Lurky McLurklurk (ionlylurkhere) wrote,
Lurky McLurklurk

Burn Up

So, Burn Up finished on BBC2 this evening. It is a Big International Coproduction Srs Drama Miniseries (3 hours split into two chunks for UK consumption) about global warming and peak oil and "OMG everyone the end of the world is coming! TV says so so it must be true!" and exactly how big was this production's carbon footprint? (There were lots of helicopters, is the main reason I thought of this.)

Burn Up is about the true gay love of Josh from the West Wing (now calling himself Mac and having split up badly enough with Donna to turn him COMPLETELY EVIL and become one of the Shadowy Men Who Run The World Behind The Scenes) and Adam from Spooks (who has gone deep undercover as a high up oil company man and is confusingly called Tom, when Tom is clearly his predecessor). Also in it is Elton from Love and Monsters (I don't watch Hustle, sry), who is actually canonically gay and a shadowy British civil servant who is pulling strings to sort out climate change, Neve Campbell off of various films as Adam's subordinate who runs the greenwash solar division/love interest, and General Hammond from Stargate (sob) as Josh's even evil-ler superior.

I may be deliberately making this even more confusing than it is, but I'm not going to stop. Those are their real names, their names in this program are clearly made up.

The plot is basically that there are climate change talks, and Josh and Adam are trying to undermine them because they are on Team Evil. Josh arranges for Adam's old professor who is giving evidence about climate change to Congress or something to be smeared with unproven sexual harrassment allegations so no one listens to him. And an Inuit lady commits a very public suicide to try and guilt Adam into doing the right thing, which eventually he sort of does but only because he's fucking Neve Campbell (yes, we get Adam-arse, kthxbai).

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has secretly run out of oil, Adam's father-in-law has commissioned a study that has discovered this and Josh's people have killed all but one of the geologists. The last remaining geologist, who is our token non-white character, is now on the run, but Adam's father-in-law panics and quits his job and ends up getting killed because he knows too much. Eventually, geologist guy gives the data to Adam and much of the final quarter is about Adam's moral dilemmas about what to do with the information. If he releases it, the economy will crash; if he doesn't, they can't blackmail the US into signing up for climate change. They end up releasing it and the end of the programme is the global economy completely crashing and people starving on the streets of the developed world and such, portrayed as a happy ending because the economic crash will cause a reduction in CO2 emissions all by itself. It does actually come off as a happy ending, or at least it did to me, which is quite an achievement.

Anyway, the women are all there to do the clunky exposition (the men get a share too, because there is LOTS of clunky exposition, but there are several female characters whose only role it is; the chairwoman of the treaty conference is a particularly thankless role) and Neve Campbell has a very dodgy half hour where she gives up her agency to Adam despite being in a position to do exactly what she's urging him to. She does eventually try and do it herself anyway, but gets herself killed for her trouble and to generate emo for Adam. Also, the wife he is cheating on with her is not portrayed very sympathetically at all. And the Inuit lady setting herself on fire is also entirely to motivate Adam's emo. Not so good on that side of things, really.

It's a UK/Canada co-production so the protestors get to burn an American flag when the US pulls out of Fictional-Kyoto-2, and the US is the bad guy. No, seriously. A major plot point is that when everything goes to shit they're planning to steal Mexico's water, and Josh ends up admitting that they actually want global warming to happen 'cos they'll weather the storm better than anyone else and thus end up on top of the dying world, oh yay, and also once the Arctic has melted they can transport things across there easily or something, I forget why that was good.

Anyway, Josh and Adam are very slashy indeed. They are bestest friends forever, trust each other with their lives etc., and very very huggy with each other. Towards the end Josh rants at Neve Campbell about not knowing what loving him really means, and there is this line he has to Adam about "the girl you're fucking who isn't your wife" that implies to me that they have an arrangement where OK, yes, you're allowed to have a wife and shag her, but other than that you're MINE. Possibly I am overinterpreting, but it is more fun that way. And the whole resolution is about them trusting each other and stuff, after Josh has realised that maybe he is being a little bit too evil, and then General Hammond introduces him to his replacement.

Anyway, if you haven't seen this and you get the chance it's a passable way to spend three hours but overall it is one of those annoying things that preaches at you in such a way as to put you off even while you are agreeing with it.
Tags: telleh

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