Right, before I write anything else, this isn’t something I usually do. I’ve never reviewed a TV programme/episode, I usually leave the critiquing to Ian Hyland-but I just couldn’t leave this one alone.
You see, since as early as was acceptable, my hero-my Dad, used to let me watch French & Saunders with him. I then became a ridiculously massive fan of the Vicar of Dibley, Jam and Jerusalem, and mainly anything with Dawn French in.
Dawn French, very quickly became one of my comedy heroes.
On New Years Eve, the critically acclaimed show, 30 Million Minutes, was shown on BBC4.
Unsure of what kind of show it was going to be, I have to say I assumed it would be a whole 2 hours of stand up comedy. But it was so much more than that. It was basically an autobiographical show-the life of Dawn French!
People like Dawn French-well, anyone in the public eye I suppose-seem to have been moulded in our heads using a preconceived idea of who we think they are.
What doesn’t help are media morons, trying to convince us (badly), that what they print is true.
Social media platforms, where the age old game of “Chinese Whispers” comes into play-in the form of tweets/statuses, spreading untrue rumours.
And, as Dawn mentions during this show, horrible, nasty, vile
arseholes idiots, who would happily mess with a child’s life to make a quick buck from a book full of crap.
So, imagine my surprise, when, while watching this glorious woman’s show, even though she’s double my age (sorry Dawn), I found the most amazing, and heartbreaking similarities in our lives.
I cried, I laughed, I laughed and cried at the same time.
I felt my heart break all over again, when she re-lived her miscarriage, something she kept so private-like I initially did with my first one. Who knew this amazing, funny, beautiful, open woman, had lost a baby-just like me.
I sat, open mouthed, at the detail in which she went into, when speaking about her father’s suicide when she was only 19. My eyes glancing over at the photo of my life hero-my Father, imagining how it would’ve felt to lose him at such a young age.
I cried, so much, over her descriptions of her Grandmothers, because the similarities in them and my own Grandmothers was so unbelievable!
And, I recalled my own memories of my Mother and Father’s divorce, and looked at it from another angle, when she explained how one day, she just knew it wasn’t working with Lenny, and decided to put herself and her “truth” first for a change.
All those years of listening to why my parents had split-and never really understanding, finally made sense. What Dawn and my Dad have in common (aside from age), is that they followed their hearts-and now, both remarried, know what they did was right for them!
If you haven’t seen it yet, none of these things are spoilers. The context in which Dawn speaks about these life lessons and experiences, aren’t anything you can read in an article or blog. They really have to be watched to be experienced fully.
Also, if you haven’t watched it yet, please don’t think its full of misery. Somehow, Dawn manages to make you flip from heartbreak to hilarity in a matter of moments, and, at one point, I genuinely couldn’t work out if my tears were from crying at an earlier story, or laughing hysterically at another tale from her past years (the glass on the car seat literally had me in pain laughing).
To sum up-the entire 120 minutes, of Dawn’s 30 Million Minutes, are just unforgettable. If you haven’t watched it, go watch it. If you have watched it, go watch it again-and lets start some kind of DVD release petition-because I absolutely must own this show forever!
Thank you Dawn-for, well you know, everything!
*I stole the above photo from The Telegraph-just in case anyone was wondering!