Did we like it?
Oh what a disappointment! All of the excitement of the original series was missing, leaving just an endless round of boring conversations and implausible friction. Amy Jenkins should have left This Life alone. Now she’s tarnished our memories.
What was good about it?
• It was nice to see Miles, Anna, Milly, Egg and Warren again. We used to talk about them as if they were real. Now we have to make do with talking about Big Brother contestants as if they are real.
• The Danny McFly tribute hairstyle worn by Jack Davenport (Miles). Made him look much better. Pity he was still the smug creep from 10 years earlier.
• Daniel Nardini as Anna had a few good moments, mainly involving smoking and her desire for sperm.
• The music of Portishead, the Manics and The Killers
What was bad about it?
• The manufactured conflict. Rows blew up out of nowhere. It was all so heavy-handed, trying to point out that people repeat their bad behaviour over and over. We couldn’t believe that the quintet would still act like that even though they all have horribly hard lives (in their tiny imaginations!) and are stuck in an ugly house in the country. There was certainly no need for the sudden explosion between Egg, a successful novelist but still lazy as hell, and wife Milly, a mum and proud of it (and the most realistic of the characters).
• The device of having a young documentary maker following them around was unnecessary and the video diaries (a replacement for the old In The Psychiatrist’s Chair scenes) just allowed the characters to over-analyse their lives until all they could do was pity themselves.
• Egg’s rant about 4x4s just came from nowhere and, while we like his argument, it seemed totally manufactured.
• Warren’s not the type to have cocaine in a special little dispenser, especially as he now seems addicted to colourful vitamin pills.
• Who would have ever wanted to watch the documentary that was being made about the group? In the old days, they were self-obsessed but crazy; now they’re self-obsessed and tedious. On the plus side, the personalities from 10 years ago were still flickering; on the minus side, no-one had grown up.
• Miles’ Vietnamese wife was rather too conveniently packed off – storming out after a teacup-sized row with Anna.
• The overheard conversation on the baby monitor – a dramatic device that’s been terribly overused. We remember when This Life used to lead the way.
• There was no appearance by the superbitch Rachel or superhunk Joe