TW – Suicide, if you need help please go here.
We open to hear a woman whispering between sobs, telling us about how she is contemplating suicide, and her thought process about why and why not to do it. It is distressing and terrifyingly intimate to hear a human being at the lowest point they ever will be – the suffering radiates from the quiet audio and immediately, you are compelled to listen more. What is going to happen? What has brought her to this point? How are we able to hear her private tapes?
Over the course of this six part podcast we find more out about the woman, Jennair Geradot, her husband Mark, and his lover Meredith. Your heart goes out to Jennair, how could it not. But as the story of Jennair and Mark’s marriage unfolds, and how his relationship with Meredith blossoms, while Jennair’s mirror life spirals into obsession and revenge you realise no one fits neatly into the boxes of good guy or bad guy. That is how Bad Bad Thing was able to take this story away from the far easier route of gossipy confidence, and down the more complex route of proper analyasis.
Bad Bad Thing helps us understand this twisting phycological drama with the help of Dr Ramani, who dissects the audio Jennair recorded in her final days, her diaries, Mark’s avoidant behaviour and what place mental illness plays in this story. Ramani feels like a soothing balm, on what could otherwise take it’s toll on the listener so terrifyingly intimate the suffering is. It is the ordinariness, the predictable banality of the betrayal that will remind us all of our own period of broken hearted despair and leave us asking, could I have done that? Would I have done that? How close would I really get? We may sometimes think unthinkable thoughts in moments of despair, but acting on them, that is another kettle of fish enterally.
Mark pays a heavy price for his cowardice, his inability to face up to reality and do the mature, adult thing in a difficult and tense situation. I feel that Mark might be paying this price for the rest of his life, but Meredith pays a heavier price for her involvement with Mark. Jennair pays too, but she at least controls the final outcome, and I suspect like many personal and intimate crimes control is really the heart of the issue, weather it is about regaining it, limiting it, taking it, or possibly all three is a question for Dr Ramani. Jannair’s act leaves Mark forever known as THAT man, with a past that will follow him like a shadow wherever he goes. Jennair’s revenge is truly terrible.