Town & Country, ITV1

by | Mar 1, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

A gentle, refreshingly humane reality show which pitted urban living against rural residence.

What to say if you didn’t like it

Where’s Lizzie Bardsley when you need her?!

What was bad about it?

• Deliberately lacking any of the cruelty, bitchiness and car-crash value we have come to expect in reality TV, the programme’s good intentions soon backfired when this resulted in nothing exciting or significant happening. At all.

• Similarly, the challenge of two families (the Greenaways and the Powells) swapping Hackney for Snowdonia and vice versa for a week was hardly a hardship and a complete damp squib when one considers we’ve seen members of the public in a lot more demanding situations. These days, are people from the countryside really that different from those in the big smoke anyway? (Apart from all the foxhunting and inbreeding)

• The relic of a narrator – as if taken from a 1950’s public information film – added to the overall patronising tone of the programme. Introducing us to one of the Greenaway sons, he declared “He may look hard but his true love is his dog”.

• The horrid employers who gave Sian Powell a job as a nanny. Admittedly, she was rubbish and constantly late but their condescending advice (“It’s not like Mary Poppins. A nanny is there to look after your kids when you’re not there”) was infuriating.

• Wendy Powell’s hideous jacket, emblazoned with white stallions coming out of the sea or something.

What was good about it?

• Both families were endearing and their realisation that they weren’t ready to move permanently was rather sweet. Their reasons for considering a move (Mrs Powell wanted better treatment for her epilepsy) were also genuine and worthy.

• The (unintentionally) hilarious descriptions of London: from the “tarmac of Hackney” to little Eden’s assertion that in East London “kidnappers and robbers hang around” – perhaps based on some fact but a bit of an exaggeration nonetheless.

• Wendy Powell’s brilliant accent, an amalgamation of Welsh and English which unfortunately made her sound like Maureen Driving School speaking Russian.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

01/03/2005

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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