Wednesday, January 03, 2007

This Life - Outstanding!

I've just finished watching the THIS LIFE reunion. Having seen it poo-poohed in various reviews I wasn't expecting much of it... that is until I saw NEWSNIGHT REVIEW a few weeks ago and saw it being slagged off by Germaine Greer, Paul Morley and someone else equally pretentious (Tony Parsons?).

When I heard they hated it I knew it would be great. And it was. It recreated the mood of the original series superbly. Anna was just as screwed up, Warren was still neurotic, Egg was still self obsessed and Milly was such a control freak. And Myles was.... well Myles. Of course we were all waiting to see whether Myles and Anna would finally get it together. And in true THIS LIFE style, they did... but they didn't. A friend of mine emailed me just now and described the THIS LIFE reunion as "just enough punch and not too much cheese." Quite.

PS A special moment for anyone who 'gets' the headline...

29 comments:

Carey said...

I agree, fantastic return to form for This Life!

chatterbox said...

Iain, I really enjoyed it and it lived up to the original series.
I must admit I sat there hoping Miles and Anna would get together at last, but equally knew that it would not happen as it would be too much of a contrite ending to such a superb series.
Best line has to be from Miles when Anna said "we would kill each other" and he replied "we would love every minute of it?" can't remember the exact wording but still brilliant.

steppenwolff said...

It was absolutely fantastic. Looking back on the old series I just found this fabulous quote from Anna:

"Despite all its shortcomingss, I'm still partial to penis."

(and it's Miles!)

Anonymous said...

it was indeed outstanding. my only complaint about it was there was no cliff-hanger thanks to the lack of being a series. i enjoyed it but i'm not on tenterhooks to see what happens next week because it was a one off. my only other problem was milly and egg are still together, why??? they are so unsuited for each other it isn't true. i find it hard to believe their marriage has stood the test of time because egg is such an easy-going guy compared to milly's stress-head.

Tom Dexter said...

Sorry, but I disagree. The naturality was missing. No complaints about the acting, it was in the writing that it failed for me.

David W said...

Damn! I Sky Plus'd it but now I know the ending. Thanks Iain.

Peter said...

I thought it was pretty naff myself. Like a bad stage play, there was far too much melodrama, everybody had a "problem" that they talked about. In the series, people only talked about themselves with great reluctance. This time around, it was talking therapy nonsense. Anna wanting a baby, Egg and Milly babbling on ( and where was O'Donnell when you needed him? )
Giving Miles a Hong Kong wife who upped and left gave him an open field for Anna. Where was the drama? Where indeed, was his first wife?
And then the "suicide bid", the bailiffs, and the fall into the river.

Dismal.

Anonymous said...

Iain, I am a fan (of both you and old This Life), but did we watch the same programme last night?!

It took Amy Jenkins 10 years to come up with that crap?! The characters were really let down by piss poor writing.

I gave up and delighted in the Arsenal whipping Alan Pardew's (Charlton's) ass.

Paul Linford said...

I was a big fan of the original myself Iain but was less than impressed with this. Full review coming soon at my place!

Hannibal said...

"Outstanding" - that'll be Warren's word which ended the second series following Milly's punch at the wedding, a brilliant TV moment!

Jonny said...

As Kris says, were you watching the same programme as the rest of us? It was poor, like much of the last series. Would have been more interesting to see what they were all doing with their lives, rather than locking them all away in a country house. It created a sense of unreality which never really went away.

Anonymous said...

Yes it was quite good, but last night's "In the Thick of It" Christmas Special (BBC4) was totally hilarious and far more relevant to this political blog, especially as it took the rise out of, well, political Tory blogs. Can it be that you aren't mentioning it deliberately for some reason Iain? Bit close to the knuckle? The Tory opposition MP was featured having his tie removed and shirt pulled out of his trousers by the right-on-ista Cameroonie Manipulator drafted in from some ad agency to make-over the right-wing loon into Today's Trendy Environmentalist. Brilliant.

Man in a shed said...

It was good fun to watch - don't know if it was good TV/script writing - as I don't have a degree in media studies. It works because its an exagerated version of our lives and the pain and joy all too real.

