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  • marcuselwes6 October 2015
    I have given this 10 stars, not just for this series, but for the whole saga, starting with the film This is England. Shane Meadows is without doubt one of the most gifted writers and directors around today; his style quite unique and his ability to get totally deep and realistic performances out of his young cast quite mesmeric. Particular mention goes to Vicky McClure as Lol who gives powerhouse performances throughout the whole saga, and Stephen Graham as the deeply troubled, intermittently terrifying (but reformed?) Combo. All cast deserve great credit indeed.

    Without a doubt, one of the very best things I have ever seen on British TV.
  • STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

    The group enter the next decade, with some of their heavy personal baggage from before settled, and some of it still lingering in the air. Lorraine (Vicky McClure) has a devastating revelation to offload to younger sibling Kelly (Chanel Cresswell), and the impending release of Combo (Stephen Graham) from prison, after serving time on her behalf, sets the wheels in motion for a terrifying confrontation with Milky (Andrew Shim), a ghost from his past, which will have devastating consequences.

    Some things can linger in the air long enough to just be permanently consigned to the rumour bin, and some do eventually come round. Four years after the antics of the TIE gang were last seen in Christmas 2011, we catch up with them at the start of the new decade, and it is with a mixed feeling of eagerness, but also a sense of aloofness that maybe it's dragged on a little too long, and the characters and their motivations are maybe becoming a bit too laboured now, and that this really ought to be the last part. While this is sort of true, the high quality of the production, and the brilliant delivery of it all manage to overshadow this.

    It all manages the rather odd task of being predictable and not predictable at the same time. While it doesn't require that much brain power to work out what is likely to happen, somehow how it's going to happen and in what manner keeps your attention and doesn't let go. The powerful, unflinching writing and superior performances make this a top quality treat. As the most high profile performer in the cast, and playing the character whose return ignites the fireworks in the script, Stephen Graham commands centre attention, playing a reformed character eager to put the terrible mistakes of his past behind him and make amends with those he's wronged, but whose past is on a collision course to snatch it all away from him in the most devastating way.

    It really ought to wrap it up here, though as ever it finishes with unresolved issues, and the number one rule is never say never. Hopefully, Shane Meadows will make the right judgement and not allow this fine series to become tainted. ****
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I have been a fan from the start. This is England shows the ups and downs of each character while they grown up over the course of each instalment. I love every individual. I feel like we have all been in a journey with them, through the good times and the bad. This is England 90 - has to be my favourite so far. The gang are all growing up with lol and woody raising there family and malky being a part of the family... It works. They all seem happy. The other group of friends and going through a happy Monday's drug taking party stage and are full of silliness but still there's a dark undercurrent as you see kelly hiding her sadness and getting deeper into drugs and drink. To say this series is real, raw, gripping and emotional is an understatement. No words can do the writing or the acting any justice. Shane meadows writing and cast are pure genius. This is by far the best show on TV. If you have not seen the others. Watch them all. You will be hooked and can watch there lives pan out in a real, and truly gripping way. I love it.
  • np-1997917 September 2015
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is England 90 drops us in on the gang right at the start of the decade. Lol and Woody are generally settled in life with a young family and are therefore not fully immersed in the change of fashions and music,unlike the younger members of the group who now have a platform for expressing themselves with regards to going to raves and listening to "Madchester" music. They appear content in their lounge about,drug taking lifestyles and appear not to have any prospects.

    So on with the review: There are some real idiosyncratic moments here with good delivery. one example being Woody's ex boss jumping out of the cupboard scene which also reveals the complex relationship Woody has with his parents. there are similar moments with Shaun and the rest of the gang and it is very intriguing to see how they spend their days with a good eye for detail from Medows showing the early computer game consoles used at the time etc, creating a real authenticity about it. The Flip and Iggie situation is a slightly weaker part of the opening episode but is never the less mildly amusing and intriguing!

    I have read a few negative views about the first episode of TIE 90 but we have to remember that we are coming off some very dramatic episodes where as this is primarily used as an introduction. Perhaps our expectations are a tad high? If this was the only episode of TIE that you had seen you would probably be saying what a refreshing,authentic,amusing,engaging and warm television programme it was compared to the average drama on television nowadays. Indeed, the first episode of TIE 90 was probably more wholesome than the first TIE 86 episode. Surely the heavier, more dramatic scenes will unfold in the coming episodes. I think anything around the 8 out of 10 mark would be reasonable but to go below 5 as someone on here has is just insulting to this exciting and distinct work but then that is just another opinion ultimately!
  • THIS IS ENGLAND '90 is the final instalment of the Shane Meadows written/directed hit TV show. It follows on from the 2006 film and the '86 and '88 TV miniseries, tying up some loose plot ends and introducing the characters into the rave scene of the early 1990s.

