tue 14/07/2020

The Cut (episode two), BBC Switch | reviews, news & interviews

The Cut (episode two), BBC Switch

The Cut (episode two), BBC Switch

Hotpanted teen soap gathers pace

The Beeb’s bold new experiment continues: to dish out a daily online teen soap in five-minute episodes. Am just about over the cyber-stress of Sunday’s part one. Couple of streaming issues were in play. Basically my laptop took to it like a boa wolfing down a rhino. All ironed out now. I can happily report that part two didn’t even touch the sides.

The Cut is available to view from 5.10pm every afternoon on something called BBC Switch. If anyone knows why it’s called BBC Switch please advise promptly in the comment box below. Anyway, that scheduling decision seem a bit pernickety? A bit OCD? No one starts doing anything at 10 past any hour. Or do they? You’ll actually find that focus groups bankrolled by the licence fee have established through long sifting of exhaustively collated data involving complex algorithmic prognostication, pie-chart determinators and total guesswork that 10 minutes after five o’clock is precisely the moment that the average member of the target audience slumps down in front of the laptop after a hard afternoon’s truancy or mugging or International Baccalaureate or whatever it is that takes them out the house. ‘Tis the witching hour when an entire generation logs on. Is my hunch.

To episode two. Mews chick Marla is today’s randomly generated cardboard teen cutout. Here comes Marla jogging across the cobbles in hot pink hotpants and matching Converses (btw, please can we go back to calling these Sneakers?) Marla, we learn in 34 seconds of brutally crowbarred exposition, is a Vegan with parent probs. Her Mum’s just run off mysteriously and her Dad looks like ninth choice to play Pierce Brosnan in the Sky One telebiopic of his slightly naff post-Bond career. In a rare actual plot development, Dad’s got a cut on his face. Whether this is the eponymous gash of the title will no doubt not be revealed any time soon.

Five minutes is not a lot, is it? To develop dramatic line, character arc or any of that bothersome structural flim-flam gussied up by Sophocles, Euripides and their Hellenistic conclave of homosexual plot pedants, five minutes is borderline parsimonious. On Friday nights up and down the land, some blokes pay longer visits to urinals. The script is a Vegan. It avoids all contact with anything that’s ever been alive. I never used to see the point of short films. No one watches short films apart from short film directors at short film festivals. But shorts are twice the length of The Cut. The Cut is so short it’s a hotpant. In some kind of metatextual wardrobe choice, Marla is wearing the script. More tomorrow.

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