Taken together, these terrible cultural offerings reveal the unrestricted seepage of cut-rate therapy and its wooden jargon into the very furthest reaches of history. The past has been terrorised and defused, and audiences no longer, apparently, are considered adult enough to consider events without a pre-packaged trauma narrative to delineate who’s good and who’s bad. The gigolo must be sad; Dolemite must be wounded; and even the House of Atreus must be analysed with all the subtlety of an Instagram self-care post explaining “PTSD”.
As best I can convey it, at the close of its enthusiastically reviewed second season, Industry is a 16-hour long compendium of increasingly preposterous sex scenes linked together by equally ridiculous scenes on a trading floor. Our main character is Harper (Myha’la Herrold), an American college non-graduate (she flunked her last exam because she had a panic attack), who begins her career in the London office of a fictional global investment banking company. The trainees are told that at the end of the year, half of them will be culled (“Look to your left… Look to your right… One of you will be gone!”) I suppose this reality show-style set-up is meant to add interest to the insurmountable drudgery of share prices and data entry. So is the sex. The problem is not that Industry is a stupid soap opera. The problem is that it so clearly conceives itself as more than that.