ITV1’s slick comedy-drama Cold Feet (Sunday) is set in Manchester, although you wouldn’t necessarily know it, since hardly anyone seems to speak with a northern accent and it’s shot against a stylish, generalised metropolitan background that could equally well be London. Its three thirtysomething/fortyish couples all have stylish metropolitan homes too, two stylish homes in the case of the ones who are divorcing, The poor wife has been left with just an Audi, a nanny and £50 a month to spend on hairdressing. It’s grim up North, no doubt about it.
Being aspirational doesn’t make Cold Feet a bad show, of course, and it isn’t. The dialogue’s sharp, the production’s immaculate and there are great performances from Britain’s home-grown Friends, including James Nesbitt as Adam/Chandler, Helen Baxendale as Rachel/Monica and John Thomson as Pete/Joey. Two episodes in, they seem to be managing just fine without the acerbic Jenny (Fay Ripley), while Karen (Hermione Norris) has become almost adorable as the tentative, vulnerable mother trying to negotiate divorce and a new relationship without hurting her children.
The show’s tackling some grown-up issues too, not least that divorce, and role-reversal in the Rachel/Adam household, as she works (in advertising, of course) and he looks after the baby. They aren’t tackled too hard though, and things have a tendency to get neatly resolved around the final ad break, leaving us with a nice warm glow to help us face the week ahead.
Last week, Rachel froze Adam out of parenthood and her bed, but realised her mistake (around the final ad break, as it happens) and put things right. This week Adam lost his job, but got another one (guess when), thus restoring the domestic equilibrium. Like its sponsor, the BMW Mini, Cold Feet is a near-perfect smartly-packaged, upmarket lifestyle accessory.