CHRISTOPHER STEVENS reviews last night’s TV: Hope brave Vicky realizes the sobering truth

Vicky Pattinson: Alcohol, Dad and Me


Irma Vep


There is a tale of luvvies known to all old comedians, about the Shakespearean giant and inveterate drunkard Robert Newton, who came on the stage one night drunk as an ermine.

As the marinated ham spat, drooled and slurred Richard III, a woman in the front row accused him: “You’re drunk!”

An outraged Newton turned on her. “Ma’am,” he growled, “if you think I’m f****d, wait till you see the Duke of Buckingham!” »

Reality TV star Vicky Pattinson speaks fondly about her problems with alcohol in the C4 series

Reality TV star Vicky Pattinson speaks fondly about her problems with alcohol in the C4 series

Reality TV star and former I’m A Celebrity winner Vicky Pattison reminded me of this story when talking about her problems with alcohol in Alcohol, Dad And Me (C4). Vicky liked to go out at night, she admitted. We’ve seen her take limoncello shots with friends at a bar, and snippets of her loud antics and lairs on Geordie Shore, the northern version of The Only Way Is Essex.

“I have a problem with alcohol,” she said. “I’ve abused it in the past and my heavy drinking has been in public.”

After a session in Marbella, she ended up in hospital. If she drank limoncello, I’m not surprised. This stuff is bleach flavored with Fairy liquid. She must have an asbestos esophagus.

Vicky feared that at 34 she would party less and prepare to start a family. But most of his anxiety was focused on his 63-year-old father John – in his own words, “a full-fledged alcoholic” with cirrhosis of the liver.

Fearing that he would kill himself, she was terrified of ending up like him. But the hard truth that emerges from this unique documentary is that she is wrong.

She clung to the belief that if she could persuade her father to dry off, she would be fine too. It is a double illusion. John didn’t even pretend he intended to quit drinking, for her or anyone else. Alcohol once cost him his marriage to Vicky’s mother.

And saving him is a distraction, an excuse not to do the one thing she can do to save herself: tackle her own drinking.

Vicky completed a questionnaire with her father but did not ask herself enough in-depth questions about the effects of alcohol on her health. She repeatedly spoke of feelings of anger and self-loathing, but didn’t wonder if the impact of binge eating on her brain made them worse.

Instead, she recited a therapeutic waffle about “feeling validated.” Doing this program took courage and could turn out to be, quite literally, a sobering experience for her. But comparing yourself to your father, or anyone else, won’t help. There will always be someone who will drink more than you – a Duke of Buckingham.

Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander can't save Irma Vep slow, repetitive and wordy

Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander can’t save Irma Vep slow, repetitive and wordy

Mira Harberg (Oscar winner Alicia Vikander) may knock the wine down, but her real addiction is her domineering ex-girlfriend Laurie, in Irma Vep (Sky Atlantic).

Laurie (Adria Arjona) was Mira’s personal assistant as well as her lover. Then she dumped the star and married a renowned director. Unfortunately, the tense and complex flirtation between these two women, as the power slides from one to the other, is the only interesting aspect of this pretentious drama.

It’s French director Olivier Assayas’ remake of his cult 1996 film, and a perfect example of what happens when moviegoers assume they know how to make a TV series.

Slow, repetitive, wordy, broken up into lumpy scenes and shot with conscious craftiness, it’s packed with Hollywood jokes. Irma Vep moves from silent film pastiche to romance, from satire to horror, haphazardly paying homage to obscure films and being supremely self-satisfied.

Fans of arthouse cinema seem to put up with this kind of plot mush, but viewers deserve so much more.