Over to Saun of the Dead on ITV2 next - which was fantastic!

Anonymous said...

anonymous 9:58 is right, "The Thick of It" was the thing to watch...absolutely hilarious.

One thing I noticed was a the very end, there was a throwaway line about the PM trying to influence an exam board - does Armando know something we don't about, er, "C" grades and students at Bristol?

Sam Bailey said...

It really wasn't outstanding. But it wasn't a complete disappointment either. Just a bit of a 3/5. The acting was dreadful, apart from Warren and Egg. Milly in particuarly, I remember, has always been dreadful, but I thought Miles and Anna were better. Maybe too much Pirates of the Carribean has gone to Miles' head. The cheap nasty cheap tacky nasty "documentary" device made me cringe (especially when there actually was a documentary about the making of the documentary about the reunion of the reunion, gahhh). But it was ok. Just ok though.

Anonymous said...

Boring.

dougal said...

it was awful. awful awful awful. be honest. you just wanted to like it, so you made yourself. it ruined all the old memories for me. dismal.

PJ said...

I always found This Life unwatchable because of the close-in, shaky camerawork, which had me screaming "get a decent tripod" the whole time. Same with the acclaimed chase scene in the Bourne Supremacy (was it?) A pity, as they were both no doubt good pieces of work otherwise

Hannibal said...

Of the two "The Thick of It" was the better programme last night, but I still enjoyed "This Life". The rather colourful threat involving an iPod, its speakers and a novel way of changing songs was brilliant. Has someone bugged Campbell?

aidan said...

it made me want to hit myself with a brick!

Anonymous said...

"delighted in the Arsenal whipping Alan Pardew's (Charlton's) ass."

Kris, I am sure that there are plenty of footballer wives who agree with you.

As for the Hammers fans (any old irons. . !), whether coughing up £2 million to get rid was worth it, the jury is still out.

Anonymous said...

The situation of the country house did make it seem unreal, but after ten years would this lot really be still living in a house-share together?

The questions of children vs. career were good, and the jealousy and insecurity between couples was well written.

I loved the bit when they arrived at the house and Warren said to Miles "You've turned into your dad!" The look on Miles's face was hilarious!

Hayek's Grandad said...

I think they tried to squeeze an entire series into one show. By the end I was completely exhausted from all the back to back melodrama.

Still better than most of what's on telly though.

Anonymous said...

This life +10 had everything, the best thing on telly for years and the focus on everyday contemrary life is sorely missed, and I hardly watched it the first time around.

As far as the press reviews go, again the press reviewers get it wrong and the blogs get it right.

How hard would it be to do another series?

Danvers said...

Loved it, except for the conceit that all the characters were natural non-Tories - with even Miles (or Myles - which is it?) getting grief for his political beliefs and refusing to say how he voted at the last election. It is the same in Bridget Jones' Diary - Bridget is a natural Tory yet for her Tory is a dirty word.

If This Life was being a tad more objective about its characters, Miles would be a staunch Tory and Warren would be a good working class Thatcherite. So would at least one of the others and the remainder would not be horrified by that.

Sorry to bring politics into it...

Lerxst said...

"Maybe too much Pirates of the Carribean has gone to Miles' head."

Possibly, but he'd already gone on to far better things than this tosh (Coupling & C4's Ultraviolet come to mind)

Sam Beau said...

A curate's egg, but Milly still asking for a good old fashioned good hiding, the miserable bitch. Still, at least we didn't have to suffer the sight of her in the bath surrounded by candles for once.

tpfkar said...

An outstanding series, but I couldn't make up my mind on this one.

I just didn't get the country house setting - we'd only ever seen the characters sharing a London house before so the space seemed very odd. Jason Hughes was fanastic and stole the show for me, but Milly had to go from stressed mother to moaning at Anna to jumping off horses for fun to argumentative wife to forgiving everything just because she jumped into a pond - she deserved better.

RedEye said...

Re. the Newsnight review pasting, what an insult to Tony Parsons to get him confused with Johann Hari (given how grotesquely fat the latter is). Rather different politics as well.

That said, they are, indeed, both very pretentious. I can no longer read Parsons' novels when they read more like Craig Brown's parodies of them than the parodies themselves.