So, as even the man on the moon must know, Kate got knocked up. Will and Kate are expecting. Or, I should say, this being Canada and all, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced that Catherine is pregnant.
Also, as everyone knows, there is a vast media industry that feeds off the royals. The people who peddle tea cozies with the badly reproduced face of the Queen have nothing on the British media mob and their endless pontificating and speculating. Days after the announcement, there’s a giddy, hour-long documentary about the pregnancy and what it all means. The CBC, bless its royal-adoring soul, is the first to air it here.
Will & Kate: Baby Fever (Sunday, CBC NN 10 p.m. on The Passionate Eye) is all gosh-gosh tosh about the couple and their upcoming life as parents. Obviously, it was mainly made before the announcement, but that’s essentially irrelevant. Anyone could predict all the topics and speculation that would ensue, and has in the last few days.
Columnists and correspondents from various English newspapers and magazines chat away and hypothesize like mad. Sometimes it’s mere statement of fact, as in a chap declaring that “Kate’s job is to produce an heir and a spare.” Same chap (I think it’s the same one, but it’s hard to tell one plummy voice from another) suggests that the baby’s name will be “dynastic.” Loads of people jaw about “a new royal fairy tale” and one suggests, “it would be fun to see the other royal couple in the U.K., Posh and Becks, as godparents.” Now that’s a fairy tale.
We’re told it will be very, very important that the spawn of Will and Kate gets to know HM the Queen very well. Indeed. We’re also told that, because Diana took her boys to the zoo and a theme park for outings, Will and Kate should do the same with their children. One woman suggests, darkly, that with the arrival of a child, “real pressure” is put on a marriage. Gosh. It’s amazing how much parenting advice is available to the expectant couple.
Inevitably it is suggested that Kate will be “the ultimate yummy mummy” and all sorts of stuff is spouted about what maternity clothes she should wear. Specific designers are named. Golly gosh. Never mind the succession laws, a topic that’s touched upon, it’s what Kate wears that matters. Oh, and home birth or hospital? Well, you’ll just have to watch and find out, won’t you?
For me, if I hear one more time about “a more ordinary, accessible monarchy,” I think I shall scream. Besides, what’s missing in this mountain of speculation is anything about Kate’s comely sister Pippa Middleton. I mean, seriously, bring in the Auntie Pippa stories, pronto, if this matter is going to be properly presented as authentic tosh.
The sudden arrival here of Will & Kate: Baby Fever has pushed back by an hour what was meant to be the glamour doc this weekend. Scarlet Road: A Sex Worker’s Journey (Sunday, CBC NN, 11 p.m. on The Passionate Eye) is a compelling chronicle of the career of Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton, who specializes in clients with disabilities. She works in New South Wales, where prostitution is legal.
While Wotton is a fascinating figure, it is her clients who are truly worth meeting. There’s one man with a degenerative disease who talks about being suicidal before he was able to connect with Wotton.
To some people, Wotton is a heroine. She works with the non-profit group Touching Base – which trains sex workers to provide services to disabled people – and she fights for the rights of sex workers in Australia. As such, she is seen as someone willing to speak out about two marginalized groups. There is nothing salacious about this doc. In fact, it features some of the nicest people you’ll meet on TV this weekend.
Also airing this weekend
Longford (Saturday, HBO Canada, 8 p.m) is a repeat of the superb 2006 HBO movie about Frank Packenham (Jim Broadbent), the seventh Earl of Longford, and his involvement with notorious child murderer and prisoner Myra Hindley (Samantha Morton).
The Earl was known in Britain as either a do-gooder or a flake. Then, when he became involved with the imprisoned Hindley, he became known as a fool. Morton is chilling as the manipulative, unknowable Hindley and Broadbent is achingly good as the eventually devastated Earl.