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A guilty pleasure - but not a realistic picture!
on 10 April 2011
How much did I want not to enjoy this, since I am in the business? A huge amount. And how much did I actually enjoy it? About as much. What you mustn't do is take it as gospel or anything like it. Yes, there are quite a lot of little bits of reality (falling asleep over files was one that got me, and the clerks' mantra about never turning down work) but certainly even allowing for the practitioners being in a different area of law a lot of it seems to me to be WAY off beam. In terms of sexism, level playing field for those who do not have family members in the job and equal opportunities generally the programme suggests to me that the writer may have been out of touch for 20 years or so. But of course it makes for much better drama. So too does the fairly terrible cross-examination - have the writers never heard of the basic principle: "dont ask a question to which you don't know the answer"? But again - it is more fun the way they do it - and it provides great illuatrations of the hideous things which can happen if you don't prepare properly. They have also caught the tacit competition between different barristers nicely - but seem to have completely missed the friendship element - no-one seems to have any close friends in chambers - which is not real at all! And I think (I really believe) that the ethical side of it is way, way from the truth. Generally well acted - and I thought Maxine Peake conveyed the stress and exhaustion pretty well. She could have done with bigger bags under her eyes though...