January 4, 2007

That Life

Sometimes it's wrong to go back. As much as you might want to. That was certainly the case with BBC2's This Life +10, shown the day before yesterday.

For those not in the know, in 1996 and 1997 there was a groundbreaking TV series on BBC2 which focused on the lives of a bunch of twentysomething lawyers trying to make their way in the world. Why groundbreaking? Because of its fly-on-the-wall documentary style (used with much success subsequently on shows like The Office), and because it didn't shy away from the fact that young adults in London swore, had sex and - get this - took drugs without immediately becoming junkies and having their lives fall apart.

As a twentysomething also trying to find my way in the world, I was hooked, as were up to 5 million other Britons - not bad for a BBC2 programme.

The second series came to a climactic end, and it was decided not to make any more - leaving us all desperate and addicted.

Two days ago many of us avidly tuned in to see what had happened to Miles, Anna, Millie, Egg and Warren. It felt a bit like an awkward reunion of once-close schoolfriends, and afterwards you kind of wished you hadn't bothered.

For a start, several of the characters were no longer really believable. But that might just be me. After all, how did loveable failure Egg ever get it together long enough to publish a very successful novel? But that was forgiveable, I suppose. But what really grated was the attempt to put a series' worth of crisis into one episode. Millie falls off a horse - but is OK. Warren attempts an overdose - but it isn't really one. And so on.

After a long weekend at Miles' new country house, the characters were obviously relieved to be heading home to put the whole experience behind them. A sentiment which most viewers probably shared.

Posted by Eurodan at January 4, 2007 3:08 PM

While I can see some of your points, I have to say I disagree with your assessment entirely. I loved the show and thought it was pitched exactly right on that dangerous border between wallowing nostalgia and the recognition that things do and must move on. Still the best thing on TV after all this time.

Posted by: matt at January 5, 2007 5:07 PM
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