sadistic gay life brings him to tears.
An interesting cast features Jim Broadbent (looking surprising thin), Charlotte Rampling (looking surprisingly old), and James Fox (surprisingly underused). Creator of the new Brit Sherlock and actor of Mycroft, Mark Gatiss plays a particularly sleazy music business gay boss. In scenes with each actor, Ben Whishaw is brought to the brink of tears.
Dumb and dumber, the hero seems to fall into every pothole in the plot. Why didn’t MI-6 just toss him off a rooftop, rather than allow him to stir up the muck?
We watched with increasing disdain with each teardrop, yet hoping, somehow, some writer would pull these good actors out of the miasma script that requires Kleenex blotters. Alas, it was a dashed hope. Thankfully, there will not be a season two. We are not crying over this.