Unsaid Stories is a new four-part series of 15-minute short dramas, similar to May’s Isolation Stories. Whereas they centred around… well, everyone having to isolate, this series is based around the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the first episode, titled Generational, Dad Oliver (Nicholas Pinnock) is none too pleased when he spots his teenage daughter, Justina (Yasmin Monet Prince), about to head out on such a protest, leading to a discussion betweenthe two where she says she’s saving lives by protesting, while he states the matriarch of the household is more likely to be the one saving lives because she works at the hospital, given the current pandemic.
Oliver has a tale to relate to Justina about something that happened in his life, but how does it relate to her current situation? That’s what you’ll discover when you watch the drama.
Overall, this is certainly a watchable drama for its brief running time, but not essential and feels a bit plot-by-numbers. Still, there’s three more episodes to come and I’ll be checking those out soon and will update this, then.
Now, if only the protestors could stop getting together in huge groups that ignore social distancing, and tossing statues into canals in what amounts to nothing more than wanton vandalism.
As an aside, it does look like social distancing has largely been applied in the filming of this, since when the two members of the cast are in the same room talking and apparently looking at each other, only one at aa time is filmed. There’s one moment where they’re both sat together in the same room, but both facing forwards, so if either of them did speak at that time (and it doesn’t happen on camera), their breath would go forward.
In the course of their brief discussion, she buys paintings for “rich white people to put in storage”, and between the two, he’s working class and white, while she’s middle-class and black. Yes, it’s like an extension of the That Was The Week That Was sketch with John Cleese and the Two Ronnies.
What starts off inside, changes to an outside conversation halfway through, but in any event, when you split up with someone, it’s always for a reason and there’s no point getting back together again. Just move on.
Plus, the mention of the fact that one is black and the other is white feels tacked on with a huge mallet waiting to hit you over the head.
Hence, what we’re left with is two millennials having a moan about life as they reminisce about school days which weren’t particularly interesting to listen to.
Look At Me is the third episode in the Unsaid Stories series, and very prophetic given recent events such as when MP Dawn Butler was stopped by the police in a car on Sunday just gone, while there was a black man called Ryan Colaço, who went to talk to Channel 4 News about the time he was stopped and searched in May, then was stopped again on his way home from the studio, with the police smashing his window in!
Kay (Pippa Bennett-Warner) invites Michael (Paapa Essiedu) round for a drink, prior to going out for a date – which is unseen to us, but they return having been stopped by police, and they have footage of the incident. She’s massively upset, while he’s trying to steady the ship of the night that’s now in turmoil over stormy seas. And it doesn’t help when she thinks he did nothing to help the situation.
Overall, this is interesting and worth a watch, but too short to really go anywhere. However, I do like that, given there’s a very narrow corridor in the flat, the ‘door’ from there to Kay’s lounge is an IKEA curtain. That’s a good design.
Lavender is the fourth and final episode of Unsaid Stories.
Lyndsey’s (Amanda Abbington) daughter, Jordan (Nicôle Lecky), is mixed race, who, in turn, has just had a baby with her boyfriend who’s black. Before long, the former doesn’t realise she’s dropped a clanger when she let’s slip that the baby is “darker than I thought she’d be“, leading to Jordan making a major deal out of an accidental slip.
When it comes to the reason behind the title, you’ll have to watch it to find out, but overall, this episode, like pretty much all of them, feels like they’re each taking a one-line situation and making a sledgehammer out of them with which to beat the viewer about the head.
Unsaid Stories is on ITV at 9pm each night from Monday until Thursday. The series is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
After broadcast, each episode will be on the ITV Hub.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a trailer for the series, otherwise I would’ve included it below.
“Generational” Episode Score: 5/10
“I Don’t Want To Talk About This” Episode Score: 1/10
“Look At Me” Episode Score: 5/10
“Lavender” Episode Score: 2/10
“Generational” cast and crew:
Director: Alrick Riley
Producer: Barbara Emile
Writer: Jerome Bucchan-Nelson
Music: Vince Pope
Oliver: Nicholas Pinnock
Justina: Yasmin Monet Prince
“I Don’t Want To Talk About This” cast and crew:
Director: Koby Adom
Producer: Madonna Baptiste
Writer: Anna Ssemuyaba
Thea: Adelayo Adedayo
Tom: Joe Cole
“Look At Me” cast and crew:
Director: Francis Annan
Producer: Carol Harding
Writer: Lynette Linton
Kay: Pippa Bennett-Warner
Michael: Paapa Essiedu
“Lavender” cast and crew:
Director: Ethosheia Hylton
Producer: Jo Johnson
Writer: Nicôle Lecky
Lyndsey: Amanda Abbington
Jordan: Nicôle Lecky
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.