Confessions of a Secretary, TV review: The "good old days" were in fact nothing of the kind

 

Will Dean
Thursday 04 December 2014 01:00
Comments
The programme was a look back at the Mad Men-y age of the Sixties and Seventies
The programme was a look back at the Mad Men-y age of the Sixties and Seventies

After doctors owning up to getting their mistresses off-the-books abortions and coppers to smashing skulls, it was time for Britain's secretaries to get things off their chests in Channel 4's rather good Confessions series.

This was a look back at the Mad Men-y age of the Sixties and Seventies, a time when secretaries would have their hemlines measured from the floor and men with busy hands could maintain positions of power without the pesky Protection from Harassment Act of 1997 getting in the way.

It's been odd watching this series, which manages to just – just – maintain a distance critical enough to acknowledge that the "good old days" were in fact nothing of the kind. In fact, if it wasn't for Mad Men, The Hour et al, to this viewer it would be like watching a documentary from a parallel universe. (Though, one should note, that on Monday, research from Girlguiding UK reported that 60 per cent of girls and young women report being harassed, so plus ça change...)

As Jacqui recounted the story of getting spanked (spanked!) over her boss's lap in an office, she mused to herself – "It wasn't like the real world, was it? If you think about it now it seems incredible." The past is a foreign country, of course, but perhaps not foreign enough.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in