Well, yes, bent coppers, of course those. A good story, told in a compelling way. Watching the old Line of Duty is a kind of privilege, because you already know it's good, and because I didn't watch it the first time round, I genuinely don't know what's going to happen. Except that I have started watching the new ones. And I seem to remember watching series 5. So I'm about as confused as I would be otherwise...
And the old Doctor Who, which stands up better than I remember at the time. There's a lot of exploration of the psychology of being old and having seen lots of different and difficult things, which is challenging for the 9-year-old watching them with me! Having said that, they stand as quite good story ideas, and they retain some (but not all) of the clarity of telling the story that the earlier revival era series definitely do. So why does that matter? I don't watch massive amounts of TV, as it goes, a lot of what I do watch is desperately nerdy and to be found on YouTube, and absolutely does not set out to tell stories. So when I do watch TV, I want something that is both engaging and relatively effortless. Except that for some reason, I have happily engaged with Line of Duty as I did with things like The Witcher and The Mandalorian. What's really interesting is how infrequently there is any exposition in well-written TV (or films, or anything really), precisely because 'well-written' amounts to being able to tell a story without crowbarring in the explanations of why things are happening as they are.
That's what you're aiming for, I guess, when you tell a story. The confusing thing about real life is that the plot isn't obvious, often doesn't move along for days or weeks or even years at a time, and it can impossible to tell whether you're a bit-part player or the central character. In a way, it doesn't matter. There are theories of consciousness that basically suggest that all consciousness is can be contained in the idea of telling a story, and that memory and consciousness are near-enough one and the same thing. It certainly doesn't feel like that to be alive, in that it definitely hurts at the time you injure yourself and not it's not only when you're constructing the narrative later that it has its effect. But there is something real enough about the idea that 'I' is just a series of stories that you remember about yourself. The terrifying and deflating prospect that reality is nothing more than those stories is perhaps softened by the notion that every now and again, you make a connection and you share a little bit of your story with someone else. These shared experiences, be they moments, or something more lingering, are what life seems - to me at least - to be for. And even if they come to an end and can't be recaptured, the memory of them lives, and is not diminished by time or distance. They say that time heals all wounds, but that's nonsense. Time lets you focus your recollections of the bits of the story that were pleasant or better. The hard bits are still just as hard when they come back. I don't care if that is sentimental, and I don't think it is. It's what makes it possible to live through the dark moments, because there is a bit of me that can hold on to the light, even if it lies in the past and not the present.
As for the future? If you're read this blog before, you know what's coming; Wait and Hope!
When to the sessions of sweet silent thought