Cutting Edge – My Wall Street: You won’t find any bankers here…
CUTTING EDGE – MY WALL STREET, Thursday 30th April, Channel 4, 9.00pm Alert Me
Maybe it’s because I’m more curious than a certain infamous suicidal cat, but there’s nothing I love more than getting a glimpse into the day to day lives of others.
It could be an antidote to the endless episodes of the 90210 and Hills episodes that my flatmate forces me to watch, but I find something wonderfully comforting in seeing ordinary people going about their daily business not looking like they’ve just stepped out of a salon or won the pools, and doing it all with humour, dignity and good grace.
In this superb documentary, Cutting Edge examines the effects the dastardly credit crunch is having on the lives of the people who live on some of the 23 ‘Wall Street’s throughout the UK. Filmed around Christmas 2008 the programme uses radio news reports to relay the rising unemployment figures and, as the threat of recession looms large, the cameras follow families trying to keep their heads above water.
One of the people featured in the programme is Ali from Wolverhampton. Ali has been unemployed for six weeks but is unwilling to sign-on. His wife is a volunteer at the local primary school so his unemployment has hit the family hard. Although Ali’s situation is similar to that of millions of other people throughout the UK it’s nice to see how families come together to help each other through the difficult times.
Or not, as is the case with useless idiot Paul, from Grimsby. Paul’s idea of providing support to his permanently stressed out wife is to lie on the sofa playing video games and demand his tea, while in an upstairs bedroom thousands of pounds worth of Star Wars memorabilia gathers dust.
The idea of a documentary about people struggling to keep hold of their houses may not seem like essential viewing, but it’s the character of the people involved which makes Wall Street so watchable. The programme highlights the strain money worries can put on relationships and how our increasing dependency on achieving high material status will ultimately lead us to ruin. But it also portrays the ambition, creativity and drive of ordinary people who have to no choice but work themselves out of debt.
So rather than p*ssing your money away down the pub, stay in and watch My Wall Street.
In-between episodes of Beverly Hills 90210, of course.