I posted recently a piece entitled “Dream School and Real School”, about a radio interview I’d heard with one of Jamie Oliver’s “Dream School” pupils. I tweeted too: how cutting-edge am I?
Based on what seemed to be encouraging evidence of a turnaround in the attitudes and self-belief of this particular “problem pupil”, I thought that good old Jamie had found yet another successful formula; that’s why I wrote: “Dream School rules”.
I did however admit in my blog that I hadn’t yet seen any of the programmes. I have now corrected the omission, watching most of the last episode. That was enough to make me feel that my enthusiasm might have been misplaced.
A Coren summing-up
Victoria Coren, writing in The Observer last Sunday (17 April), summed the series up superbly and I could not improve on what she wrote. Admittedly, anyone with the surname Coren starts with a credit balance in my book, as I was and remain a massive fan of her dad’s writing. I’m glad to see that Alan Coren’s brilliant torch has been passed on safely.
Coren jr. ended her piece thusly: “The vaguely happy ending wasn’t enough to undo the message of the previous six weeks. Half the kids were still interrupting, swearing and self-justifying. The cleverest girl, who had won a science trip to Arizona, a further education scholarship and a tour of Cambridge University with an encouraging David Starkey, is now, we learned, ‘auditioning for TV dramas’. What sort of conclusion are we supposed to draw from that?
“… let’s strive to remember that it didn’t actually prove anything and was just a piece of weird entertainment.”
Alf Garnett stares back
Ms Coren clearly watched all six episodes but then she was paid to do so. I feel for her. Despite that fact that she was writing here in a newspaper that I’m sure would describe itself as left of centre, she said: “after each episode, I looked into the mirror and Alf Garnett stared back”.
(NB: If you are not a Brit, or not old enough to remember him, Alf Garnett was the fictional epitome of reactionary attitudes)
Want to know more?
To read Victoria Coren’s excellent article “Jamie’s dream was a nightmare”, go to: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/17/victoria-coren-jamie-oliver-catherine-zeta-jones?INTCMP=SRCH
(That’s not just a suggestion: it’s an order!)