Tripping Over: Tamsin

There was a British/Australian miniseries, Tripping Over, which did a fabulous job of exploring relationships and responsibility, particularly from a woman’s perspective. There’s two main female characters, who I thought got the lion’s share of the good storylines. (After all, there’s only so many laughs Daniel McPherson can get out of sending himself up as a soap actor. I’ll start with Tamsin, a successful English lawyer going to Australia as her late mother’s dying wish. She’s engaged, but sleeps with an acquaintance she meets on stopover in Thailand. She’s obviously only half-hearted about her engagement, more enamoured with the “╦ťperfect’ man to go with her perfect job and perfect life, then she is the guy herself.

Over a period of a few months, she systematically undermines her career and relationship, ultimately trashing her professional reputation in an admirable but ultimately futile crusade. She then calls off her wedding while going down the aisle, and then has to face all her guests at the reception.

Sounds like pretty self-absorbed stuff. Except what I loved about this storyline is that Tamsin owned everything she did. She knew she’d ruined her fiancee’s life because she couldn’t decide what she wanted, she knew she’d wrecked her career over a silly ideal. She owned her colossal screwups. At the end of the series, she accepts that she made mistakes and she’s got no-one but herself to blame for them – so she may as well go about cleaning up her mess, because the only alternative is to lie in it. I loved that she took a cold, hard look at herself and accepted responsibility for what she’d done. It’s rare enough to see that kind of brutal self-examination in any character, let alone in an attractive, blond female.

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