Perhaps it’s too tempting to compare The Crouches with Second Generation. After all, they only have anything in common from a single (white) perspective which assumes that all attempts to represent non-white sides of British life must somehow be equivalent. Unfortunately, the sense I get of British broadcasters is that that is exactly how they think. Anyway, in terms of critical plaudits, Channel 4 seem to have won hands down on both artistic and political grounds — a powerful and compelling artistic product which is also a (more ambiguous) statement about cultural identity. Meanwhile, whoever commissioned The Crouches should be fed to the Hutton Inquiry’s pack of ravenous briefs. In the now legendary Maconie catchphrase, what were they thinking? The recent top 100 TV characters reminded us what a gem of a series Rab C Nesbitt was — puncturing myths about the ned culture Jack McConnell has now declared war on, and finding universal truths in the Glasgwegian gutter. But what Pattison thought he was doing with The Crouches is beyond me.

If Rab C Nesbitt was the ranting fool who speaks nothing but the truth, Second Generation, as has been pointed out by many more highly-paid commentators than I, took on other aspects of King Lear. But there’s more in the comparison than simply the crazed king and the loyal daughter. Lear’s conclusion is famously unpopular, and whole eras have preferred to swap Shakespeare’s original for a happy ending. But for me Second Generation really was let down by its ending. What seems to slip away, in a drama otherwise concerned to reinscribe both religious and social division into what reporters fatuously describe as ‘the Asian community’, is the fact that the happy couple’s new life in Calcutta will only be made possible by the wealth which sets them at a comfortable remove from the majority of those in whose city they seek refuge. The hazily idyllic ‘somewhere else’ that India provides for these characters is pure ideology, in the sense that it seems to be entirely without history. The backwards glance freezes, and betrays. In a show which deliberately challenged myths elsewhere, this felt like a cop-out.