    Sadly, the law of diminishing returns has ever been the case with these TV spin-offs and '90 is the worst yet. Out of everything that happens on screen - and we're talking about four and a half hours of running time - there's only one decent sub-plot, and that one involves the inimitable Stephen Graham. Yes, this miniseries sees the end of the Combo character arc, and it's as hard-hitting and superbly acted as you'd expect from Graham.

    Elsewhere, the show seems to be in the doldrums with predictable drug addiction story lines and unbelievable happy endings. I've seen people raving about the dinner table scene but for me it was just a case of histrionics in which the ad-libbed style of the production was all too painfully obvious. The characters are all rather unlikeable when we watch them do nothing apart from live for their own pleasure, although the acting talents of the likes of Vicky McClure are undeniable. Plus there's way too much stupid comedy relief here with the dumb supporting comedy double-act and endless slow-motion rave sequences (particularly in the first half) that smack of padding. I'm glad it's all over, if I'm honest, as this has been the most unsatisfying miniseries yet.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    One thing that has always striked me about This is England is how real to life the characters are. You become so emotionally invested in each of the character's lives. As a show that does not focus on just a single protagonist This is England 90' pulls this off very well.

    Shaun (the lost pre-teen from This is England, '86 and '88 has grown up and Thomas Turgoose manages to keep the very essence of the character alive- he delivers this performance brilliantly. In many subtle ways it shows even though he is growing up, that he is still that lost boy trying to find his purpose and way in the world. It follows Shaun's journey from experiencing rejection; from college and in love, to accomplishment; from finally achieving getting into college and finding a new girlfriend; and this is very gratifying as the show really makes you feel connected to Shaun. As this is a Multi-Stranded narrative; we also follow Lol's and Kelly's revisit to a deeply saddening- yet well portrayed past trauma. (This show effectively shows the long term effects on trauma and it's effect on family and relationships.) It also deals with Lol's and Woody's relationship and portrays its ups and downs. It further deals with the healing and growth of an individual ( We take from the recoverance from broken relationships, traumas and in Combo's case hurt & criminality.) Keep in mind that This is England 90' portrays all this in just 4 episodes! and I'd say that is the only downside, that there isn't more! This shows deals with very deep themes of trauma and change. It uses real archive footage to depict the struggles of time. It brilliantly depicts life in England was in the 90's. It goes on to show the emergence of rave culture and accompanied with it such as the the increase in drug usage and the effect it has on lives.

    The ending will make you smile and have you in tears! Lol's and Woody's wedding will melt you heart! The characters love and friendship with one another will have you in awe. It is very real and such a brilliant show with a really talented cast and I hope they will make more in the future.
  • After the earlier series of great substance and after a really gritty film, this is poor. The writing is weak and boring and the costume designer should be sacked....there is a guy at the end in the disco scene wearing a Hatebreed t-shirt (a band that didn't come out until 94 and didn't get popular until the late 90's.) This is set in 1990.....very very poor costume design. How did anyone miss that??? Especially a programme that has its roots in showing skinhead culture. The two clowns with the moustaches letting a lady take a huff on a bud is laughable. Shane meadows is one of the best British directors and i think dead mans shoes is amazing as is the previous this is england series, but this seems like it is going down hill.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    We have watched Lol, Woody, Combo Milky, Shaun, Trev, Kelly and co grow up over the last seven years. We've seen them go through everything ranging from hilarity to upset to complete devastation, and it's all been executed brilliantly by Meadows and his cast of believable characters, just as perfect as they are rough around the edges.

    While this series presented us with some surreal moments of improvised comedy and a few baffling under-developed characters (namely Harrison, Jennifer, Woody's parents, the man in the cupboard, Flip and Higgy) it has brought us an emotional ending to a series with a cast that feel more like friends than fiction.

    Will there be another series? Who knows. Meadows has left himself enough open ended plot lines to revisit the gang as they discover Oasis and Blur, but it seems that it may have just about run its course. RIP Combo (maybe).

