Last night's viewing - The Girl Who Became Three Boys, Channel 4; Best of British: the Quadfather, Channel 4
I don't think I'll ever have problems with Twelfth Night again. Usually, the disguise element of Shakespeare's play is a bit of stretcher. How besotted would you have to be, you think, not to notice that the man you've just fallen in love with is actually a woman and then that he/she's been swapped with her/his brother? Having watched The Girl Who Became Three Boys, I can now see that Twelfth Night is virtually a work of documentary realism, though my opinion of Olivia has suffered a bit.
If she's anything like Jessica, one of the two young women fooled by a disguise plot of astounding implausibility, then you wonder whether she should be allowed out in public without a carer. Politely, the documentary described the victims here as "innocent". At home, it was all but impossible to prevent yourself substituting harsher terms for their short-sightedness.
One of the gulls was mature enough to opt for anonymity. Alice had been the first to convert a Facebook relationship into a face-to-face one, meeting up with her courtier, "Aaron", and failing to spot that it was actually her friend Gemma in a hat and a hoodie: "You just don't think when you meet someone... oh, that's my friend dressed up." Then Gemma and Alice's mutual friend Jessica was also lured in by "Luke", Aaron having introduced the two online. Luke was also wedded to his head-gear and a little too gropey for Jessica's taste, at which point he was replaced by the dreamy "Connor". You might have thought that Jessica would have noticed the striking resemblance between Luke and Connor, let alone between both of them and Gemma. But apparently he had a hat too and kept his head down when they met: "He said he had alopecia and he was shy."
To be fair to the two girls, they did once remark on Aaron's similarity to Gemma, asking whether he was by any chance related. Aaron bolted and texted later, saying that he'd been feeling sick. But as Jessica astutely pointed out there was something fishy about this explanation: "I have a perfectly capable toilet of holding sick, so why was he not just sick in my toilet?" she asked, in tones of defiant sagacity. She hadn't been quite as questioning at the time. When she visited Connor's address in an upmarket gated estate and found nobody of that name lived there her confusion was short-lived: "Connor told me that the maid would have to say that he didn't live there for security reasons because that was what his mum and dad had instructed."
Most jaw-dropping of all was Jessica's revelation that Connor had quietened her anxiety about his moments of sexual aggression by explaining that it hadn't been him at all but Luke in disguise. At the very least you would have thought this might make you a little more exacting about the identity of the person turning up to share your bed, but Jessica appeared to buy it. The big reveal only came when she turned over one night and saw that Connor looked exactly like Aaron. The police were called, Gemma ended up with a jail sentence, and Jessica offered a dazzling analysis of the real source of all the trouble: "If Mark Zuckerberg did not invent Facebook then none of this would ever have happened. So he's to blame." She's got a proper boyfriend now with "real boy bits". I do hope she's checked in daylight.
Best of British: the Quadfather was an intriguing profile of three British wheelchair tennis players. It hinted at the difficulties of levelling this particular playing field (one player had an electric chair while others had to push) and also established that when it comes to on-court tantrums, ill-feeling and unsportsmanlike behaviour there's nothing an able-bodied athlete can do that a disabled player can't match.
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
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