Guess Who’s Talking

Given my love for British mysteries, you can imagine that I’m always on the outlook for a new series. There are plenty from which to choose, but some of them are really quite old. I’m old too, but I’ve moved along with the times. These programs are static. They still use land lines. Their lapels are disturbingly wide and their ties are disturbingly short. They smoke endlessly. I prefer period pieces that are made in this century, but take place in the last. While the clothes are 60s or 70s in design, there is a bit more pizazz than there was in the real 60s and 70s.

Anyway, I stumbled upon a series that I noticed was recorded in 2015. It is called River. It stars Stellan Skarsgard (a man of whom I was wholly unfamiliar) as Detective Inspector John River. His partner, I noticed with delight, is played by one of my favorite British actresses named Nicola Walker. That was the extent of what I knew about the program before I dove in to the first episode.

It started out with the two going through a fast-food drive-thru, and DI River being revolted by the food his partner DS Jackie Stevenson is eating. It was amusing. Then, however, it moved to the next scene in which DS River is talking to a shrink, clearly not happy to be there. It took me an embarrassingly long time, but I finally figured out that DS Stevenson is dead, killed on the job. DI River, however, continues to “see” her and, more disturbingly, talk to her. I’m unaware if the fast food had any connection to her death.

So after watching about the first half hour, I had to turn it off. I found it too weird to see him talking to his partner, and listening to her talk back to him. She’s dead, remember. So basically, he’s talking to himself. So, although Ms. Walker has a starring role in the series, she’s kind of fuzzy and, well, dead. It remains to be seen whether she is very helpful in helping him solve crimes. Because, see above, she’s dead.

That’s a very long introduction to my real point, which is that I, too, talk to myself. It’s not supposed to be a problem unless you answer yourself. Which, of course, I do. This phenomenon is not new. I have talked to myself for as long as I can remember.

When I was a child, I had an invisible friend. Her name was Cathy. This, by the way, was an odd choice for a name because I had a real neighborhood friend named Kathy, spelled with a K. Perhaps I felt the spelling difference was significant enough to make it less weird. The bottom line is that I was basically talking to myself because she was invisible.

As I got a bit older, my imagination got even weirder. I would imagine that my life was being filmed and people were watching live. Basically it was reality television before reality television became a thing. Being only 11 or 12 years old, my life wasn’t all that interesting. But then neither are the lives of the Kardashians, and they’ve become filthy rich via their lives being filmed. The point is, because my life was being filmed, I had to talk to myself. And so I did. I basically narrated my pitiful little 11-year-old life to my audience, who existed only in my mind.

Stop laughing. I don’t do that any longer.

Having said all of the above, since DI Rivers and I are basically soul brother and sister, I will give his show another try.