Wednesday, January 03, 2007

This Life Had No Life

This Life + 10 appeared doomed to failure, & the reviews have been self-fulfilling prophesies, so I wanted to like it. I didn't. I recall the discovery of the original on the graveyard slot, it had taken work to find it, & then the ratings rescued it & gratifyingly relocated it to a more prime time slot. Ten years on, I could be a different audience, & expectations of television have altered. The nod to reality TV, with a documentary format, was a device to far for me though. The essence of my demands have not altered greatly, I want my characters to have personality, preferably one which sits easily with my pre-existing knowledge of them.

The cast apparently said that they wouldn't have done it unless the script had been good, but this script just proved that Amy Jenkins never could write. She had a brilliant programme idea, but I suspect the person who authorised the £150,000 advance she recieved for her first 2 novels recognised that they would sell anyway with a decent cover. Not worthy of BBC2 at all, I was led to think of what life after This Life had been like for the cast. All have been successful & I suspect this just put presents under their trees.

This Life was just the beginning of:

Jack Davenport played Miles Stewart
Since the show ended in 1997, he has made the biggest splash of the This Life cast in America, starring as the loveable Peter in The Talented Mr Ripley, and as Commodore James Norrington in Pirates of the Caribbean with Johnny Depp and Keira Knightley. He has been a familiar face on the small screen in Coupling.

Daniela Nardini played Anna Forbes
Famed for her association with the Largs ice-cream shop of the same name, Nardini has flitted between theatre, television and film. Notable roles include the stage lead in Camille, as well as TV roles in Big Women, Sirens and Quite Ugly One Morning. She starred in 2005's BAFTA-nominated film, Festival, Annie Griffin's sardonic expose of the Edinburgh's Fringe festivities.

Amita Dhiri played Milly Nassim
The most low-key of all the housemates, Dhiri is married to music producer Bradley Carroll. She has made her name starring in hits such as Judge John Deed, Silent Witness and McCallum.

Andrew Lincoln played Edgar 'Egg' Cook
Like Davenport, Lincoln has enjoyed success across the board. His voice is familiar in the UK as he provides voice-overs. His brother is a teacher and he went to school with him to research his part as loveable rogue Simon Casey in hit Channel 4 drama Teachers. Film roles include the part of the lovelorn Mark in Love Actually.

Jason Hughes played Warren Jones
A range of supporting roles both in television and film have ensured Hughes has not disappeared from view. One of his most notable film roles was in the 2002 thriller, Killing Me Softly. He also played the role of Detective Ben Jones in Midsomer Murders.

I have only ever seen Andrew Lincoln on stage, strolling along the South Bank with time on my hands one afternoon, it came into my mind that a friend had just interviewed a playwright she rather liked about his play Blue/Orange. Matinee tickets still being available, I was lucky enough to see a brilliant drama about mental health, which Joe Penhall describes writing “to present an extraordinary argument that couldn’t be held in conversation”.

Labels: , ,


Blogger madmary said...

Yes I was disappointed in the programme. I too wanted to like it and there were bits of it where I caught a glimmer of the old series.

I was a trainee solicitor when the programme was first shown and it was a remarkably good portrayal of the desparation of folk who had entered a profession where there were high expectations and they felt inadequate to the task. Coping meant pretending and endeavouring to live the high life to pretend even further. That was brilliant.

What wasn't brilliant about last night's showing was the cliche of women in need of a baby or women wanting to be mother earth etc.

What happened to Egg's culinary ambitions?

Sometimes we can't go back.


10:07 PM  
Blogger Helen Sparkles said...

I did just watch the last 40 minutes again, I got so tired I fell asleep & missed bits first time around, & it was better than I recalled from last night. I didn't want it to be the same, but like you, I just caught glimpses of the old series.

I didn't work for a law firm until 1998, but there really didn't seem to be much inaccurate about This Life. It must have been great to watch while you were training, if a little scary! I was actually in therapy at the time though, so that was always intriguing for me, peppered as the stories were with psychobabble as well as actual session.

The career/motherhood strand irritated me, maybe because I felt it was inauthentic for Milly to have given up working completely. I also wanted to know how Milly & Egg had got past her infidelity, but I think he flamboyantly cooked dinner one night at the house.

I am a bit ashamed to say that I wanted Anna & Miles to be together, but still sparky, & not neccessarily to have hooked up at the reunion. Ending this theme as they did was though more realistic & I am learning to live with it. Warren though could have been much better than a wanky life coach, he could have had real insights, gained from all those therapy sessions.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Jo Christie-Smith said...

I don't know what I was doing when the first series was on - I used to catch bits of it but never really got to work out who was who and what was going on.

That said, I made a special effort to watch this episode and suspected that it was a former shadow of itself!

What I really hated was the reality TV bit. I thought it a really lazy bit of writng. I always thought writers were supposed to show not tell!

However, what it has done is made me want to go and get a DVD set of the original series to see if I would have like it first time around, especially as everyone is saying that the original series was much better!

4:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home