TV Review: Trinity

**- Brideshead, Gossip Girl and Doctor Who thrown messily into a blender.

Bridgeford Charles Dance ITV2 Oxbridge Sex Trinity


Trinity, ITV2 Sunday 10pm- **

‘Gossip Girl meets Brideshead Revisited’ or at least  that’s what the tag line should have read if ITV had not gotten so apparently confused in what it was trying to achieve with its new series: Trinity.

On the outside, the formula for Trinity seems deceptively simple; Take one ancient college, dripping in dark traditions and hidden secrets; have it populated entirely by mean ‘Upper-class-twits-of-the-year’ award winners, complete with heavily embellished snob accents, throw in some badly veiled references to an infamous Oxford dining club, add plenty of debauched sex, high jinks and general tomfoolery in the manner of English ‘upper class’ stereotypes; watch through the eyes of a normal (read: poor) student and serve on a Sunday night, when there is nothing better on TV anyway. It can’t fail; right? As it turns out, wrong. Very wrong.

I’m sure the whole thing started off with great intentions, with many script brainstorming sessions down the pub. But then someone watched Gossip Girl and tried to push in some of the caricatures from that, and then someone else in an annoying moment of clarity pointed out that students banging, even students with double barrelled names, does not a series make (Lies!), so a ridiculous plot was formed, and before you knew it, it arrived in its current incarnation. Instead of a fun romp through blue blooded Sex and the Spires, we have instead some odd plot involving the Evil Dean, sciencey stuff, Camelot codenames and a dead cleric – naturally the virginal one’s father. No, I don’t know what her name is, I don’t need to know. I already knew her entire character before she even opened her mouth; her well meaning over-achieving Christian personality, her inevitable acquirement of an unsuitable romantic interest etc… And it’s not just her! All the usual 2D caricatures are there: The upper class totty (decked out in the first episode from the Primark sale bin and thus manages to fail in her one reason for being in the show – sex interest), the debauched Earl of Wherever (who in this case is a flaccid ‘Chuck Bass’ wannabe without any of the bite but with an odd penchant for needless nakedness), the street-smart ‘stable boy’ (our token member of the, quote; ‘hoi-polloi’, who beds the totty), the innocent weed toking idiots (Rajencrantz and Guildenangus) and of course our virgin. Piffle. If it was just this, then maybe I could laugh and almost believe it was attempting some kind of point about mocking Oxbridge traditions and the power of money yadayada. However, it’s the nonsense story line between the sex and comedy scenes, not to mention how seriously the adult characters appear to be taking the various plot points – shadowy deaths, strange experiments etc.- that makes the whole thing frankly painful, if not confusing, to watch.

However, I admit that this is based on the first episode, and that maybe I am being too cruel. Maybe by the next one the mistake has been realised; the sex and antics will be increased twenty fold, all that nonsense about attempting to shoe-horn in a limp Dr Who-esque conspiracy dropped, and we can concentrate on the important things: whether or not the hot totty beds the stable boy again, if the naturist Earl has a heart of gold when lusting after the virgin (please no) and what dreadful things are going to happen to the two idiots after being in the clutches of the canary waistcoat boys. We can only pray to the gods of TV.