Film

Sleeper hit – 'Black Widow' finds favour with our critic (when he's awake)

Although a middle-aged nodding-off habit is disrupting his viewing, Sam Delaney is enjoying what he's seen of the Dutch crime saga

I turn 44 in a couple of weeks. There is no getting away from it, I am totally middle-aged. Luckily, I still dress like a man half my age and retain a defiantly juvenile personality. Some people might say clinging to my youth in this way only makes a bad situation worse. But to those people I say: your mum makes a bad situation worse.

One symptom of the ageing process that I am unable to defy is a tendency to fall asleep all the time. If I sit down anywhere even remotely comfy for more than five minutes, I am gone. Head rolled back, tongue hanging out the side of my mouth, dribble running down my chin, emitting a grotesque, asthmatic rumble that scares the kids. Only, to be honest, my own kids are depressingly familiar with the whole undignified performance by now. The poor little bastards used to fret and complain when dad lapsed into his noisy coma five minutes into family film night every Friday evening. Now they just shrug in resignation and whack up the volume.

I can’t count how many episodes of Eldorado she ruined, the mad cow

I’m not exaggerating: if I sit down, I fall asleep. I might have been full of vim and energy just seconds beforehand. But that was when I was on my feet. The moment my arse touches a sofa, my eyelids clamp shut and my brain checks out. Sad really. My mum is a narcoleptic, so I had to witness her behaving in a similar way when I was a kid. Only her neurological condition was so bad that she would fall into these weird cataplectic seizures. Her body would spasm, her eyeballs roll back and she would make strained, terrifying grunts. I can’t count how many episodes of Eldorado she ruined, the mad cow. I don’t think I have got the same condition: I just think I get stress and anxiety during the day which my brain takes drastic action against in the evenings by simply switching off.

Anyway, who cares? What’s any of this got to do with you? You read this far hoping for a TV review. Yeah, well I’ve been watching this Dutch crime saga called Black Widow which you can get on 4 On Demand. It’s supposed to be great but I wouldn’t really know because I am watching it in disjointed blocks, interspersed by naps. I’ll watch the first 10 minutes maybe, then I’m gone for half an hour. I wake up for a couple of minutes, by which time the protagonist is lying dead in a driveway, then go back under until my wife wakes me during the final credits. “WHAT HAPPENED?!” I squawk, sitting up abruptly, pretending to not have actually been asleep. “Just go upstairs to bed,” she says in a pitying voice. Is Black Widow worth watching? Well, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen of it. But to be honest I could be watching re-runs of Sons And Daughters for all the sense I can make of anything. Anyway, give it a go – I am an increasingly unreliable witness.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
The Garfield Movie review – we're not feline the tubby orange tabby's full CGI makeover
Garfield in The Garfield Movie
Film

The Garfield Movie review – we're not feline the tubby orange tabby's full CGI makeover

Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger – Scorsese's tribute to duo who inspired him
Martin Scorsese and Michael Powell, 1981.
Film

Made in England: The Films of Powell and Pressburger – Scorsese's tribute to duo who inspired him

Filmmaker Melanie Manchot explains how her drama Stephen can offer hope to addicts
Stephen Giddings in Stephen
Film

Filmmaker Melanie Manchot explains how her drama Stephen can offer hope to addicts

She-Hulk star Tatiana Maslany: 'Fear is not necessarily the worst thing to feel'
Tatiana Maslany Image: Alexei Hay
Film

She-Hulk star Tatiana Maslany: 'Fear is not necessarily the worst thing to feel'

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know