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Friday, May 16, 2008


The following is an article about 'Love in the 21st Century' published in the New York Times. I found this while trying to find the entire video to the first episode, 'Reproduction'. This is the episode David appears in. I only have a really bad copy of part of the episode. I would appreciate information on where I could find it.

Parables Of Female Sexuality

Published: August 15, 1999

BRITISH television is famous for being unbuttoned about sex. Still, ''Love in the 21st Century,'' the six-part series on Channel 4 that concludes on Aug. 25, is prompting debate.

There's the moment in ''Toy-Boys'' in which a 30-something teacher (played by Clare Holman) ends up in a clinch with a dishy male student whom she is all too happy to take camping. That Ryan (Matt Kennard) is only 15 makes the encounter not just unusual but also illegal. Catherine Johnson's script ends with a twist characteristic of the series as a whole.

Then there's ''Fantasies,'' another script by Ms. Johnson (who wrote this season's surprise West End theater hit ''Mamma Mia!''), in which a couple's visit to Lola's Love Boutique unleashes a spirit of erotic adventure in Anna (Tracy Whitwell), a young nurse, that Sean (Tommy Tiernan), her kindly if increasingly bewildered boyfriend, doesn't always share.

Elsewhere, Ioan Gruffudd, the rising Welsh star of ''Horatio Horn blower'' and ''Great Expectations'' (shown in the United States on A&E and PBS respectively) can be seen shedding rather more than period garb. He's the one in ''Masturbation'' caught in the act by his girlfriend, Amanda (Natasha Little, recently seen parading her own period appeal as Becky Sharp in ''Vanity Fair'').

''All my male friends will tune in to this,'' said Mr. Gruffudd, 25, speaking by telephone from Los Angeles. ''Anything to do with sex, they turn it on: it's a very typical, laddish attitude.''

The flesh content, to be fair, isn't what distinguishes ''Love in the 21st Century.'' (Tellingly, the show went through several title changes -- ''How to Have Sex in the 21st Century'' and the more concise ''Sex in the 21st Century'' -- before arriving at the less carnally centered name it now bears.) Indeed, by the standards of another of the year's much-talked-about Channel 4 series, the gay-themed ''Queer as Folk,'' from the same production company, the new show is positively G-rated.

But if Mr. Gruffudd's blokish friends have been tuning in, they've been finding subjects and emotions not frequently shown on screen, including the startling extremes (apparently) of female jealousy and paranoia.

In fact, women -- and not their men -- drive the various half-hour stories, each of which has a separate cast and stands on its own.

''In 'Love in the 21st Century,' women aren't all good; women aren't all nice. Women are just human beings,'' said Nicola Shindler, the 30-year-old executive producer and co-creator (with Ms. Johnson) of the series. ''It presents women as they are in reality.''

In ''Reproduction,'' Catherine McCormack plays a chippie (not what Americans might think but an employee in a fish and chips shop) named Fay who is hitting 30 and regards John (David Tennant), a local doctor, as her best prospect for impregnation. The subject matter, says Ms. Shindler, ''really hits the Zeitgeist; it's so much of its time.'' The scenes inside Fay's body won't surprise anyone who has seen Woody Allen's 1972 film ''Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex.''

Marking out medicine as the series' profession of choice, ''Threesomes'' introduces another doctor -- the charmingly caddish Charlie (Oliver Milburn) -- who severs forever the lifelong rapport between two best (and female) friends. Though it was the second of the six shows to be broadcast, ''Threesomes'' was the first story line that the creators came up with.

''The received wisdom is that girls will be pals no matter what, that no man will ever be able to rend them asunder,'' said Ms. Johnson, 41, a divorced mother of two.

But, Ms. Johnson said of the ''Threesomes'' scenario, ''I think in real life you would never forgive your friend for doing that. There's a lot written about the sisterhood, but actually women can behave very badly toward one another.''

In the last show, ''Commitment,'' Daniela Nardini, who played Anna in the BBC hit ''This Life,'' is a factory owner who puts her boyfriend, Jason Flemyng, through numerous emotional hoops only to rush out in a fit of nerves once the two at long last reach the altar.

''I'm really disspelling the myth about that cosmopolitan image of women, that they're not interested in marriage anymore,'' said Matt Jones, 30, who wrote ''Commitment'' and was script editor on the entire series. ''We kind of laughed that this is a very reactionary tale. What's wrong with wanting someone who is going to be there for you forever?''

If the story lines hint at political incorrectness, that sits just fine with the creators of the series, whose goal has been to speak from a feminine perspective without putting women on a pedestal. ''Undoubtedly, the series communicates a feeling that certain things have been confused, have been lost,'' said Gub Neal, Channel 4's commissioning editor for drama. ''We're debunking the mythology that magazines like Elle and Marie Claire propagate by means of reassurance: in other words, that women really would sleep with their best friend's boyfriend if they thought they could get away with it.''

''These are really little parables about female sexuality,'' added Mr. Neal, 40, ''each of them trying to shed some light on the way the world really is.''

Mr. Neal is sufficiently excited by the finished product to have encouraged Ms. Johnson to consider a second set of six shows, this time examining the proverbial battle between the sexes from the man's point of view. Not that men, he said, seem to be put off by the series; it has averaged 1.7 million viewers per show, which in Britain is a sizable audience. (''Queer as Folk'' was attracting nearly 4 million viewers by the end of its run, but its gay content made it a subject of tabloid controversy, which is always a ratings booster.)

''We think it's very sexy, so we think a lot of men are watching it,'' Mr. Neal said of ''Love in the 21st Century.'' ''They'll see the title 'Masturbation' go up and say, 'Hey, that's me'; they'll see the title 'Commitment' go up and think, 'That's not me.' ''

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

if you are looking for really old doctor who shows try

or for the not so old ones

hope this helps.

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