Tears, Lies and Videotape Review: Tears of a Hippo

May 18, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

TEARS, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE, Monday 19th May, ITV1, 9pm Alert Me

In the history of the con artist, it was up there with Milli Vanilli, Catch Me If You Can and everyone’s favourite illusionists de jour, British ‘it’s not my fault your money vanished, it’s the system’ MPs.

In the wake of Madeleine McCann’s tragic disappearance, the abduction of Shannon Matthews struck a raw nerve and gave the nation a new ‘missing’ poster child to rally together and save.

Soon after Shannon’s merciful recovery, it became clear that the whole thing had been one big ruse orchestrated by her lump of retarded lard of a mother, desperate for her 15 minutes of fame.

Crocodile tears? Hippo tears, more like.

Tears, Lies and Videotape bases the Matthews case at the crux of its documentary and aims to discover the motivations and hidden giveaway telltale signs behind the seemingly genuine plea so often seen in televisions, newspapers and computers across the world.

The UK’s leading forensic psychologist, Professor David Canter, and Professor Paul Ekman, the world’s foremost criminal body language expert (how do they get these titles while we’re on it? is there a vote we missed out on?) both chip in with their advice on how and why these despicable, manipulative morons were eventually caught out.

You get the sense that a proportion of the public anger comes from the fact that someone who seems so braindead was able to fool us all, and so it’s a little frustrating that both these Derren-Brown-a-like scholars aren’t given more face time to delve properly into the whys and hows of how we’re all bamboozled.

Instead we get brief run-downs of other famous media manipulators, with a general rehash of press conference footage and searing, informative insights from those closest to them. Sample quote: “I can’t believe she lied to us all.”

Thanks for that. Huge help.

All in all, this is an interesting and partially distracting expose into one of the biggest public cons of our time, but it’s just irritating it isn’t more informative surrounding the minutiae of deceptive body language and pull-the-wool, brazenly manipulative wordplay.

You know, the useful stuff we could’ve used on our bosses. Or to become the next Milli Vanilli.


Matt Risley

John says:

Calling people names, whatever their crimes, and removing all respect for people, is symptomatic of today’s tabloid culture. This woman has probably been labelled with such terminology all her life, and though that certainly isn’t an excuse for her behaviour towards her child, it may well be a major factor in her development as a member of this society. It is very easy to join in with the pack, but do you really enjoy being one of the hacks who work the crowd before the ‘gallows’ are primed?
I can read, and so note that you do lament the lack of depth in the programme; however, as you’re writing does show a glimmer of intelligence and wit, you might think about trying to lead your lost brethren out of their own lurid depths and towards forming a healthier, more mature society. There will some day come a day when people will look back at the newspapers of our time and wonder at the childlike bitterness.