Hey you Brits, Didja Watch Tv This Past Weekend?

Sam Wollaston of the Guardian wrote up two programs that aired this weekend on BBC4, one a drama weaving together three Mills & Boon plots, and one a profile of a writer who hopes to write one, entitled, How to Write a Mills & Boon. The best part of the article?

The programme is a success too – for one because Stella Duffy, as well as throwing herself into it whole-heartedly, is very good company (not many novelists make good TV). But also because of all the amazing Mills & Boon ladies she meets along the way: the editor, the established writer who’s teaching the course in Italy, the aspiring writers, the fans. They’re all brilliant, clever, funny, women. Modern, even. But they also understand that romance – and cuppy-kissing – lives on.

WORD UP. Now I want BBC America to carry this program (sorry “programme”) so I can see it, too.

[Thanks to Briony for the link.]


General Bitching...

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  1. Saltypepper says:

    Do I even want to know what “cuppy-kissing” is?  The phrase makes me flinch and I don’t even know what it means.

  2. Ruth says:

    I watched this progrmme and thought it was really good.  The book about Mills and Boons covers has come out in the UK and had a browse through it in Boarders and think I might have to purchase it.  Have you tried the BBC i-player? Here is the website.  I don’t know if it will work but it shows programmes up to a week after they have finished and BBC 4 is included on it. 

  3. Lindsay says:

    Cuppy-kissing just means kissing where the man is cupping the woman’s face in his hands.  It makes more sense in the context of the whole article here.

  4. I thought it was good too. Stella Duffy ends up trying to write for Nocturne because she has a paranormal aspect to it. However, the person teaching the course Duffy goes on is Sharon Kendrick who writes for the Modern/Presents line. I think some of the advice Duffy’s given would have fitted better if she’d been targeting that line. That said, quite a lot of Kendrick’s advice is applicable to all the lines, and Duffy also gets good feedback from a group of M&B;readers. She makes some compromises but doesn’t just follow the advice she gets on the course, and she ends up writes something that she’s reasonably happy with. The M&B;editor who reads the chapters she’s written is really pleased with them (and comments that it’s the first magical realism M&B;she’s ever read). Duffy ends up commenting that there is more room for variety within M&B;than she’d thought. So yes, it was a positive programme, and Stella Duffy came across well. She gave the impression that she really cared about what she was writing, and she never made fun of M&Bs;.

    I think Sam Wollaston sums it up very well:

    It would have been very easy for her to be sniffy and condescending about Mills & Boon, but to her credit she’s the opposite. She has a real go at it – listens to people, goes on a writing course in Tuscany (prime M&B;territory), stifles her attempts to write what she wants to write. And she succeeds, in that the editor likes what she’s done and would have taken it on had Stella wanted to continue with it.

  5. Karen Scott says:

    I watched it too Laura, and I actually meant to blog about it.  It was such a shame it was on so late though.

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