Luke is one of those men in their 50s who don’t dress appropriately for their age: in Top Gun aviators, black skinny jeans, and a matching black CBGB t-shirt (which he’d probably call a ‘tee’), he looks like a teenager announcing his subcultural tribe to the world (I know all about punk and new wave, dude). The black clothes and the sulky vibe recall Claudius lecturing Hamlet on his mourning robes: ’Tis unmanly grief’, the sign of ‘A heart unfortified, a mind impatient’, Claudius says, urging Hamlet to move on from his father’s death. To mourn for too long is emasculating and inappropriate. Similarly, Luke Goss is stuck in the past. Bitten not just once. Nay, twenty times!
Bros: After the Screaming Stops is not a Renaissance tragedy. But it is tragic, in the same way that Ricky Gervais’ and Stephen Merchant’s The Office was tragic. Although Bros isn’t fiction, it shares The Office’s ability to evoke toe-curling, cathartic pleasure. And like the earlier show, it operates by exploiting the tragic gap between how we wish to be perceived and who we actually are. David Brent, for instance, determinedly believes everyone loves him to cover the crushing loneliness inside. Likewise, twins Matt and Luke Goss seem to believe that making this BBC documentary will make them appear wordly-wise and vindicated; that playing a Bros reunion show at the O2 will redeem them as serious musicians; and that, ultimately, the real reunion will be theirs, as a family. As twins. At least, it would be easier to believe all this than to admit to yourself that your brotherly ties have been irreparably severed by the grotesqueries of early fame, and that you’ve lived most of your adult life grieving that separation, somewhat shell-shocked, I’d imagine, and a little bit damaged.