Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Trust (Kautta kiven ja kannon)

If the human relationships and characters of a TV series are not credible - that is, they run blatantly against my intuitions on how humans behave - I tend to lose interest after one show. If human behavior is the core of a movie, and the characters don't act like humans, then the program doesn't really tell about anyhthing. "Trust" is one those series.

"Trust" tells about a top lawyer company. The staff consists mainly of very ambitious career men and women. They work long shifts, often on weekends, and in their priorities work is always before family.

Because "Trust" is a human relationship drama, the program chooses to show moments with drama: people talking to each others, people getting shouted at, people manipulating each others, hints of sex, prolonged moments of major success or failure.

In the end, it leaves the impression that the people were so successful in their careers because they have tough business attitude. They are experienced at manipulating others, and like to play the game of business.

Although the series makes it clear that the employees do massive amounts of work, it fails to give any role to one essential factor - the grinding boredom of doing the same thing hour after hour, the numbing effect it has, and the means people develop to fight it.

Instead, it hints that human relationship games are the key to success.

It doesn't have to be that way, even in the drama.

Once I saw a fictionalized accout on how Alan Leeson drove Barings Bank into bankruptcy. In the beginnig, Alan Leeson was sent to an assignment at India to sort some accounts. When Alan arrived, a local woman showed him a corner filled with huge piles of papers. In the next picture, he sat on a desk alone, processing them. Then the program shortcutted time with a "Three months later" tag, and showed him celebrating the end of the task.

Since "Trust" fails to pay attention to this aspect of work, it doesn't really tell about work, and is not interesting.

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