    In a drama as realistic as this there's never going to be a satisfying conclusion because, to us, they are real people with ever evolving lives and ongoing issues that don't just come to a satisfying ending. This isn't Hollywood. This Is England.
  • Shane Meadows and Jack Thorne have created a fantastic piece of television. The thing that makes This is England great is the realness and tension that the show creates. With some of the finest British actors to date, the whole of the 'This is England' franchise is a must watch.

    This is England '90 follows on from the Bafta winning This is England '86 and This is England '88.

    90' focuses around the younger members of the gang as they are introduced to the rave scene and the nightlife of drugs, hit hard with Stone Roses and The happy Mondays. Over four seasons, starting from Spring, and ending in a bleak winter, This is England '90 really captures the essence of the beginning of a new generation...
  • paul2001sw-110 October 2015
    Writer-director Shane Meadows reassembles the cast of his film 'This is England' for a third time in this latest min-series, picking up the course of his characters' lives a few years down the road. This is 1990 now, and as ever, Meadows is skilled at recreating a time and a place, with humour and sympathy but without rose-tinted glasses. There's a little less plot this time out than in the previous instalments, however; while the acting and writing is still spot on, this does very much feel like Meadows wrapping up the loose ends and winding the story down. He remains a special talent in the British film-making industry; the final credits bring the sad news of the death of his long term musical collaborator, the great Gavin Clark.
  • I own all of Shane Meadows work,massive fan,I don't normally leave reviews but to me the sound was a let down,I know there are fans of linear stuff but I much prefer full on HD surround,with such good music why not? 2.0 stereo on blu ray! Anyone know why? It would have been nice to have the deleted scenes replaced for the release-except the sniff banging stuff- The missing prison scenes from combo would have given me a little more sympathy, and I thought the appearance of Paddy Considine was wonderfully sinister,just love him! but I suppose that Is out of his-Meadows- hands ,Any way, loved it, laughed, cried and winced! I will miss these characters. Was this review helpful?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This Is England started as a brilliant film, '86 successfully continued the story on television, '88 was a fantastic Christmas themed follow-up, this was the final series from creator, writer and director Shane Meadows (Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, Dead Man's Shoes), I hoped it would go out with a bang. Basically the story takes place in the spring, summer, autumn and winter of the year 1990, catching up with the characters, following their lives during the time of rave culture and the FIFA World Cup. Lol (Vicky McClure) and Woody (Joseph Gilgun) are back together and have a baby, Jimmy, Lol works as a school dinner lady alongside her sister Kelly (BAFTA nominated Chanel Cresswell), her mother Chrissie (Katherine Dow Blyton) and friend Trev (Danielle Watson), Woody stays home to care for the children with Milky (Andrew Shim). Gadget (Andrew Ellis), Harvey (Michael Socha), Kelly, Trev and Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) are all following the Madchester rave scene, including doing drugs, Shaun tries to make it up to Smell (Rosamund Hanson), his former girlfriend who he cheated on, but she has already met someone else, Shaun later finds his own new girlfriend, Juliette (Poppy Corby- Tuech) and continues with his education and career. Lol gets a call from Combo (BAFTA nominated Stephen Graham) that he is to be released from prison, this prompts her and Woody to invite everyone round for Sunday dinner, following the meal Lol announces that she killed her abusive father Mick (Johnny Harris), following him raping Trev. Lol and Woody continue with the news that Combo will be staying with them, as he has nowhere else to go, Kelly is angry for the lies and refuses to believe that her father was a bad person, and Milky is angry that the couple will allow the man who almost beat him death to stay with them and his daughter (with Lol). Kelly and Lol eventually reconcile, Combo has a heart-to-heart conversation with Milky, admitting what he did was wrong and that he is not racist, but Milky had arranged for men to take him away and beat him death, the end sees Lol and Woody finally getting married with all family and friends, with Milky ridden with guilt for what he has done to Combo. Also starring Jo Hartley as Cynthia "Cynth", Lyra Mae Thomas as Lisa, Kriss Dosanjh as Sandhu, Perry Fitzpatrick as Flip, William Travis as Mr. Squires, Perry Benson as Meggy, George Newton as Banjo and EastEnders' Shaun Dooley as Mr. Lewis. The talented cast are all fantastic, with Turgoose, McClure, Shim and Graham standing out best, the subject matters and situations remain realistic and thought provoking, with authentic touches capturing the time period, this is indeed a great final series for what has been a terrific saga, a brilliant British television drama. It is nominated the BAFTA for Best Mini-Series. Very good!
  • missraze22 April 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    I'm American and also do not own the DVD set, and so I'm sure there's somethings I've missed. I caught the whole series off Youtube which probably had some stuff cut out. From running times not adding up to scenes people mention that I don't recall, and I'm someone who's replayed everything several times. But whatever.

