Silky Smooth

Thursday, September 12, 2013

PBS's Masterpiece Mystery just started airing Silk here in the US (apparently they're on their third series in the UK).

Silk is a drama about Martha Costello (Maxine Peake), a barrister (lawyer) who is trying to become a QC (Queen's Council - better, more high-profile, more salaried lawyer) which they nickname silk because of the robes they get to wear that come with the prestige.

Not only is the drama completely compelling but I'm excited because the main character is a woman.

I know!

A woman.

A woman lawyer.

I know there are actual woman lawyers out there in the "real world" but ever since I saw the documentary Miss Representation I've been bummed about the lack of female protagonists in TV and movies.

But here is one and she is fierce, strong, understanding, smart, and warm.

I was interested in the show as soon as they started airing promos for it. I knew I would be working that day and even though I could have watched it ahead of time (yay perks of work!) - I didn't. I wanted to wait and see what everyone else saw with the intro and the outro and the anticipation.

I wasn't disappointed.

The show tackles the duality of being a defending lawyer and a woman. Men come at Martha because she is a woman and you can see that sometimes they underestimate her.

Martha herself is a strong woman, capable of anything her boss puts in front of her. She doesn't have a husband or kids but when her work involves minors she can be seen caring for them, proving that she is not just a cold bitch. Sure she takes pride in her work and that requires her to be tough but she can also be warm and inviting.

I think the show does a great job showing that. Being a defending criminal lawyer can't be easy for anyone and the show doesn't make excuses for Martha simply because she is a woman.

She will rip any lawyer or her clients a new one. She tells them exactly what she thinks, no sugar coating and when they question her she stands her ground.

In one episode she has to prosecute and she gets mad at the defense for not doing his job properly.

"What are you doing Martha? If I was prosecuting this case I'd cut a deal."
"And if I was defending - Tony would walk."

The characters in the show have their own drama, mostly involving their head clerk in Chambers, Billy (Neil Stuke).

There are two newbies who are trying to become proper lawyers: Nick (Tom Hughes) and Niamh (Natalie Dormer).

Nick's mentor is Martha and you can tell that even though she may be short with him he understands that she is one hell of a damn good lawyer.

Niamh's mentor is Clive Reader (Rupert Penry-Jones) a womanizing misogynist who is too interested in his new mentee, thinks too highly of himself and doesn't seem to have the same passion for justice that Martha does.

As an American it was interesting to see their justice system since it is a bit different but it's easy enough to follow and get the hang of. The words are a different, and they don't OBJECT! to things which I found to be the most interesting aspect. It's like they can guide the jury to think whatever it is they a point. But then again, it's not like striking it from the record, the way we do here in America, strikes it from the juror's mind.

This show is quickly and easily becoming one of my favorite shows and for those who have yet to see it....get on that! 

I give it 4 out of 5 popcorn.

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