By John Ruberry

Much well-deserved criticism has been leveled at the BBC for compelling Doctor Who to go transgender by having, after 41 years, a woman take the lead role. Not because, as DaTechGuy himself noted two months ago, the best performer was hired, but because the Doctor Who franchise apparently needs more diversity.

Keep in mind that the most recent companion of the Doctor was a black lesbian with a Colin Kaepernick-style afro. Oh, I am not automatically opposed to a female Doctor. Let’s say Judi Dench wanted the role. Would I watch? Sure, I would. It would be the same for me if Meryl Streep grabbed the controls of the TARDIS. But that last one can never happen. An American playing the Doctor? And one from New Jersey? Imagine the uproar!

But I’m here to review a different TV show.

Y Gwyll, which is Welsh for The Dusk, is called Hinterland in English. It’s a production of S4C, a Welsh-language public television network in Britain. So far three seasons have been released. Hinterland is also broadcast on BBC Wales–which ironically produces Doctor Whoas part of its commitment to provide more Welsh cultural offerings there. And BBC One offers the show too.

So does a political agenda and enjoyable television viewing mix? In this case, yes, they do.

Hinterland is a noir crime drama, a genre that is very popular in Scandinavia, where some of the funding for the program comes from. It’s an expensive series to shoot as every scene with dialogue is filmed twice, once in Welsh and then in English. And there is much outdoor filming which costs more than controlled studio shots.

After ten years working for the London Metropolitan Police, Detective Chief Inspector Tom Mathias (Richard Harrington) relocates to the coastal town of Aberystwyth in western Wales after a family tragedy. The laconic and brooding character lives in a caravan, what the Brits call a trailer home, in front of the stone ruins of presumably an old farmhouse. Does this symbolism mean that Mathias cannot rebuild his life?

In the Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood, which is set in Cardiff, we see a gleaming modern city, which is not surprising as the Torchwood alien-hunting team is led by a post-American time traveler from the 51st century. The Wales of Hinterland is one of collapsing old homes, crumbling walls, and failing farms. Yes, I love the cinematography here, but remember, I’m someone vacationed in Detroit two years ago to snap urban exploration photos. And in every Hinterland episode it seems to be early March–a stillborn spring. The countryside is gorgeous, reminiscent, to me at least, of the Flint Hills of Kansas.

Detective Inspector Mared Rhys (Mali Harries), a single mother is also burdened by a complicated past, is Mathias’ primary assistant; he is also ably aided by Siân Owens (Hannah Daniel) and Lloyd Elis (Alex Harris).

Hinterland is a slow-moving program–if car chases and gun battles are your Jones, then move along, there is little here for you. And it takes a while for the series plot to play out as a murder in the first episode of season one doesn’t begin to expand into other crimes until the end of that season. It builds from there as Mathias confronts Iwan Thomas (Geraint Morgan) who used to hold his job in Aberystwyth and whose past is as troubled as his own. Chief Superintendent Brian Prosser (Aneirin Hughes), Mathias’ recondite boss, discourages him from pursuing the Thomas angle in his investigations.

Season three was my favorite, as many loose ends are tied up. There are no plans for a fourth Hinterland batch–but the series hasn’t been cancelled either. But as Hinterland also receives funding from the European Union, politics could push the show out of its stillborn spring and into permanent winter.

Ah, politics. It really does ruin everything.

All three seasons of Hinterland are available on Netflix in the United States and in DVD form on Amazon.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Over the last two years my wife has really fallen in love with the Patriots, she has consumed the game with a passion that only matches her love of quilting.

Today despite my own misgivings I turned on the game for her (I’m pretty indifferent except for Brady) and while Tom Brady, Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick all stood there were a bunch of Patriots taking a knee.

When she saw this something happened that I didn’t expect.

She told me to shut it off.

As she said: “they’re paid to throw and catch pigskin, protest on your own dime, your own dime and your own time…this girl is not going to fall all over anybody because they are babies, spoiled overpaid babies. Put on your big boy pants and grow up.” ”

She didn’t stop there “the Patriots are supposed to be a class act and that shows no class at all.”

she had plenty more to say but I can’t type that fast.

She also apologizes to Tom, Grok and everyone who stood and while she will always root for her boys but as of today as long as there is a Patriot kneeling for the anthem, the TV gets shut off or changed.

The people at work will be shocked when she doesn’t ask for the score of the game, but if they want to make a statement fine, this is hers.

I really didn’t think this would happen and I suspect neither did the NFL.

May they be happy with the path they have chosen.

Update: Apparently they lost a large chunk of the crowd at the game too:

During the playing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Gillette Stadium, 17 Patriots players decided to take a knee, including defensive starters Devin McCourty, Malcolm Butler, Duron Harmon and Stephon Gilmore.

The fans didn’t like that

Fortunately for the NFL as MSNBC show you can still make a good living with a niche market.


If you like what you’ve seen here and want to support independent journalism please hit DaTipJar below.




Please consider subscribing, Not only does that get you my weekly podcast emailed to you before it appears either on the site or at the 405media which graciously carries it on a weekly basis but if you subscribe at any level I will send you an autographed copy of my new book from Imholt Press: Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer


Choose a Subscription level



(or you can buy one here)

Last year the NFL tried to spend an entire season pretending that the protests against the National Anthem were not hurting attendance while trying to appease players who decided they’d want to be social justice warriors of the pampered 1%.

This season attendance and rating continue to drop as athletes decide to focus on protest rather than play and the athletes doubled down asking the NFL to dedicate a month to protest.

Four NFL players submitted a 10-page memo to the league’s top officials asking for “overt league support” and a month of anti-police activism.

