Did we like it?
It’s the must-see light drama of the season.
What was good about it?
• We’re great lovers of Upstairs Downstairs (and to a lesser extent House of Eliott) so we love a bit of early 20th century costume drama with a little bit of bite among the bodices and tin baths. This mixed the persecution of a war “coward” and some religious conflict with the running up of some corsets and a street party where the Okey Cokey had everyone putting their left legs in, out etc.
• The cast wasn’t full of familiar faces (No Gaynor Faye. Hooray!!!) and we loved the central characters – the Moss sisters – played by Catherine Tyldesley (as chocolate maker Iris), Kerrie Hayes (as Olympic swimmer/corsetiere Ruby) and Leanne Rowe (as parlour maid May), plus their priest-hating father Dadda (Brian McCardie) and brother Billy (Daniel Rigby), who has nightmares after nearly drowning at sea and is chastised by some for the “nerves” which have wrecked his life since.
• Although set in Liverpool in the 1920s, writer Heidi Thomas avoided the usual clichéd (and overrated) Scouse humour.
• There was no Cooksonish romance, either (although we suspect that May will be getting off with an admiring toff before too long).
• While most of the family is content in its terraced home, May ventures further afield. Already she’s appeared on stage in a corset to tickle the fancies of the local gentlemen and we think her liberation will be the most interesting storyline of the series.
• The comic highlight – Ruby’s awkward job interview with the corset-crazy lady from the Aurora Foundation.
• The eye candy highlight – Scot Williams as young priest Father Melia.
• Rose Keegan was in it (remember the redhead in Hearts & Bones?). She is always great fun and had a lovely little guest role as a postmistress-turned-failed burlesque dancer.
What was bad about it?
• Did someone decide Friday night was the new Sunday night without consulting us? This was 8pm Sunday fare muscling in on yoof-orientated Friday TV – and next week it’s up against Midsomer Murders. Surely it’s against some law to show DS Barnaby and co on a Friday?