For a few days on social media I was hearing quite a lot about Three Girls, a new drama which aired on BBC One recently. When I heard what it was about it sounded like the sort of drama that I love to watch, for various reasons.
I knew the moment I started watching it that I would love it! It’s based on true events of what happened with the Rochdale child sex abuse ring.
Taken from IMDB:
Powerful drama based on the experiences of three of the vulnerable young girls who were groomed, sexually abused and trafficked by British Pakistani men in Rochdale and of the failure of the authorities to do anything about it.
If you haven’t watched it yet then I’ll let you know a little bit about it. There are three episodes all an hour long and contain an amazing cast from Maxine Peake (Shameless and Dinner Ladies), Jill Halfpenny (Eastenders and Humans), Molly Windsor (The Unloved) and Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones and It’s All Gone Pete Tong) who is one of my favourite British actors.
You can still find it on BBC iPlayer to watch… I’m currently watching it for the third time, I love it THAT much! 😛
Here is the trailer for the show so you can check it out for yourselves.
Sooooo with so much hype about this show I thought I would share three British TV dramas you should watch immediately! If you haven’t already of course… 😛
1. The Unloved (2009) – Directed by Samantha Morton. (Synopsis taken from IMDB)
Lucy is eleven years old. Having been neglected by her estranged mother and father, she is placed in a children’s home. Through her eyes, we follow Lucy’s struggle to cope with the system. Her saving is her self-belief and her certainty that she is being watched over and protected by the holy spirit. Hers is a heroic quest for love, beauty and transcendence.
This is one of my favourite TV dramas and I remember my excitement back in 2009 when it was being advertised constantly on Channel 4! It’s about Lucy who is taken into care due to her father not being able to look after. As the synopsis states it’s about a child’s eye view about the UK care system. It’s a very powerful drama and is both directed and written by Samantha Morton, an Oscar nominee and who has also starred in films such as Sweet and Lowdown and Minority Report.
Samantha Morton has stated in interviews how she wrote The Unloved based off true events from when she was in care herself. Some of the themes throughout the drama are physical, sexual and mental abuse, neglect, alcohol and drug abuse as well as more around these sort of themes.
The one thing I noticed first of all when watching Three Girls is that Molly Windsor who plays Molly also played Lucy in The Unloved. This made me happy due to what a wonderful young actress she was in The Unloved.
As well as Molly Windsor the drama also stars Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) as Lucy’s father, Lauren Socha (Misfits) as Lauren, someone else in care who Lucy shares a room with and also befriends, Michael Socha (This is England) as one of the workers in the home who is concerned about the abuse that is happening and Craig Parkinson (Four Lions) as one of the workers in the care home who is also abusing Lauren.
Although the drama isn’t about the same topic it shares similar topics such as sexual abuse, and how the system has let people down and continues to do so.
The show of course was on Channel 4 nearly 10 years ago (FUCK THIS MAKES ME FEEL OLD!!!) and sadly isn’t available to watch on All 4 anymore, BUT you can pick it up on DVD fairly cheaply which is what I did as I needed my The Unloved fix. I’m sure you can find it online to watch somewhere too.
2. Pleasureland (2003) – Directed by Brian Percival. (Synopsis taken from IMDB)
The story of Joanna, a 14-year-old girl who feels pressured by her peers to lose her virginity. The story, told primarily from her point of view, follows her as she self-destructs, becoming involved in a world of sex, drugs and betrayal. Including graphic and sometimes violent underage sex scenes, the film portrays an occasionally exaggerated but nonetheless disturbing and thought-provoking view of teenage sexuality.
This is the first of all of these dramas that I watched and I think one of many that sparked me into loving these types of hard hitting TV films. It’s another one from Channel 4 and definitely one that should be shown in schools today due to what it’s about.
It’s about 14 year old Liverpudlian Joanna. Life seems okay for her, she works hard at school, has a friend who isn’t arsed about the pressure of other teenagers, her home life isn’t so bad… But something is missing… She ends up mixing with the “cool” girls in her class and they constantly talk about sex and their relationships. After attending a party she starts her trip into discovering her sexuality and befriends the girls. Her life changes dramatically as if overnight and sadly it isn’t all that it seems. Bullying, drugs, alcohol, lies and even sexual abuse, this is definitely a hard hitting coming of age drama which focuses heavily on sex. It is literally the whole, “everyone is having sex apart from me.”
I was 13 when this drama came out and to be honest when I was 14 like Joanna I probably started to wonder why I wasn’t having sex and didn’t have a boyfriend. It seems like a big thing growing up as a teenager and I don’t know if it’s harder for teenagers now but fuck sake it felt pressurising as hell back then! Now I would tell my teenage self not to give a shit. There’s all the time in the world for sex and boyfriends.
It originally aired on Channel 4 and is surprisingly still available on All 4 to watch. I’ve put it on so that can jog my memory with what happens. As I said before it’s definitely one that I feel should be shown in schools.
There are a couple of familiar faces such as Barry Sloane (Hollyoaks and US show Revenge) and Philip Olivier (Brookside).
Sadly I wasn’t able to find a trailer for this, but take my word on it that it’s good and just go and watch it on All 4!
3. No Child of Mine (1997) – Director by Peter Kosminsky (Synopsis taken from IMDB)
A British schoolgirl struggles to come to terms with the horrific and disgusting sexual abuse inflicted upon her by the adults in her life. When she resorts to self-harm to escape her troubles, a caring teacher tries to get her some help.
Like Three Girls this drama is based on true events and as far as I know aired on ITV… But don’t quote me as I can’t remember… I’m probably wrong.
The one thing about this drama out of all of them on this post (including Three Girls) this is the most hard hitting and very upsetting. I think it’s made worse because the girl who is being abused at home and throughout her time in care is the youngest out of all of the girls. I know Lucy in The Unloved is young and whilst she is physically abused by her father, Kerry in No Child of Mind is sexually abused and used by many, including both her parents.
The drama just shows the constant sexual abuse Kerry is put under by her parents, the people who should be protecting her from this, as well as carers throughout her time in care. It’s a depressing drama but one that really opens your eyes to how fucked up people are in this world and how over the years the care system has and still is letting our children, teenagers and young people down.
It doesn’t show that everyone is out to get her however as (from memory) her school teacher/counselor helps her along the way to make sure she is getting the best treatment. At times it’s out of his control what happens.
This is another drama that I think needs to be shown in school so that children in particular can learn that them having sexual affection from anyone isn’t right and that they can go to places like NSPCC and Childline and be “saved” and protected.
This is only available to watch on YouTube but the copy is pretty good considering the drama first aired 20 years ago.
It’s definitely worth a watch but be prepared to feel uncomfortable.
So those are the three shows I recommend you watch if you loved Three Girls!
I just want to put out a disclaimer that before you watch any of these dramas (I’m sure you’re smart enough to work it out) please be aware that they all contain scenes that some people my find upsetting and disturbing.
Are there any dramas, TV shows or films that you think I should watch that are similar plot lines to these I’ve mentioned?
Have you watched any/all of these? Please let me know what your thoughts were about them in the comments.
Until next time take care all and I hope you’re having a lovely week.