Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Nostalgia, but so much more.
on 9 October 2014
I bought this based on amazon's recommendation. After I'd bought Children of the Stones this kept popping up as a 'you may also like' and I decided to try it as it had such positive reviews. As a Northern 70's kid this obviously has a massive nostalgia value for me, but the series is much more than that. It's based around really strong, well developed characters, all of whom are so well played. Each episode focuses mainly on one or two of the paper lads, and lass, as they experience problems and adventures which in turn give deeper layers to their characters. There are four main characters throughout the two series. Feisty but sensitive Sam, trying to patch the rift between her Granda and her mam; Ian, a gifted artist with an unhappy home life; Baz, with his dreams of being a ballroom dancing champion, and Gog, always the jester but with a deep, intuitive nature. Series one also has J.G., the likeable, sensible head lad, who was replaced in series two by the less likeable Neville who is the only weak link in the series, and thankfully he's only in three episodes. Neville's meant to be a bad 'un, but he doesn't match the others for acting skills.
The strength of character development in Sam, Baz, Ian and Gog is equalled by the stories themselves, which hit the right balance between drama, pathos and humour, delving into the characters lives, dreams and personalities with the delicate touch that produces real character led television. My favourite episode is A Day to Remember, where the paper lads and lass go on a works outing, which has the line 'Well I don't suppose you can expect to go on an annual treat EVERY year!' It is very nostalgic to anyone of around my age, but it's wonderful in its own right as a beautifully written and acted series.