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Damages

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Brutal knivings, dove-grey Chanel handbags, senseless sexual encounters, dealings with double-crossing corrupt businessmen, more murders. That's what I've been doing the last couple of weeks...watching Damages.

If I was a good mother I would be writing about my four children's first day back at school. But putting in hard-core sessions until 1am watching Damages on DVD has left me drifting through the days in a telly hangover.

Back To School.... now when was that, how did it go? I have a hazy memory of three of my kids - boys I think - heading off somewhere. Did they walk or did I drive them? One child, a 10-year-old girl who calls herself Tallulah, seems to be still at home waiting for her new school to start, a shadowy figure wandering the rooms. I even attended the myriad of Class Information nights and morning Meet and Greet coffee and croissants, but who knows what was said, what was done...

You see: I had to prioritise. And the thing that has filled my time, my thoughts, my very being is Damages.

Damages is a legal drama about the world of New York City litigation, following the "turbulent lives of Patty Hewes, the nation's most revered and reviled high-stakes litigator, and her bright ambitious protégé Ellen Parsons."

Patty Hewes is played by Glen Close, with subtle glimpses of her spurned bunny boiler in Fatal Attraction and the fan-fluttering manipulative Marquise in Dangerous Liaisons. What is it about Glen Close's sparkling eyes and secretive close-mouthed smile that reveals so little and promises so much drama and intrigue? Is she pure evil or simply a flawed advocate of the underdog? And the beautiful Ellen Parsons - played by the Aussie Rose Byrne - is she truly sweet or as corrupt as Patty herself?

Another treat is to see them spar against Ted Danson, who with his grey "hair" bolstered by infinitely better hair plugs than he previously sported, plays a dirty corporate dog. And the fantastically ever-creepy William Hurt, Patty's old love and the man who seems to be hiding something. (Hmm...also a closed-lip smiler.)

These matters have somewhat obsessed me over the last few weeks. And, umm...I might have let a few things go...

One evening Jackson, 11, came into the TV room wailing: "Cy just deleted all of my book report!!!"
Me, staring straight ahead: "How do you know it was Cy?'
Jackson: "The screen was on Angel by Shaggy - Cy's favourite song!" (Which, by the way, is sexist and stupid and no attentive mother would let seven-year-old Cy watch it.)
Me: "Please step outside, I'm terribly busy, I can't deal with this now."

Another entreaty from Harley, 13, as he heads off to catch the 7.30am bus to his new high school: "Please, please Mum, could you do some grocery shopping! Please! There is nothing for my lunch again!"

The good news is that watching Patty Hewes with her 17-year-old son Micheal makes you feel like a fabulous mother. Her son despises and fears her.
Michael: You were right. I was playing games with you. I was very angry, and I was acting out.
Patty: Acting out? You sent me a hand grenade and almost killed your stepfather.

My "Damages Friend" Lesley, and I have filled our in-boxes, barbecues, dinners out and standing on the playground with analysing the relationship between Patty and Ellen. Over the weekend our back-and-forth "doyouthink..." induced other 'friends' to splutter into their margaritas appalled: "Jody! Lesley! These are not real people! They are characters on TV!" Lesley and I shook our heads and smiled our best conspiratorial closed-lip Patty Hewes smile. They don't know, they are not one of us. But that's been part of the commitment - ignoring the detractors, the scoffers.

Our friend Rina just visited from London for four nights and two of those nights were devoted to Damages. "Uggh!" she said after one four-hour viewing session: "I feel emotionally violated." But we pressed on, clocking in another four hours the next night.

It was something husband Kevin and I could do together, though truthfully his commitment wavered at times...he had a job to go to in the morning. One night he broke down: "I can't go on!" he cried; "I've got to go to bed. And..." he added: "no more tomorrow night - Patty Hewes is giving me nightmares." We pushed through it.

But now? Now it's over, we can get on with our lives. Stacking the dishes in the dishwasher, talking to the kids, putting on make-up (necessary as I have multi blemishes from excessive lying on the sofa) doing the grocery shopping.

Yes, it's over. Until Season Four...

What's your current telly obsession?

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