The 10-page memo was obtained by Yahoo Sports and was endorsed by Seattle Seahawks’ Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins, Eagles’ Torrey Smith and former NFL player Anquan Boldin. The memo was sent to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent.

Bennett has sat during the national anthem during games and raises a fist on the field after making plays in protest of the police.

The memo asks for the league to make the month of November as “activism awareness month” such as the league does with breast cancer.

This was a bombshell aimed directly at the blue collar white fan base that Roger Goodell would like to avoid, but alas for him a more media savvy person recognized that NFL base that is getting angry at pampered athletes dissing the country and law are upsetting his base too.

Ed Morrissey saw where this was going:

After this, what will be more likely: NFL players decide to obey Trump, or NFL players make a special show of defying Trump? Given his relative popularity in the urban areas that support these teams, bet heavily on the latter. And even those who might have eschewed protesting during the anthem before this for reasons of patriotism will now have incentive to show solidarity with their teammates, knowing full well that Trump’s comments will put pressure on them to show that they’re not going to take orders from him.

This fad may have petered out naturally after a few more months; Trump’s all but guaranteed that we’ll get it through the 2020 election. And that may mean that NFL players will need to keep it going through 2024, given the unpopularity of the protests everywhere else. It’s a win-win, I guess.

Sure enough the NFL commissioner who wasn’t willing to critique his players was more than willing to hit Trump

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fired back at President Trump on Saturday for encouraging league owners to remove players who take a knee during the national anthem, saying Trump’s “divisive comments” show “an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL.”

Oddly enough I don’t recall him calling the protests “divisive”, nor complaining about the “unfortunate lack of respect” for police or the country and the flag.

Furthermore on Friday another story came out about Stephen Curry saying he’s not going to the White House over Trump and the Warriors hedging about going 

”I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Myers said. ”It’s not as clear as, well I assume some people think it is and some people think it isn’t. So, from our opinion, my opinion, it deserves a proper forum. It deserves the right amount of thought, and so when we make the decision we at least put in the right amount of time to make it.”

Stephen Curry has been outspoken about not attending, saying at media day Friday, ”I don’t want to go … my beliefs stay the same.”

So the President, understanding that this is another gimme for his base, decided to make things easier for them by taking the decision out of their hands.

Now by this time it should have been pretty obvious that the President is trolling the left here and hoping beyond hope that they choose to bite because he understand that to his base, particularly in state that the left needs if they want to win in 2020 can’t afford to upset those voters who decided to abandon them.

So if they were smart they would have let it go.

They Didn’t

And the msm has piled on with some disingenuous breast beating:

Trump knows this. He is an avid consumer of TV and culture. Which means that he is purposely playing at and with racial animus here. That is a dark thing to do as the leader of the United States. And something he deserves to be condemned for.

This is from CNN which has spent the last 5 years playing the race card and doing all they can to divide the country.

However some people get it like the folks at Powerline:

Liberals have responded with predictable hysteria in defense of Colin Kaepernick’s (and others’) First Amendment rights. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell issued a statement that criticized Trump without, however, mentioning the National Anthem issue, which suggests how sensitive it is to the league’s hierarchy.

And Rich Lowry:

He takes a commonly held sentiment — most people don’t like the NFL protests — and states it in an inflammatory way guaranteed to get everyone’s attention and generate outrage among his critics. When those critics lash back at him, Trump is put in the position of getting attacked for a fairly commonsensical view.

and Allahpundit who while he sees a silver lining for the left as well

All of which … works out pretty well for both sides. Liberals are forever grumbling that pro athletes aren’t as “socially conscious” as they should be given their influence; James and Curry have the cachet to change that, and to do so at the expense of Democrats’ least favorite politician. Trump fans will hate every minute of that and some apolitical fans will grow annoyed at having politics crammed into yet another form of entertainment, and the backlash will benefit Trump. As a matter of raw populism, you can’t do better than the white-identity-politics president in a war of words with a group of black superstar athletes defending another black athlete known for complaining about how oppressive America is. I’d bet a kidney that Steve Bannon, Trump’s populist id, couldn’t be more excited about last night’s shot at anthem protests and today’s fallout.

but forgets that this helps Trump in places that he needs to win again and hurts him in places that he’s doesn’t, while helping the left in places that they are already winning in and hurts them in swing states and districts.

Because nothing is going to win over white working class voters than a bunch of rich athletes talking about how oppressed they are by the country that made them rich.

The left doesn’t seem to get this or if they do, they are too afraid of getting any single part of their fragile coalition together to risk keeping silent, they don’t want to see a bunch of primaries where they are flanked on the left.

What’s really ironic here is Trump is using the tactics of the left against them and playing by the same rules that they normally do or as Kurt Schlichter put it

The left will miss the old rules come election day.

Update: Instalanche, thanks Ed. You’ll want to see these two follow up posts

The NFL Lost my wife today

and

The NFL Question Every 2018 Red State Democrat Candidate Now has to Answer

Also I had Robert Stacy McCain stay with me for a week, we hit Harvard, Clark, UMass Amherst, He did TV in Worcester, gave speeches in Lexington and did an event on feminism in Leominster. You can find it all here.

Update 2: Guess what NFL shirt is the #1 seller for the Pittsburgh steelers

or buy Amazon and give the NFL nothing

Plus the ultimate NFL twitter irony

Update 2: “America Good”


If you like what you’ve seen here and want to support independent journalism please hit DaTipJar below.




Please consider subscribing, Not only does that get you my weekly podcast emailed to you before it appears either on the site or at the 405media which graciously carries it on a weekly basis but if you subscribe at any level I will send you an autographed copy of my new book from Imholt Press: Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer


Choose a Subscription level



(or you can buy one here)