“Two worlds and in between…”


So did you watch it? It being Beeb 3’s Mrs In-Betweeny. The show was part of BBC3’s new drama selection; a raft of one off programmes all with a different theme. I don’t know if BBC3 is pushing the boat with some of the story lines – inasmuch that they’re left of your typical drama slot centre – or if they’re using them to test the water for a full series. Who can say? Foo Action and Being Human were both well worth watching (IMO). Different, I feel, is good. Push the medium a little, take a few risks. You never know, something very cool may come out of it.

I thought Amelia Bullmore played the character of Emma/Brendan very well. She got down a couple of ticks that blokes do as well as mixing it up with usual body language. The wardrobe choices made me smile. The script or performances may not please everyone, but I enjoyed it. I really felt for the character at the end of the show. The line of “We’re all freaks, Mum” made me chuckle. Ahhh, we’re back to the odd adage: what is normal. 🙂 If they did do a series of this, which I’m scepitcal about, I do wonder where they’d go with it. If you live in the UK – or if you’re handy with a proxy – you can catch a re-run of the show on BBC iPlayer.

On another note: do programmes like this – where the hero(ine) is shown in a sympathic light – bring acceptance? Do people look beyond the characture to the ‘person’ underneath? Sometimes I wonder if the way to our collective hearts is not from the mouth, the soapbox or the pulpit, but what is in our daily soaps. 🙂

[ Today’s lyric: Lucretia My Reflection by The Sisters of Mercy ]


  1. I will agree with you wholeheartedly about the things we accept are in our soaps!

    Now if we could only do something about the unwashed…

    That line about us all being freaks is a classic; true of anyone that survives into adulthood!



  2. Not seen this yet, I shall have to do the iplayer thingy. Actually, I seem to be using it quite a lot recently.

    I’m not sure that programmes like this do bring acceptance. At least not yet. I suspect that the public at large need to be exposed to the concept a little while longer before they realise that people who are “different” are not necessarily thugs, murderers and wierdos etc. It will take time, lots of it.
    Having said that, anything that presents a sympathetic view of minority groups to the “mainstream” has got to be a good thing, right?

  3. I agree with Maddie about time passing being necessary. I can’t tell from your post the original vs new gender of the character. It would be nice to have these things done appropriately for stronger validation.
    But all positive exposure helps. 🙂

  4. Alan > The unwashed? Perhaps a warm water riot cannon and a drive-by soaping? 🙂

    Maddie > Every now and again there seems to be a surge in media interest over TG folk. Often it co-incides with the release of a film (Just Like a Woman / Kinky Boots) or programme on the subject (A Little Bit of Lippy / Why Men Wear Frocks / Five Minutes in Heels is Heaven). Does it help? I don’t know… I know a few people (work / socially) who find it [TGism] somewhat amusing. If only they knew right? 🙂 Perhaps we’ll become background noise one day, but I think there will always be people who a) find it odd and b) dress oddly.

    Emma > The original gender of the character was male – Uncle Brendan – who comes back from Las Vegas as Emma. Back in the 80s – when we had only 4 television channels and (mostly) no Internet, the BBC would often mention “if you have been affected by any of the storylines on tonight’s programme, you can contact…”. Often this would be gay teenagers coming out, but abuse, drugs and other storys – one’s normally swept under the carpet – would be covered too.

  5. I felt Emma was played very well, but was a little disappointed that yet again a woman was used to portray a TS. Coronation Street did it and then there have been some recent movies too (faint echoes of Berny Taupin’s lyrics there). I much prefer males playing the role of TS, assuming it’s a MTF role e.g. Breakfast on Pluto. Using a female seems to me to be saying “Listen general public you’re not ready for the hard facts of life.” Like the programme makers are patronising the public. Having said that, Mrs. Inbetweeny was, I feel, a very positive portrayal.

  6. Rachel > Women as MTF, Hmmm… Easier casting, quicker make-up/costume or are the public ready for it? Well, ‘Different for Girls’ had a male actor as the lead TS (they must have spent a few bob on that make-up at the end). Oh and there’s Barabara from League of Gentlemen, but that may not count 😀

    I wonder if female actors are picked because they are instantly more beliveable? Before I get flamed, that’s not to say that TS folk aren’t believeable, what I’m saying is that in a programme and as a viewer you could spend more time going “Haven’t they done a good job with Fred’s make-up?” rather than following the plot / character. Certainly ‘Guy Pierce’ in the red wig in Queen of the Desert springs to mind. 🙂 “That’s not Guy Pierce is it?” 😀

    Interestingly – and as you say – it works in Mrs Inbetweeny and (IMO) Trans-America too. I wonder if there’s a flip-side? Do men play trans-men equally too?

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