The BBC caters for the bored over-40 gossipy housewives in its latest courtroom/ lifestyle drama following the Defoe sisters and their divorce litigation company.
In The Split, Hannah Stern (Nicola Walker) has left the family business to join some rival that I can only gather has the name ‘Noble’ in the title. While on her first day in the job, her estranged father Oscar (Anthony Head) shows up outside to be reunited with his eldest daughter.
The show looks glitzy and glam, but skims over any real depth to the story such as the name of the new company Hannah’s been headhunted by.
The dialogue is short and staccato, easy to understand for its audience who have a combined IQ of 20.
In the opening scene showing ‘natural family life’ everyone talks to each other in single words “Hair” “Yeah” “New” “Yeah” “Hot” “Dad!”. And there’s the most pathetic argument between the two youngest kids as they’re made to trawl to school, “I hate you!” “I hate you more!” “I hate you even more!”.
The male leads are one-dimensional pillars merely there to offer emotional stimuli for the complex females to react to. The former lover (Christie), the severe boss (Alexander), the useless husband (Nathan).
Hannah’s sisters are Nina (licentious) and Rose (ditzy), and her mother (Ruth) is starting life anew at 70.
I suppose Morgan has ticked all the boxes of what the ‘modern woman’ should be according to everyone in the media who incessantly pushes this demonstrable female demi god that now rises high above the evil, corrupt, bum-pinching men of old.
Hannah’s free and independent, clever, witty, successful and the moral anchor to everyone in her life.
But my problem isn’t clever Hannah, confident Nina, beautiful Rose. I don’t have a problem with women occupying empowered roles sticking it to their second-fiddle male counterparts. I don’t have a problem with this modern female liberation we’ve seen over the past decade. I think it’s wonderful that women can speak out against sex pests who have plagued the shadows of life and I find it disgusting that CEOs and Executives decide to cut wage packets by half just because some of their staff don’t have a penis swinging between their legs.
It’s just in creating these complex work/family lives The Split’s characters lead, the show fills up with too much content and not enough time to let these particular facets of life play out naturally.
This and the fact that its average audience member has the attention span of a newt makes these complex messy family lives come across as crisp, clean and a little stupid.
Ultimately the show gives a feeling it was produced solely to provide content for the Chelsea housewives to talk about over coffee at the boutique store they meet in midday on a Wednesday on the Kings Road. Think of The Split as an evolved Footballers Wives.
Because of this, all that’s left to say in this feministic power pumping society we now inhibit is it was going for a hole in one, but sadly it didn’t even make the green. Better luck next time ladies.
The Split has five episodes to run on BBC One Tuesday nights at nine o’clock. Catch up with the first episode on iPlayer now.