88. Jealousy

Tapehead no 88

When it comes to jealousy, Tapehead could make Othello look like indifferent. 

As one of the victims in Straight From The Heart explains, jealousy is not actually anything to do with the person you’re with, or worried about. It’s about you. “It’s born of fear. Fear of losing.”

Take Sarah for example. Sarah cut Jed’s best clothes so that he couldn’t go out looking nice without her. She wouldn’t let him go to the bar in case he got served by a barmaid, or allow him to watch Baywatch in case he fancied Pamela Anderson more than her. (With all due respect, certainly not impossible.)

Veronica would follow her man in the car to see where he was going, who he was seeing and end by tailing him up and down motorways (“we went for miles”). The result was even worse than she thought: he was going to football.

Then there’s Linda and her scarred, scary, Scouse boyfriend, Austin. At night, Austin, would quiz her relentlessly – where she’d been, who she had spoken to et cetera.

Then, he’d let her sleep for an hour, before waking her and asking the same questions to see if there were any sleep-hazed discrepancies.

To all of which, Tapehead can only say: what’s wrong with that ? Completely fair enough. 

When you find out you were right, and the affair is happening, as Veronica says, you feel nothing so much as relief. “It’s as if you’ve come to the end of your search.”

It all starts in childhood (Sarah admits she tried to ruin her step dad’s relationship with her mum because she was jealous) and there are plenty more jealous minds in the final Cutting Edge. 

Stepmothers, step wives and stepchildren get it all off their chest.

The children, their little bitternesses, are the worst. If they’re divorced, they want their mum and dad to get back together again. 

What they don’t want is their step mum.

Aidan’s impossibly cute stepdaughters tell it to him straight. 

“He’s a bit strict,” says one tot, sucking her thumb. 

“And boring,” announces the other. 

“Very boring. He’s going back to the step daddy shop. You ring the man up and he comes round and takes him away with a sack on his head, and brings you a new one.”

When her husband’s ex-wife died, Shelley was competing with an angel. One of his kids left home straight away, telling her, “You’re not my mother. You’re not even a member of my family.”

The eldest girl was sympathetic, and so frighteningly mature, at first it seems Shelley’s sense and determination to be a good stepmother is working, even though (with his father’s approval) young Adam keeps his feelings inside, to himself.

On camera, though, suddenly, he is less cautious.

“I knew there were going to be problems,” he shrugs.

These problems are going to get worse when Shelley sees the rest of the programme. “I just don’t fit in with a step mum. I just don’t fit in Shelley. I don’t like her. I’d like my Dad to divorce Shelley and marry someone all of us like.”

Tapehead hopes Cutting Edge are proud of themselves.

A blaze of ghostly white light and some typically blunt dialogue tells us Cardiac Arrest is back: “FBC, U and E, calcium, LFTs, glucose… Can you see about a CT ?”

The only person Tapehead could get jealous about at the moment is anyone knocking off Dr Claire Maitland, although judging by this episode this tally could be several (hundred) people before the 13-part series is finished.

The patient has suffered a brain haemorrhage while making love to his wife. 

“He won’t live,” says one doctor.

“Who does ?” Claire pouts, the heartless minx. “One minute he’s shagging,” she sighs. “The next, he’s shagged.” Before going off to have one herself… 

What a woman !


Straight From The Heart: Tue, 9.45pm-10.30pm, BBC2

Cutting Edge: Mon, 9pm-10pm, C4

Cardiac Arrest: Tue, 10pm-10.30pm, BBC2