Neil has some thoughts on The Black Rider:

*what is it* I’m actually enjoying about this? It’s not the emotional resonance of well-drawn characters or the powerful realism of great acting or the engaging originality of cleverly-devised plots- I guess it’s the triumph of style over substance in both cases, but what style 😉 I also wondered whether one of the reason burlesque does work is because its cliche-laden expressions of cheap sentiment are actually a more realistic representation of a life characterised by the mundane scope of petty, unoriginal griefs, loves and yearnings than the grand passions and higher purposes portrayed elsewhere, but by treating it all with such irony manages to get away with the dramatic equivalent of adolescent poetry- expressing feelings in cloying and cliched terms that are utterly heartfelt and engulfing.