    For what I did see, it was (I don't have a thesaurus on me) marvelous.

    I first discovered the series through a "mate" of mine, an Irish "lad" from nowhere in England. I needed some muse for my own little project about a modern, multicultural and urban England. And I had seen This Is England (2006) in like 2010, somehow. I think it's because I like Jack O'Connell and saw he was in it, but of course the plot called to me as an added incentive.

    Well the series to be honest, was a great watch but in all my fandom I had to silence parts inside of me saying, "so...what's the point?" Well to be honest the message approaches the last 5 minutes of This Is England 90, in my eyes. Everything you sat through, led to that moment. It was so f'ing beautiful (I had to censor it, but I still want to emphasise).

    I believe with any film no matter the length every element has to be there. The music throughout if any (sometimes no music at all is good too), the cinematography (the pacing, the scenery, the imagery, the angle), the chemistry, the colour, the clothes, the script, the plot cohesion, the themes, the purpose, the message, the opening credits and the wrap up and ending credits (the font, their format and how they appear on the screen, the chosen music), the casting, everything. It just has to be there. With Shane Meadows it always seems to be, and based on other things I've seen him do (he seems to like the actors who played Shaun, Milky and Lol). I sensed improv though.

    The instrumental playing at the end is what really got me. And how all the madness they've been through, they come together. I don't know why people are sadists and want to see them remain fallen apart. You know after the party ends, there will be more mess to clean up. They have to sort out Combo's death, Kelly needs to get clean, Lol still has demons and issues, and life will surely hit them from all sorts of directions just because. Like the song playing in This Is England 88 that says, "After laughter comes tears," by Wendy Rene. I think that, coupled with the music and just being happy seeing people happy (for once they are happy), is what got to me.

    Also feeling bad for Milk. He was involuntarily put in the position years ago to have to eventually make a choice, though he had moved on, whether he'd risk his relationships or get the closure he felt he needed to get and do what he did to Combo. During that scene where he tearfully (his tears seemed real as hell by the way) sends Combo to his fate...I was cheering madly, like yes, don't let him walk off skippity doo da after he did what he did?! And I still vaguely feel this way. However the ending, the very ending of the very last episode, made me feel...well...retaliation is never the answer. You really do have to forgive. That doesn't mean forget or act sweet. It means don't be bitter. That means free yourself of hatred, don't become what you hate.

    I don't feel bad for Combo at freaking all but I feel bad for Milk. Like you have to regret being angry for being beaten up?! It's horrible. But it's realistic I think, that people will move on no matter who you are to them. Because everyone's got their own issues. It's a stunning reality. Only thing I didn't like is that the film and series show that. Woody's need to forgive Milk is nothing compared to Milk's need to forgive Combo. Some stuff throughout the series dragged on but it's all memorable, I feel it all led up to something.

    As an aspiring writer I get you will be suddenly inspired over the years by several images and sounds, and develop ideas, and you'll add all those tidbits into one project; so maybe some people didn't value those little elements and props I sense Meadows threw in for the sake of imagery; like the two dudes Flip and Higgy I think. I'm like what's the point of them? Are they going to do something horrible that kicks off the climax and leads to the ending? No, they were just complementary characters who I enjoyed seeing at the last wedding scene.

    I cried tears of joy and just relief that this pain for that moment was over. I felt bad for Kelly, being all scared to go see her own family, I'm getting emotional now. Having her big sister there for her, that's nice. Seeing all the characters laugh for like the first time. I replayed the last scene once Kelly walks in like 100 times not lying, it's playing now as I type. I definitely tear up seeing Shaun hug his "mum," that's always nice to see, plus the actor playing Shaun lost his mother during filming, so. I don't know, never been in a group of friends and family like theirs, some people could be jealous, I'm just up all night thinking about it, replaying it in my head, that's how I know I love it! SO SO glad I watched everything start to end last week and finally finished last night!