Did we like it?
This was heralded as Channel 4’s answer to Footballers’ Wives. It isn’t even Channel 4’s answer to Crossroads. There’s not enough humour, kitchness, campness or intelligence and it needs to improve rapidly if it’s not going to become another of Channel 4’s one-season homegrown drama wonders.
What was good about it?
• Ever-reliable Barbara Marten was the star turn as the booze-sodden, crinkly-skinned scorned woman Beth, who’s being very Sue Elleny now husband John has ditched her in favour of the alcopop-swigging, perfect-skinned Cassidy
• She’s no Chardonnay or Shannon but we quite like Cassidy “I’m from Didsbury!” Tallow, a council estate chav who has become an expert gold-digger targetting Cheshire’s sad old men (minimum requirements: Cartier watch, handmade shoes, soft leather wallet).
• There could have been a lot of eye candy but Goldplated even disappointed on that score. Hottest stars were Nicholas Shaw as cocaine-using slacker Justin and Kelly Harrison as manipulative Cassidy
• Annoying old Granddad died while perving over the diving on TV.
What was bad about it?
• The painted-by-numbers plot that dealt with the threat of bankruptcy, marital disharmony, a hint of incest, intergenerational relationships and drug abuse, but only in a feeble, unexciting manner. The only intrigue surrounds the catatonic Melanie: Who is she? Why is she in an institution? Why is John visiting her? Where’s Nurse Dunkley when you need her?
• The makers missed a big trick: there should have been a catfight between the “sad old cow” and the “nasty little tramp/money-grubbing slag”. Preferably one ending up with some hair pulling and scratching in a water feature.
• David Schofield deserves more than his role as a shouting building firm boss John White, razing listing buildings to the ground so he can put up little starter homes and falling out with his mild-mannered son Darren (Darren Tighe). He even got to yell the worst line of the opener: “It’s my eldest son’s christening today. All the family will be there and I don’t need this!”
• It was filmed like a 1980s movie that producers hoped would do some useful business in America. The christening party looked deadly dull (people dressed up to the nines standing around on a lawn) and the Kudos nightclub looked about as exciting as an airport lounge (people dressed up to the nines slumped on leather furniture)
• Suede’s Beautiful Ones was a lazy choice as a theme tune.