2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Back then you could actually smoke *inside* pubs...,
This review is from: This Life - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I'm not quite as die-hard a fan as the other reviewers seem to be, but nevertheless enjoyed watching this series again recently. I liked it more this time around, I think, than I did in 1996/1997 when it first aired. Amy Jenkins's script makes for psychologically and emotionally accurate characters but there were some implausibilities, I found: the Miles-Delilah storyline seemed a bit ridiculous and while I could understand Anna wanting to use Egg's father as a weapon to reach Miles emotionally by tempting him towards jealousy, the Anna-Jerry affair required quite a suspension of disbelief...
Jenkins laid on the social realism too thickly in places so that it became self-conscious: the ubiquitous Definitely Maybe poster bluetacked onto the wall, Oasis's Champagne Supernova and Radiohead's Fake Plastic Trees booming out of the speakers, etc. What I did find refreshing, though, was that it didn't shy away from showing the woman as the sexually frustrated partner in a long-term relationship: Milly seeks to coax Egg into regenerating their sex life until she falls for the (rather unexplained) charms of her older boss O'Donnell. Another refreshing aspect of the series was its integration of therapy: This Life begins, in fact, in the therapist's office with Warren trying to work through his feelings of never quite belonging and his gradual coming-out to his family. The sexually charged flirtation between Warren and the jet-black-haired courier Fergy was well done, as is the frission of sexual energy and mutual love-hate of Anna and Miles. The producers didn't approach the character of Anna - chain-smoking and dancing her anxieties away while hiding her emotional needs behind a bolshy, forthright veneer - patronisingly: she is shown as a force to reckon with rather than simply as "feisty" or "sassy" (or any other adjectives so frequently attached to women who differentiate themselves from doormats).
Funniest scene: Fed up of listening to Miles and Delilah bumping & grinding in the room next door, Anna phones Delilah on her mobile to tell her to get a move on...
Most annoying scene: Egg's perpetual football references and his fascination with Alan Hansen.