Daisy May Cooper finds the funny side of misery
“They’re so flawed, and they weren’t raised with the emotional skills to have any kind of normal relationships,” adds Cooper. “I am absolutely convinced that they both have borderline personality disorder. But I think relationships is a massive one [theme] because none of them want to have romantic partners. And all because they are so damaged.”
Cooper also believes the show is about how unconventional family structures are born out of necessity. “They’re trying to create this nuclear family with this gay man, who isn’t the biological father, and Costello, who is deeply flawed. And they have this kid, they’re raising this kid who’s actually more of a parent than they are, but they’re trying.”
They’re so flawed, and they weren’t given the emotional skills in their upbringing to be able to have… normal relationships.
Daisy May Cooper
The series was created by Cash Carraway, an Irish writer who is best known for Skint Estate: A reminder of poverty, motherhood and survival, about Carraway’s own life as a single mother living in poverty, and delving into a range of complex issues including family alienation, mental illness, alcoholism and domestic violence. Crucially, Carraway’s work also found hope in the dark.
“There’s something really beautiful about the way Cash writes, that she’s not going to give the audience what they want, she’s not going to give you rainbows and unicorns, she’s going to write it as it is,” says Cooper.
“If that means you’re unhappy with the ending and want it to be different, that’s not going to happen because it’s not real life,” Cooper adds. “And I’ve never worked with a writer who took as many risks as she did. She writes for herself, not to please an audience. And I think that’s why audiences will like it.”
Cooper says that she and Carraway bonded the moment they met. “We have very similar backgrounds, and I suppose there are some things that you have as a working class that you connect with immediately, it’s like you’re downloading information,” says Cooper.
“You’re raised the same way, you have the same sense of humor because you have to laugh because things are so bleak. But she’s one of the finest writers,” Cooper adds. “What I loved Skint estate and what I loved about the script [of Rain Dogs] I didn’t feel like it was poverty porn.
“From what I’ve learned about poverty, it really felt like someone had given poverty a really dark voice, which isn’t always dark,” adds Cooper. “Sometimes it’s funny because that’s what real life is like, and only she could capture that because she lived it.”
British (and Australian) comedy lives in the wilderness of uneasiness, says Cooper. “I don’t know why, it’s always been like that,” she says. “We just love the very small nuances in the lines and things. We love clumsiness and let that breathe, while some people get really uncomfortable with it. But for some reason, the Brits and the Australians, we really love to curl our toes.”
“There’s something about Costello and Selby where they try to use humor to distract from how awful and desperate everything is,” says Cooper. “And that’s actually a real sadness if that’s all you need to move on. And even that doesn’t really cover up how damn desperate it is.
“I wish more drama, serious drama had some comedy because that’s the truth of life. I always thought it would be so nice for a cop in one of those dramas to have a massive fart in the car when he has to go to a big court case.
“That’s real life, and that’s the truth,” says Cooper. “That’s why I love Cash so much, because she writes so brilliantly and because her writing is genre-free. It doesn’t fit into anything because she writes what she knows and she writes what she has lived.”
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https://www.smh.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/in-life-and-on-tv-daisy-may-cooper-sees-the-funny-side-of-life-s-hardships-20230307-p5cpxz.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Daisy May Cooper finds the funny side of misery