As a proud Midlander, I was ridiculously excited for the new show, Raised By Wolves, created by Caitlin Moran and her sister Caroline Moran. After watching the pilot show that aired on 4oD back in 2013, I couldn’t contain my delight when I found out that the show had been given the thumbs up, and the first episode was due to air on Monday 16th March at 10pm.
The show is set on a council estate in the middle of Wolverhampton and, in my personal opinion, it gave a heartwarming, touching and incredibly positive image of Midlanders everywhere. With hilarious quips such as ‘We’re not Southern twats, we’re not Northern twats, we’re Midlands twats’ stating the lighthearted battle that true Midlanders have fought for years, I didn’t think anyone could fail to show a smile at this show.
However, while I spent the entirety of the thirty minute episode laughing my head off, the response from the rest of the UK turned out to be a completely different story! While the show averaged a massive 1.5 million viewers, what I thought was a heartwarming walk down memory lane, received incredibly mixed views.
Some people’s Twitter responses labelled the show offensive and derogatory towards people from the Midlands.
What a pile of shit #RaisedByWolves is. Worse than LondonIrish that was on last year
— Disco Down Keith (@sausagesnthat) March 18, 2015
Raised by Wolves is actually pretty good despite the grinding accents
— Nicole (@sweeology_) March 18, 2015
Flying the flag for the Midlands
Many Midlanders claimed that the accents were the most off-putting thing about the show, stating that they were so far away from the true accent of Wolverhampton. However, with shows such as Peaky Blinders (that aired on BBC2 this year) showcasing hilarious, but over-the-top, Midlands accents, I think focusing on dubious accents misses the point of this show.
But not all of the Twitter response was negative. Some praised the Moran sisters’ positive and uplifting portrayal of life on a council estate in Wolverhampton.
@caitlinmoran watched raised by wolves 3 times so far. Loved the pilot back in December 13. Best program ever!
— Milla Marsh (@MillaMarie123) March 18, 2015
Raised by Wolves is brilliant!
— Tia (@Tia_Dalrymple) March 18, 2015
A lot of the comments that followed in the last few days have centred around programmes liked Benefits Street, blaming them for tarnishing the Midlands with a bad reputation that we can’t now shake off. But, despite the negativity, I can think of no other way I’d prefer to be represented than by Rebekah Staton’s strong-headed attitude and the brilliantly intelligent sharp wit of the three older children Germaine, Aretha and Yoko.
With the Midlands often portrayed as poverty stricken, uneducated and unruly, I think that Raised By Wolves went some way towards giving one of the best accounts that us Midlanders could ask for. Warm, funny and loving, with a laugh after every line, the Moran sisters should be incredibly proud of their home town and their show. I know they made me feel proud just watching it.