The Kennedys is loosely based on The Tent, The Bucket and Me by Emma Kennedy and is set in Stevenage in the late seventies.
I was born in 1979, so the nostalgia for me in this show is minimal. That said, it does remind me of my eighties childhood a little. I have seen some criticism of the show's anachronisms, something I'll admit to not noticing. I'm sure that could be irritating, but this isn't a documentary and shouldn't detract from the show's strengths.
The show focuses on the Kennedys and their friends Jenny and Tim, two young families grappling with the challenges of their era. Trying to be modern and fashionable at a time when lasagne is considered exotic.
Putting the past under the spotlight could easily descend into laughing at their ignorance and feel very mean spirited. Fortunately, Emma Kennedy's writing is much fairer than that. The characters' charm shines through and gives warmth to the humour that allows it to be absurd with out seeming ridiculous. While there are appeals to a sense of nostalgia, The Kennedys doesn't rely on it and allows it's humour to work in it's own right giving it appeal to me in my thirties and my parents who were in their twenties when this show is set.
The cast are fantastic. They manage to use the quirks of their characters to full comedic effect while keeping them grounded and believable as friends and family. This level of quality from the older actors is impressive, the fact that Lucy Hutchinson is up there too is astonishing.
I haven't read the book the show is based on, but the strength of the writing here really does recommend it.