Across the two series that make up this unmissable boxset, we get to meet the full-of-himself Miles, the loud but troubled Anna, Milly the control-freak and the unsure Egg. Add in the upbeat Warren, who is gay but doesn’t want his parents to know, and the confused and bisexual Ferdy, and you have a melting pot of emotions and stories that are as captivating to watch as they were when the show was first broadcast.
At the core of This Life’s success though are some wonderful, career-making performances. The likes of Andrew Lincoln (Teachers, Love Actually) and Jack Davenport (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Talented Mr Ripley) have certainly used it as a springboard to launch their careers, and we can only hope to see more of the excellent Daniela Nardini and Amita Dhiri in the future.
But for now, savour just what this is. It’s astonishingly confident, moving, at times flat out hilarious but always unmissable. And it’s taken far too long to bring it all to DVD. Make the most of it now it’s here.--Simon Brew
The two season series follows the lives of Egg, Milly, Miles, Anna, Warren, Ferdy and their friends, colleagues and acquaintances through the highs and lows of modern living with all the trappings of the nineteen-nineties indulgencies.
What made this series superior to the many imitators was its absolute frankness and realism to situations and relationships and the boldness and bravado of the scriptwriters, producers and actors.
Daniella Nardini won a Best Actress British Academy Award for her role in this series and deservedly so. Her portrayal of the messed up, over confident yet insecure Anna is one of the finest pieces of acting in television of its time.
This series was also the springboard for up-and-coming talents including the beautiful Amita Dhiri as anally retentive Milly, the irrepressible Andrew Lincoln as the lost Egg, the heartbreaking performance of Jason Hughes as the hearty Warren, the mesmerising Jack Davenport as the arrogant Miles, the brooding Roman Tikaram as the bisexually bemused Ferdy and the stunning Natasha Little who underplays her role as the scheming Rachel to such an amazing degree it is a wonder she didn't walk away with an award herself.
Add to this eclectic mix the support from Keira Bradshaw-White (whose comic relief often adds a welcome tear of joy) and the pure sexiness of Steve John Shepherd as Jo, you have a recipe for one of the best feasts in television history.
The combined efforts of the superb cast and magnificent writing team (including the multi-talented Amelia Bullmore, better known to many as Alan Partridge's girlfriend 'Sonja' in "I'm Alan Partridge") culminate in pure addictive TV. The final episode has to be one of the most entertaining hours on the screen.
Ten years has been too long to wait, but thankfully it is here at last in its completion.
It rarely gets better than this...
There is far too much here to touch on in 1000 words. What about the groundbreaking depiction of gay sex and relationships, the wonderfully funny writing, the fantastic camera-work, the genius of the characterisation - I can still remember them all - Anna, Miles, Egg, Millie, Ferdie - and I haven't even watched this thing for 10 years..... and an incredible right-hook of an ending!
So much goodness in one little package.
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