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happy-valley

“I have’t. It is engener’d  Hell and night must bring this birth to the world’s light.”  — Act I, Scene 3 of Othello, where Iago speaks about his plan to fool everyone, and convince Othello with evil mendacity

Don’t read reviews about what I’m recommending. Watch it.

One of the early episodes in the first season of Sally Wainwright’s Happy Valley received some vitriolic protest about its gratuitous violence. Thing is, though, there isn’t a trace of anything in the TV series — violent or otherwise — shouldn’t absolutely be included. Not an ounce of fat. And in addition to that I’ll add… it’s perfection. A masterpiece through and through respecting every single dramatic aspect. The script is to die for. Along the lines of a number of great plays by Shakespeare, Kalidasa, Ibsen and… well, anything I’ve crossed paths with during half a century of teaching Dramatic Art.

Fine and dandy, but what’s excellent theatrical fare have to do with activists? Well, if you’ve been paying attention of late you’ll note that there’s been more and more talk of psychopathy with each passing day. Thing is, though, the blah blah is superficial, generic and… useless. It’s time for someone to get down with exactly what a psychopath is, capable of… including the means by which others become entranced and tools. Many professionals all along the spectrum become fools in the hands of an authentic psychopath, fazed to the extreme by the ingenious gaze of the sickest of the sick. Pricked painfully, left holding the bag… while the true psychopath remains free to destroy. Runs rampant.

What I am recommending is that activists and others secure insight into psychopathy — the fundamentals — by taking the artistic route rather than seeking instruction courtesy of prosaic scientists of various stripes. Or worse… continue to get deeper and deeper into the present take on what constitutes psychopathy. In every realm — from our federal administration to the street level — psychopaths are misunderstood. And so policies and practices in vogue are less than ideal.

Some of what constitutes psychopathy cannot be put into words. And there’s the rub. Everywhere members of the psychiatric profession think and act otherwise. Ditto for well-meaning and deeply experienced social workers and their counterparts in every nook and cranny where decent folks are trying to address evil, abominations. To no avail.

One of the great values to viewing Happy Valley is that by the time one takes in the final episode of Season Two — if you’ve been taking in the offering very carefully all along and continue to do so up until the final frame — there’s a good chance that the heavens will open up with regard to Evil. You will have a shot at knowing what cannot be expressed in words about the most severe form of mental illness and abnormal perversity plaguing us today.

Why it’s here on our blessed earth… on a personal plane.

On the macroscopic plane psychopathy can be brought about by war, drugs and the like, but this series focuses on the issue from a vertical perspective. But the great number of horizontal variables that contribute to mental disorders of all kinds one can speculate about following a viewing of Happy Valley with a fresh point of view, perhaps. Its theme song touches upon some.

Regardless, it would be true madness to miss this work of dramatic art.

Richard Martin Oxman studied with Shakespearean scholar John McCabe,, and taught Dramatic Art and Cinema History for the better part of half a century. He can be reached at aptosnews@gmail.com. The above was written in less than 30′ and is unedited, derived from a deep passion to share what the author believes is crucial to understand about today’s society. And… for the purpose of simply sharing decent entertainment.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    Any documentary or TV serial or theatrical drama that deals on social problems directly or indirectly should be welcomed