This is England ’86

30Sep10

I was astounded by This is England ’86.

Here was British television drama at its finest. The adult themes are strong and graphic. The lead character Lol was superbly played by Vicky McClure with excellent support cast including Rosamund Hanson as compassionate Queen of Hearts, Smell.

Why can’t all British television be this good. Shane Meadows has created a 21st Century Jude the Obscure with 1980s South Yorkshire replacing Wessex as a major character. Never before have I seen such a bleak landscape of rundown estates filmed so beautifully. At one point in the final episode Lol is filmed through long grass in a scene reminiscent of Merchant Ivory‘s film version of A Room With a View.

The use of Ludovico Einaudi‘s “Fly” for the build up to the series’ anticipated, but no less horrific, finale was masterly.

Why can’t all TV drama be this well crafted? The retro series reminded me of the glory days of Channel 4 when edgy television felt considered and intelligent. Shane Meadows I salute you!

You can watch the entire series on 4od.
You can also see it on Youtube

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