Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Teenage Kicks
You see this on Channel 4 last night? The witches - or wiccans, or pagans, it was all terribly confused and confusing - were almost without exception scarily middle class: Natasha and Leanne, the aliterative Woking Witches. Even the Essex grrls were the upmarket kind (Elaine, Debbie and Dawn). You can't help thinking that the production team asked around their chums to find the witches; I'm sure their must be witches of all colours and classes out there, but why reflect society in all its myriad complexity? And the bit where Sarah talks to her Mum while she does the ironing? It was soo set-up; "Sarah's Mum, could you just look old and boring for half an hour? There's a love." No-one I know has that much ironing (aside: especially younger people. I have one shirt than needs ironing that I rarely wear for that reason. Life's too short to iron.)

As far as I can tell, their "witchcraft" is a hotch-potch of pop-witchery (that stupid Titania spells book), Harry Potter and Buffy-style... hairstyles, at least. The underlying motivation seemed clearly be Heathers-like; almost without exception they talked about being loners, weirdos, on the edge of the crowd. Being in their coven (pronounced both to rhyme with covert and with a short O) gave them a sense of belonging. As one of the Woking witches so incisively commented: "this makes sense to us, I get it." Rather like you might get your trigonometry homework or a particuarly difficult passage of Latin.

And then vampires? Aren't they, like, completely different? That was Julian's plan: "I'm the only vampire in Peckam." I bet you are, sweetie, with that make-up. Anyway, it was such compelling TV I fell asleep before the end. Can't wait for next week's girl gangs one: "no, no, that's my lipstick, give it back." These programmes are giving girls a bad name: we're not all Sarah Michelle Gellar lookey-likeys with slightly vacant stares. Well, I am, of course.

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