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Happy Valley

From George Murphy

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Along with 6 million others, I've enjoyed watching Happy Valley. Obviously, it has been an important cultural event for the people of this area, affecting how we see ourselves and how others will perceive us in future. The one jarring note for me was the choice of theme tune: we're not a city, there aren't many speed bumps and the scenery is pretty! I imagine this track was added by some southern studio Tristram with a set idea of grim, post industrial, northern wastelands. The story lines focused on violence, rape, murder, police corruption and family relationships. Quite enough to be going on with for a first series. However, the impact of drugs on individuals was never far from the surface.

So far, the damage wreaked by drugs has been conveyed through arrests or sectioning of addicts on council estates. That's fair enough. But if the writer was influenced by viewing a film about the drug scene in Hebden Bridge, and its critique of a hip, pro drug culture amongst 70s newcomers, I suspect that Happy Valley 2 might include us in its sweep.

A few years ago, I read some letters to the Guardian about the uncertain quality of the pot that is now sold in the UK. Most writers recognised the dangers of 'skunk', especially for younger users. Psychiatrists have told me they are convinced it is causing terrible harm. The letter from a Hebden Bridge Guardian reader suggested that if we're not sure about the quality of the product we should 'buy a bigger bung man'! There's an argument to be made for greater control of product through legalisation, although I wouldn't make it. But in the meantime, Happy Valley has reminded us to look back along the supply line and to question what harm has been done even before soft and hard drugs reach us.

Apologies if some of the terminology in this letter was wrong, my fix is red wine and real ale!

From Kez Armitage

Monday, 9 June 2014

Great series. Excellent acting, compelling storylines and fabulous scenery.

I agree with George about the music. It would have been a golden opportunity to give one of our local talented musicians the chance to shine, and by heck, we have more than our fair share of them in the valley!

That aside, if the programme - and Sarah Lancashire in particular - don't pick up a BAFTA or two for Happy Valley, then there's no justice.