Saturday 18 November 2017

Motherland: all whine and no heart - so is this all it is?

Yes, we all get that motherhood can be a harried affair - but where is the heart, writes Sarah Caden

WHERE IS THE LOVE? From left, Philippa Dunne, Diane Morgan, Anna Maxwell Martin, Paul Ready and Lucy Punch in ‘Motherland’
WHERE IS THE LOVE? From left, Philippa Dunne, Diane Morgan, Anna Maxwell Martin, Paul Ready and Lucy Punch in ‘Motherland’

Sarah Caden

'The uncensored truth about parenting," was how the BBC introduced the first episode of Motherland last Wednesday night. "So is this your world?"

To a great extent, yes, the world of Motherland is my world. I expected to watch the travails of Julia, its chief protagonist and relate utterly. Much like me, she's a middle-class working mother of two under-10s, doing all the 21st-century juggling, the jigsaw of childcare and the pressure to keep up with the Joneses.

Motherland, written by Sharon Horgan, Graham Linehan, Helen Linehan and Holly Walsh, is concerned with Julia, an events organiser who is doing her best to make everything work and make everyone happy. She falls short most of the time and hates herself for it and is, well, pretty angry with the world. Her husband is a fairly useless boy-man. Her friends are dry-witted Liz, who likes a drink and takes a that'll-do approach to life, and Kevin, an emasculated stay-at-home dad.

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