Saturday, 3 February 2018
Kiri Channel 4
I’ve taken me some time to think about and digest the ending of the Channel 4 Drama KIRI, which finished on Wednesday.
I’m wondering if they are going to run it for a second series to include the trial, but doubt that as there wouldn’t be a sufficiently central role for Sarah Lancashire.
Interestingly my daughter hadn’t seen episodes 1,2 or 3 but sat with me to watch episode 4. Shortly after it began, she remarked that on the basis of what they’d have had to pay the actors (and as it clearly wasn’t Sarah Lancashire or Sue Johnston - Miriam or Celia Grayson), it must be either the adoptive dad or the natural grandad, Steve Mackintosh or Lucian Msamati - Jim Warner or Tobi Akindele. In her view they wouldn’t dare go for a ‘blame the blacks’ outcome, so it had to be the white adoptive father - she was of course correct.
I think the ending was quite clever. Society needs to realise that the rush to fostering and adoption isn’t always the best answer and is frequently the wrong answer. The reasons why people become foster or adoptive parents isn’t always altruism, it’s frequently financial because the remuneration can make a big difference to family income or even replace a salary. It’s also for other reasons, such as to fill an empty nest or as in this story to meet the need for a common love object (in order to cement cracked or broken family relationships) - maybe these people should be advised to get a pet, rather than jumped on to plug a gap created by the rush to remove vast numbers of children from their birth families.
So the series ended with the finger of blame pointing to the black birth family, the innocent birth father about to go through a trial and probably a long jail sentence if not killed by other prisoners, prison guards or at his own hand. The white son of the adoptive family, having lost the sister he cared for, starting a sentence in a boarding school away from the mother he loves and bearing the secret knowledge that his father, semi accidentally, killed Kiri because she wanted to stop the adoption and return to her birth family - and he couldn’t face his wife’s reaction to that.
The failure of Miriam, the caring but over stressed, drinking to cope, social worker with a dog to compensate for her dead son, played by Sarah Lancashire, maybe wasn’t in allowing a fateful unsupervised visit to Kiri's birth grandparents. Maybe her fault was in the very beginning, by not placing Kiri with her birth grandparents in a kinship care arrangement and instead creating the unrealistic dream of a black child playing permanent happy families with a nice middle class white family.