Friday, 10 September 2010

The One Where I Finally See This Is England '86

I love Shane Meadows.

I sort of worked my way backwards.

Dead Man's Shoes is brilliant. A quality film. Undervalued, and under seen.

Meadows followed it up with This Is England.

God, that film shook me up.

The devastation at the end, where Combo (Stephan Graham, never better) has destroyed lives.

I always go back and view the film, maybe even more than Dead Man's Shoes. Just to spend time with the characters. To empathise with their plight. With the faultless Shaun, as he is roped into a different way of live.

There is something about films like this that appeal to me. I can't put my finger on it. I'm drawn to the explosive violence. Getting shocked by it. Feeling like I need to be shaken up, every once in a while after a million Piranha 3Ds.

So what better than a TV show?

Well, not much.

Meadows has written a small series, set 3 years after the climax of the film.

Milky is alive and well, (he didn't look it last time we saw him).

Woody is back, with a Paul Weller hair cut, ready to make big decisions.

Shaun, starts with his final CSE. Realising that, like it or not, he needs to make his way in the world.

As a series opener goes, this is all about getting to know the characters again.

Realising that the thing that scares Woody most isn't the return of Combo, but of turning out like his Mum and Dad.

There are little scenes that resonate. Shaun being given a gift from his Father, who we know died in the Falklands.

It's set during a recession too. So the timing is smart, and relevant.

Money is an issue. So much so that two characters steal some flowers from a grave in an early scene. And you can't not be tense watching it, after the racist corner shop scene from the movie.

There is broad humour too. Two bullies picking on Shaun - shouldn't be funny, but is. They are setting him up. That set up goes disastrously wrong, and you know that story thread will run and run.

So, as most of my twitter friends said, it's a good start, and they were left wanting more.

Meadows has said if it's a success, there will be more.

So go to 4OD, and set a series link for 10:00PM on Tuesday, Channel 4HD.

Can't wait.

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