Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Review - More Plot and Less Preaching, Please: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Review - More Plot and Less Preaching, Please: News

Article excerpt

The problem with characters in TV dramas is that they never watch TV dramas. Or, at the very least, they never learn the lessons that the rest of us pick up from TV dramas.

Lesson number one: if you have letters that you do not want your husband to see, do not leave them in a box in your bedroom, where he will stumble across them while hunting for a needle and thread. Lesson number two: if you are functionally illiterate, work out your excuses in advance.

Neither JJ nor Lisa appears to have seen a TV drama. They are the couple at the centre of Love Letters (above), the first of five stand-alone mini- dramas in BBC One's Secrets and Words series focusing on the problems caused by adult illiteracy.

So we see JJ struggling to explain to a client why he cannot provide her with a receipt. Then, looking to replace a button on his shirt, he comes across a box full of handwritten letters. He is just about literate enough to make out three damning details: the letters are addressed to Lisa; they are signed "T xxxxxxxxx"; they span years.

And so JJ asks Mrs Taylor, his daughter's teacher, to read them for him. The letters are personal, she says, and refuses. Instead, she offers to teach him to read them for himself.

Gradually, JJ realises that reading is not as scary as he thought. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.