A Thing Called Love, BBC1

by | Sep 28, 2004 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

A thought-provoking treatise on the nature of love performed by some of Britain’s brightest actors

What to say if you didn’t like it

Not a patch on BBC3’s Burn It which showed how love among the working class young really is

What was good about it?

• The excellent portrait of the hellish weekends spent by working-class men: football, booze, slags, punch-ups, cabs, hangovers, snooker on TV, video and a takeaway

• It’s given Paul Nicholls and Kaye Wragg deserved primetime roles even though the series isn’t good enough to build a following and probably won’t give their careers much of a lift

• The Mariachi band performing Three Times A Lady in an Indian restaurant

• It was set in Nottingham and not Manchester, which makes a change

• Paul Nicholls’ character Gary is engaging – the generous joker who’s good at putting up the football nets and will only be unfaithful when he discovers the woman who is desperate to shag him works in a tights factory.

What was bad about it?

• Paul Nicholls’ character Gary is frustrating – all that moping, all that philosophising (“I’m changing my perspective”).

• They didn’t use that Darkness song as the theme song

• The words coming out of the mouths of the characters were simply unbelievable and left the cast looking uncomfortable. Example: Gary on finding “the one” – “It’s like trying to catch rainwater in a fishing net.” Painter/decorators just do not say those sort of things.

• The clichéd use of heavy rain during the big emotional scene (when Gary dumped Mel because she’s not the one and he’ll regret what might have been if he doesn’t end their long-lasting relationship.)

• The central message – “Where love’s concerned, it’s all or nothing. No compromise” – probably invalidates the relationships of most viewers

• Writer William Ivory did so much better when he came up with Common As Muck

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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