This Is Pop! #14

I haven’t mentioned some of the TV shows and films I’ve watched recently for a while, so allow me to redress that.

Sex Education on Netflix is hilariously brilliant, if very rude (warning: the first few minutes of each episode features sex acts and noises which led me to turn the volume down each time, in case the neighbours thought I was watching actual porn); having recently got NOWTV, I’m almost at the end of the first season of True Detective, which is a real slow burner but suddenly combusts into life (I’m told the second and third series are nowhere near as good, so probably won’t bother); I’m persevering with Big Little Lies, which everyone tells me is amazing but just hasn’t ignited for me yet.

And then there’s king of the crop Succession, which I cannot recommend highly enough. Created by Jesse Armstrong, who was the co-creator of Peep Show (it’s not fair to compare the two, they’re such different beasts, both brilliant in their own way), the show tells the story of siblings jostling for position as heir to the throne of a mutli-million pound media company when the owner and creator almost has to retire due to ill-health.

Here’s the synopsis from Wiki: “Succession follows the Roy family, owners of media conglomerate Waystar Royco. The family patriarch, Logan Roy, has experienced a decline in health. His four children – removed oldest son Connor, power-hungry Kendall, irreverent Roman, and politically savvy Siobhan – all with varying degrees of connection to the company, begin to prepare for a future without their father, and each begins vying for prominence within the company.” Which is pretty much what I said.

If you happened to have also watched the recent documentary on BBC2 about the Murdoch family, you’ll have noted the similarities between the two, and it’s no big secret that Succession was loosely based on said family.

Why am I mentioning this in a post about pop music, I hear you ask. Well, because heavily involved in Succession is Lucy Prebble, who also wrote Diary of a Call Girl, which I can’t pretend I’ve watched, but who also wrote the wonderful I Hate Suzie, now streaming on NOWTV.

…Suzie sees Prebble reunited with actress Billie Piper, who starred in Diary… and also a Prebble-penned play The Effect, and tells the story of Suzie Pickles (Piper) as an actress whose life is thrown into turmoil when her phone is hacked and compromising photographs of her are leaked.

The writing is peerless, as are the performances, Piper putting in a real tour de force, which led me to reflect on her short-lived career as a popstar. (See? We got there in the end!)

She came to prominence as a fifteen year old in 1988, with her single Because We Want To which entered the charts at #1 making her the youngest artist to debut at number one, at age 15. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that The Sun did a countdown to her 16th birthday like they did with Charlotte Church and Emma Watson (bear with me on this clip, the relevant bit is brief and at around 4:10 if you want to skip through):

Anyway, I wasn’t all that fussed on much of Billie’s musical output, but I do love this:

Now, the reason I like that tune – and I really do – is not just because I think it’s a brilliant pop record – which I do – but because it reminds me of two other equally great pop records, one of which was released before, the other after, making Honey… a bridge between the two.

Here you go:

All Saints – Never Ever

and this:

Which of course gives me the opportunity to post the video and make the usual joke about how it looks like they’re lighting their farts in it:

Three for the price of one, all utter pop tunes that it’s fine to admit to liking. It’s been a while, but you’re welcome.

More soon.