This Life +10: Snap, crackle, flop.
Posted on January 3, 2007
I skipped out of the Maidstone Community Centre New Year’s Eve party before midnight this year (God knows why) and missed out on all the fireworks. Luckily for me, and viewers of ‘This Life +10’, there were a few bags of explosives on last night’s telly. And a reminder that, amongst ‘Celebrity This’ and ‘Reality That’, there is still some British TV worth staying in for, even if it’s a one-off Christmas special – and I use the word ‘special’ quite liberally.
‘This Life +10’ caught up with Miles, Anna, Milly, Egg and Warren of the original BBC drama, which ended in 1997 with a bang (actually, more of a wallop) after 32 episodes and a lot of shagging, swearing and snorting. Last night’s reunion however ended on a much quieter note. There were fireworks, sure, but they were lit carefully, as if according to health and safety procedures: proof that people – like old fireworks – get duller with age.
Egg is somehow a literary sensation; Milly a mum; Warren is into life coaching; and Miles is a mega-rich hotels entrepreneur, hosting the former lawyers at his huge country pile. Anna still practices, and is the only character not completely mutated by time. She’s still got attitude, balls (not literally) and those great legs. She didn’t however have the best line. That honour went to Warren ( “Well really, I mean, arguing about the war…is so last season”). What she did have was a baby complex and exactly what was wrong with ‘This Life +10’.
The original series was the twenties we had or wished we’d had (I’m still wondering if mine will come, as I struggle to stay awake at 9:30pm). They shagged, they swore, they swayed to…Suede. They were of their time. And now, while they don’t swear any less, they discuss babies and bankruptcy and what exactly a “Kaiser Chief” is. And I wonder if it might have been best if they’d just stayed away and, like Suede and…shagging (I remember that), remained warm in the memory.
‘This Life +10’ arrived on our screens between two bastions of reality TV: ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ and ‘Celebrity Big Brother’, where fireworks mark the entrance and exit of its c-list contestants. Last night however, ‘This Life +10’ snapped, it crackled, but it flopped. I only hope that this so-called special, like the lingering smoke of a disappointing backyard firework display, doesn’t cloud the memory of a groundbreaking show.