For the last six weeks finishing at Easter here in the UK, we have been gripped by The Night Manager, a TV adaptation of John le Carré’s novel of the same name.
I haven’t read the novel but I understand that the TV series gave the novel a modern update and made changes to the fates of some of the characters.
The Night Manager had a lot going for it and not just the suave Tom Hiddleston walking around in shades and a sharp suit or topless whilst carrying out a six-week audition for the part of James Bond (although that was great too). The opening titles were some of the best I have seen in a long while – also reminiscent of Bond. The music was appealing and echoed hauntingly throughout the drama in key moments. The cast were superb – so nice to see David Harewood not getting blown up for once. Out of six episodes there was only one weak episode the rest kept the pace up well, all under the stewardship of one director Susanne Bier, which helped to give the production a cinematic feel.
And yet are any of the points mentioned above the main reason why so many people made a date in their diaries or their planners to tune in?
Possibly with the exception of the chiselled Tom Hiddleston who really does make a great spy, I think it had more to do with the enduring appeal of spies themselves than anything else.
We all love a spy but why?
Firstly, I think it is necessary to separate the spies from TV and film from real life spies. I imagine the life of a real spy is a lot less glamorous than the televisual and cinematic equivalents. But it is the fictionalised spies we are all familiar with. And fictionalised spies have several things in common. Whether they be male or female they are good looking, wear fantastic clothes and look fabulous in swimwear or nothing at all. They have the ability to adapt in the blink of an eye to any given situation, to think on their feet. They can fit in with any group of people and look as though they belong. They believe in themselves and they are comfortable in their own skin even though they change that skin, chameleon like, whenever the situation calls for it. What’s not to like?
I think we are all fascinated by spies because we’d all like to be a little bit like them. We all quite fancy looking like a film star and having the wardrobe and body to go with it. But most of all I think what we find appealing about spies is their belief in themselves and their overriding confidence. How we all wish we could walk into any room and know in advance we can deal with any situation that arises. And we can. The answer lies in each one of us.
Confidence is a fickle thing, all too easy influenced by outside events and over confidence is a deeply unattractive trait. Instead we should cultivate a quiet belief in our abilities and seek to be comfortable in our own skins. How do we do that? We are all good at something. Find it. Hang on to it. Strive to be the best version of yourself that you can be. Love who you are. Be kind to this person who is trying their best. Allow yourself to make mistakes without beating yourself up about it. Keep going.
Cultivating the right mental attitude will reap rewards. If you are caught in a spiral of negativity you will always be questioning yourself and doing yourself down. Cultivate positivity instead and you will reap a different, better, more sustaining and life-affirming harvest. Give it a go today and the next day and the next and before you know it you’ll think you’ve always lived your life this way.
And if all else fails, you can always channel your inner Tom Hiddleston…