Cutting It

Cutting It, which is coming to a close (if it hasn’t finished already) in New Zealand, is a show about two rival hairdressing salons in Manchester, England.

I sat down to watch the first series, expecting it to be something like Melrose Place. It definitely has its bitch characters, but I was blown away by the detail given to every character. It’s melodrama but every character has a reason for what they are doing. For example, affairs are motivated not only by lust, but by deeper emotions. If you don’t take your chance at happiness you might never know it, I always liked him and hate it that you married him and it’s just typical because I’ve always been in your shadow, if we get together maybe we can make our estranged partners jealous and they’ll want us back… all this is mixed up with a good dose of simple lust. It’s an effective formula.

They’re a literally incestuous bunch of characters. What keeps them together? Why do heart-broken characters stick around instead of just moving to London and starting over? Not only do we need to learn more about them (and they’re very interesting characters), but they’re part of a tragic and vain circle. Leaving that circle would mean losing themselves and their chance at reconciliation with the person they are holding a candle for.

It’s actually damn good stuff. I don’t know what the later seasons are like, but season one is particularly fine. Season two, which I am now watching, gives us three generations of the Henshaw family, and develops the character of Ally’s daughter. Ally Henshaw is the stand-out character, played by Sarah Parrish. Mia Bevan is the bitch. She is played by Amanda Holden.

Amanda Holden’s character evolves from an insipid weakling in season one to a fully-fledged vixen who holds her own in a fight in season two. She is great to watch.