The third part of Dominic Savage's drama True Love aired on
Tuesday. The series, which interweaves the lives and loves of six
different characters in short 25-minute close-ups, could be
subtitled 'is never easy' with the messy business of love and lust
driven to the fore.
Episode three introduces Holly (Billie Piper) a young teacher
defeated by her rowdy six form English class. But hiding in the
madding crowd is Karin, a strikingly beautiful student played by
Kaya Scodelario. From her magnetic performance it looks like
Scodelario will join Dev Patel and Nicholas Hoult as the stars of
Skins class of '07.
Holly is drawn to Karin and enjoys the attention (Karin is the
only pupil to turn up at art club). They visit a gallery together
and things get a little off-timetable at Holly's flat. Holly ends
it with the big-orange-car-owning married man she's seeing and the
two women confess their love.
Savage has clearly taken his cues from Notes on a Scandal, with
Piper playing the artfully dishevelled plummy-vowelled teacher -
all good intentions but little control. Guesses are he's seen Weekend too, with
the muted production and improvised dialogue owing a lot to Andrew
Haigh's recent film.
The most seductive part of this episode (apart from Scodelario's
eyes) is the Margate landscape. Savage dines off several money
shots of the beach. Is the whole thing a bit too stylised? In
short, yeah. But for all its style there is a hint of
What's refreshing about this episode is that the lesbian thing
isn't made out to be a huge deal. No one has a meltdown because
they realise they fancy another woman. The sex isn't made out to
look a) awkward or b) like porn. The drama here is student on
teacher rather than girl on girl.
Savage might come under fire for producing such a romantic
sketch of a problematic relationship. He niftily avoids dealing
with the exploitative or damaging repercussions of the situation.
It ends with Holly and Karin swanning out of the school gates
clasping hands. In reality, they'd be clawing through a media storm
of photographers and police officers.
This episode was over romanticised and refused to deal with the
severity of its content. But isn't all true love reckless and
inward facing until the bubble bursts?
Watch the episode on iPlayer by clicking here.