As weeks go, Alya Nazir has had better. The consequences of her grief induced, tinny fuelled afternoon chez Grimshaw has included being dumped by her fiancé, rejected by her grandfather, feeling the wrath of Anna, and having her infidelity bandied about about over knickers and French 75s.
When reviewing last Friday’s episode, I remarked that I felt she cut a sorry dash, and evoked sympathy. However, comments left on the blog and received on Twitter revealed that I appeared to be alone in feeling this way, with not one person saying they shared my pity.
I wondered how it could be that a young girl who has lost her mother, then her father in tragic circumstances; who has seen her ambitions at Underworld thwarted, has been forced to contemplate the prospect of Anna as a mother-in-law, suffered a rather public vested interest in her love life from day one, and is clearly feeling guilt and remorse, could fail to induce any sympathy whatsoever.
Yes, her ambition at Underworld was, at times, unbecoming. No, she should absolutely not have cheated on Gary. Nevertheless, I would’ve thought that her difficult life experiences and the pressure she is under at home to make everyone proud would have counted for something. Perhaps not. Maybe there are some that never really bought into Gary and Alya as a couple, and such viewers could therefore care less whether or not she has been unfaithful. On these theories, this sympathetic viewer can only surmise.
In any event, I remained surprised at the unanimous indifference and lack of sympathy I had encountered, so I decided to take advantage of Twitter’s new poll function to see if this response was across the board. Suffice to say, I was intrigued by the result.
Of the 131 viewers who cast their vote, there really wasn’t much in it. While ‘No’ won out, I was intrigued to find that 43% were prepared to spare a thought for her.
I'd love to hear from this silent ample minority. What is it about Alya that tugs at your heart strings and has you feeling sorry for her?
I'm also just as interested to hear from the majority. As above, I find it interesting that a character with her history fails to induce any pity. Why is that the case for you?
And finally, let's spare a thought for Gary, pictured here in happier times.
By Emma Hynes