Thursday nights have had a routine for me. Finish work in a hurry, drive to the gym, procrastinate by sitting in the car and watching the trains go past, go to the gym in a hurry, complete as much as my program as I can without having to wait an absurdly long time for that last bit of equipment or for some floorspace to stretch. Come home. Be greeted by freshly bathed and shrieking girl and stressed but proud G. Spend time with Grace while G prepares dinner. Pop Grace in bed, rush to have a shower and then sink into the delight of my favourite television show.

All the more special because G can't stand it, yet makes it pleasant for me to relax and watch. Ever since the school dinner series I have been a Jamie Oliver convert.  Even though sometimes I find his TV persona a bit irritating , bit formulaic. The one in Italy to my mind was a shocker. Even so, through all of them comes a passion and belief that ordinary people can and should cook good food. That it is not particularly difficult, that you can have a go. That food is part of your life and it should be be good. I especially love watching him make bread, or pasta.
With fifteen though, my viewing has certain conflicts. Is it right to make a TV drama from the lives of these young people from such hard places? Should such an undertaking need such a big publicity juggernaut? Yet another part of me says, it is so hard for these kids to get a break, that if the fifteen foundation help just those kids, then there are twenty or so young people that have had way more help than they would get from the usual sources. And that helping these twenty young people might be more effective than the hit and miss efforts of our current system, in which most people don't get the help they really need. I guess I am asking myself whether it is better to intensively help a few, than to  not really help many. And then call it entertainment. In an ideal world though, everyone would get the attention they need to become independent and self supporting.  Because if you've have what's know as multiple barriers (to employment) then sometimes having drive and passion is simply not enough. Despite what our culture. It just isn't.

Still, I do love a restaurant show. And watching people become confident in the kitchen. Especially when it also involves the stress and deadline of opening a new premises. Now the show's over, at least until the next intake. Which I suppose if you were a trainee chef would be something of a relief. To be able to just do your job and not have a camera in your face looking for the next dramatic moment. But I will miss it.

1 comment:

susoz said...

We watched 15 too, all together. I love Jamie (and Toby and Lauren). I didn't start out liiking him (though he worked at the River Cafe and that's my favourite restaurant ever) but got to respect him thru the British 15 and then grew to idolise him thru the School Dinners series. H'es probably a raving tory, but there's something about the way he's so creative, hardworking yet respectful of everyone's life experiences that makes me like him. (Niot sure about Jools though.)