The Waiting Room, BBC4

by | Feb 22, 2007 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

Bizarrely watchable because it is a simple, unassuming programme that talks to normal people about their normal lives rather than pandering the delusions of the non-talented scum who usually clog up the schedules.

What was good about it?

• The people who chatted in the Brixton nail salon weren’t especially enlightening but their appeal shone through because of their modest individuality. Woman A (no names were given) gave as a justification for her visit: “If you work hard you’ve got to spoil yourself.”

• Woman A also mused on what seemed to be a common thread of the working class women who liked to spruce themselves up – that of blind materialism versus spiritual contentment. “I like a man with money,” she pondered before instantly contradicting herself. “But it’s not about money.”

• Woman B shared a similar confusion as if the glare of capitalism had blinded her to her own values. “I’ll know I’ve made it when I’ve got my house, my land. But it’s not really about materialistic things.” And she was in the vortex of materialism more than most as she hoped to become an accountant – the ultimate symbol that you value money over happiness.

• Woman F recounted her tale of how she broke her back after falling down the stairs clutching her one-year-old son. Plummeting, she selflessly twisted her body to protect him from the impact, sacrificing her back in the process. Thankfully, the injury hasn’t severely injured her but would make it difficult for her to have more children.

• Old Bloke, a retired hotelier who still rises at 6am because he “is haunted by time” and who pops into the salon as much to admire the young women as get his nails done.

What was bad about it?

• Also apparent were the women’s distrust and ignorance of men. Woman A snarled of her boyfriend: “I know men cannot be faithful. If Penelope Cruz comes in – he ain’t going to say ‘no’.” Perhaps he might, but not all men are so weak.

• While Woman E was embarking on that most futile of quests – the hunt for ‘Mr Right’ – a quest formulated and fostered by those rolled-up baton sized women’s magazines who perpetuate some women’s misguided yearning for ‘Mr Right’ in order to ensure that their advertisers of senseless beauty products enjoy a continued gushing revenue stream.

• As it was on BBC4, there was a suspicion that it was almost giving the typical BBC4 viewer who lives in an urban fortress with a country pad for shooting weekends a peek into the grimy underclass.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


Follow us:

Our Latest Posts:

Borgen proves TV revivals can work.

Borgen proves TV revivals can work.

Borgen is the best political series on television. It's not an area television drama dabbles in that often. There's the original House of Cards and the Netflix version...

The BBC confirm second series of Sherwood.

The BBC confirm second series of Sherwood.

As the critically acclaimed Sherwood finishes its much talked about run on the BBC tonight (28 June) it has been confirmed that it will return for a second series with...


Submit a Comment