Last night saw a slice of nostalgia, when This Life returned for a one-off special, ten years on.
Ten years ago I was a few months away from leaving university (stop rolling your eyes, at the back!) and I fondly remember cramming into my neighbour’s room to watch each episode. We were all just about to graduate, and seeing these five people sharing a house in London at the start of their careers somehow felt like it might be a view into our own lives in a few years’ time. This series, and Friends, were big at the time… and somehow Friends was never real enough for us to think that way about it.
This Life was groundbreaking stuff – the handheld camera work, the sex and drugs pushing new boundaries (although whether or not that has been a good thing in the long term is another matter), the gritty realism, the rapid editing, the well-observed mundane details (not only who was sleeping with whom, but whether or not the washing up had been done)… a really great series.
From the moment the theme tune came on last night, the memories all flooded back. The characters had grown slightly older, but not very much wiser. The characterisations were still excellent. The setting had changed, of course – no more lawyers sharing a grotty house in London, this time the careers had all changed, and it was scaled up to a weekend at a country house instead. The thing that impressed me the most about the special was that there was real emotional depth and tension that had an impact even after the 10 year gap.
The music was great too – although this time it was all played out of an iPod. A chance to relive some of my favourite indie moments of the 1990s.
I’ll be getting the original 2 series on DVD to remind myself of what it was all about…
Good stuff to watch most nights this week – final two episodes of Torchwood tonight, and the final episode of Green Wing tomorrow. Don’t expect to hear much from me… 😉