Appearing to be another one of many toe curling drama’s from ITV, adverts for ‘Bouquet of Barbed Wire’ portrayed the happenings of a family full of twisted relationships, with mysterious daughter Prue (Imogen Poots) at the centre. Aired last night, the first of the three part drama didn’t disappoint.
Admittedly the troubled relationship between sixth former Prue and sadistic English teacher Gavin, who is fired for having a relationship and impregnating teenage Prue, provides a lot of the same perplex and risqué excitement which both the novel (by Andrea Newman) and the original television series were acclaimed for . However it is without doubt that it is the even more disturbing relationship, between Prue and her middle class father Peter, that is more of an issue when watching.
Because of many occurrances, on both Prue and Peter’s side, I’m sure many viewers will have begun to question the nature of their relationship (As alsmost a preview to their abnormal relationship, very early into the programme seventeen year old Prue reveals to her mother her choice in wearing a baggy green coat is because it “smells of daddy,” I know, creepy… Just creepy.) In Peter’s rage towards Gavin, as well as his growing disdain towards his own wife throughout the hour long drama, he does nothing to dampen suspicions of a less than normal father-daughter relationship and you begin to sense a modern day ‘View from the Bridge’ situation.
The initial idyllic family life is initially disturbed somewhat anti-climatically, when Gavin calmly announces Prue’s pregnancy over family dinner. Peter’s heartache at Prue’s decision to marry her teacher sees him divulging into a sexual encouter with co-worker Sarah and introduces viewers to the beginning of yet another twisted and complex relationship.
Teasing looks exchanged between Gavin and Prue’s mother Cassie plus the growing relationship between Peter and Sarah mean I have no doubt that the drama and mystification will only develop and explode throughout the next two one hour installments, as the twisted lives of the Manson family unfolds.
I’d say ‘Bouquet of Barbed Wire’ is a particularly exciting watch for those of you like me, who have never read the book or watched the first television production of the story. The story involves drama which could be identified as almost Shakespearean so if you’re looking for a bit of good old-fashioned, tragedy, with a modern twist, I would definitely recommend this ITV special.