Critical Condition: Man in an Orange Shirt

Man in an Orange Shirt | TVNZ 1, 8.30 Sunday


➢ “Patrick Gale’s drama Man in an Orange Shirt was a well-crafted and moving dialogue between past and present. The first episode was set in the prohibitive Forties, when the starkest choices open to gay men included the prison of a straight marriage or actual prison. The second episode advanced into a here and now which, Gale’s script was careful to insist, is by no means a never-had-it-so-good sunlit utopia.” — The Daily Telegraph.

➢ “The first part of Patrick Gale’s terribly British drama about thwarted love in the 1940s was a bit like Brokeback Mountain with a stiff upper lip — two dreamily handsome chaps fall in love, become trapped by the strictures of societal conventions and fail to find a happy ending together.” — The Times.

➢ “Patrick Gale’s drama – based on his own parents’ marriage – shows the difficult consequences of concealing your sexuality in wartime Britain … It is a sad and human story of people trying to do their best when their times allow them no best option … Thwarted love is the driving force, but Man in an Orange Shirt does a beautiful job of showing the consequences of repression for all during this time of upheaval.” — The Guardian.

➢ “A Man in an Orange Shirt conveys the stifling pressures of conformity in the post-war era to heartwrenching effect. I like my period dramas romantic, but slightly gritty. This looks like a picture perfect postcard of middle-class married life, but beneath the facade there is something much more complex at play.” — The i.

➢ “Gale, basing his story on the unhappy accommodation between his own parents, honours the historical context that pushes gay passion into dark corners, without making his romance feel grimy. The most daring thing about the drama is how it reaches its own accommodation between a blameless love and a painful history. It’s hard to think of another weepie, for instance, which includes so many references to cottaging.” — Irish Times.

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5 Responses to “Critical Condition: Man in an Orange Shirt”

  1. I enjoyed this movie and hope alot of people saw it. Philip, have the viewing figures been released for its broadcast, I would appreciate it if you could find out. Cheers.

  2. Sorry, Leo, I haven’t been able to access ratings data for several weeks. But I would think it rated poorly given Three says its competing movie, X-Men: First Class, won its timeslot across all four demographics after Newshub Live at 6pm recorded a 31.4 share, its highest share year-to-date. Will check with TVNZ to see if they can provide any data.

  3. Hi Philip, thanks for getting back to me. I guess Orange wouldn’t have the mass appeal like X Men, but kudos to TVNZ for airing it. I will await TVNZ’s response.

  4. TVNZ is still waiting on consolidated ratings for Man in an Orange Suit, which is its preferred measure for a genre as time-shifted as drama. But in terms of the overnight numbers, it averaged 4.1% of viewers aged 5+ (18.9 share) and 2.3% of viewers 25-54 (9.4 share). TVNZ 2’s movie averaged an 11.3 share of 5+ and a 13 share of 25-54; Three’s movie averaged a 20.1 share of 5+ and a 24.9 share of 24-54.

  5. Cheers, Philip, for the figures. Disappointing numbers but good to see TVNZ air a diverse drama in peak time.

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