“Paula” – Criminologists discuss the BBC Two crime drama

In this episode, Elizabeth joins two colleagues from Birmingham City University – Emma Kelly (Criminology Programme Director) and Dr Victoria Silverwood (Lecturer in Criminology) to discuss the BBC Two crime drama series Paula.

Music for Crime Bites is by Lee Rosevere at Happy Puppy Records (http://www.happypuppyrecords.ca/).

Clips from Paula in this episode are used in accordance with the fair dealing exception to copyright for the purposes of criticism and review.  For more information about Paula, please visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08s2bqh

One thought on ““Paula” – Criminologists discuss the BBC Two crime drama”

  1. Thank you for covering this show! I found it to be very puzzling (though also very good).

    Though I am not a psychologist (criminal or otherwise) there was one thing that I wanted to mention – I thought that Paula’s emotional detachment seemed to have come from her relationship with her family. I sort of understood her in that respect. Her parents were more critical than loving, and her brother was very needy. Her parents cared more about her brother NOT being at the birthday party than they were about Paula actually BEING there. And here is Paula, outwardly “successful”, but all they seem to care about is the brother. I had a similar relationship with my parents, and my brother is an alcoholic, so it sort of hit home. It makes sense that they were concerned about the brother, but to the “good” child, it feels like they care more about the “bad” child, period, and that nothing that you do is ever good enough to get the attention that the other child garners. I know that is dumb, but it’s just the emotional aspect – emotions can be pretty “dumb” if you ask me.

    ANYWAY – with the brother being an alcoholic and so needy, calling her in the middle of the night and then acting like an asshole (yeah, that’s familiar too), dealing with that kind of person all the time can be emotionally exhausting. Not only that, but when other people in your life constantly disappoint you/break your heart (the parents, maybe others?), a person can come to a point where they just wall their heart off to the world. With my own brother, I came to a point where I had to cut off all ties with him, and that was very hard. But it was emotionally very painful and I did not want to come to a point like I felt Paula did – where all relationships had to be on a surface level because anything else hurt too much. I believe that she chose a married man to date because he was “unavailable”, and slept with men indiscriminately because she wanted closeness, but not the emotional ties. I don’t think that she had any interest in having an actual relationship with anyone, not because she is a terrible person, but because it’s too emotionally demanding.

    Of course at the end when she boxes up James in the basement, THAT I could not relate to (and it was quite terrible). But maybe that was the point that they were trying to make – about how if you close yourself off to others emotionally, you run the risk of closing yourself off to all of your emotions entirely? I don’t know.

    OH! And the paranormal aspect did not ruin it for me. I came to believe that it was not “paranormal” at all, but rather, it was psychological. James’s sister was not there, she was never there, it was all in his head.

    Just my two cents. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *