I can't write clever stuff about it being too this or too that; nor can I, with any authority, say which actors were out of their depth or 'clearly' uncomfortable with some of their lines. I just loved the characters and their interactions, the dilemmas, the solutions and the insights into how such TV events are put together. And the humour: much of the banter and repartee is razor sharp. Just enjoy it, top entertainment.
Only Ruth Sheen and Alun Armstrong rescue this at an acting level. The other contributors simply don't have the skill to create convincing characters - definitely B grade. But it's entertaining enough - despite the endless 'authentic' lighting up.
Great - just spoiled by the tobacco industries contribution
The quality of the acting, the plots and (presumably authentic) procedures, the interaction between the main characters, the repartee, the characters (so convincing) make this a top show-real quality, absorbing TV. If only they didn't have to light up so often. Smoke breaks add nothing to the story, they just 'advertise' smoking especially as the smoking itself is so exaggerated. The cry is that 'People smoke, it's authentic'. Bosh. Had there had never been a smoking scene, I cannot believe anyone would have complained, said it needed them. It's just a legal way past the ban on smoking adverts and spoils an otherwise near faultless show. Shame on the producers for including regular smoking.
No gratuitous sex or violence, no 'nothing new' car chases, no complicated plots or ridiculous premises. Just absorbing parallel stories, beautifully, modestly acted. I'd use 'enchanting' but for its fantasy connotation; it's about as everyday as it gets with its diverse characters all totally believable. Loved it.
Lots of just criticism - even disgust - about how unauthentic this is. And its soap quality. My pat, sorry pet, hate is that it seems almost impossible for any conversation to end without one participant patting the other. "You gottit" pat pat. Oh, and don't use the chinstrap on that protective helmet, might stop it falling off. And don't forget to ask after every incident, "You ok?"
Never watched Morse itself but took to this immediately. It's great stuff, but, sadly, yet another TV series spoiled by the obvious tobacco industry sponsorship. 'They' say 'People smoked all the time back then, so it adds necessary authenticity'. But the constant lighting up - with flamboyant flicking of lighters open and closed, dwelling close ups of the burning ends, with the noisy sizzle, makes it so obvious it's a cigarette advert. And some of the actors obviously aren't real smokers and are clumsy at pretending to be. No one, absolutely no one would have cried 'UNAUTHENTIC' if they hadn't seen anyone lighting up - it's far too good for that to have been an issue. So try to ignore the flagrant side-stepping of cigarette smoking advertising and enjoy this exceptionally good series.
It'd be a lot more palatable if they didn't continually light up and dwell, linger, on cigarette smoking. Surely financed by a tobacco group. 'Authentic' they say. I say, if the story was any good, it wouldn't need that so-called (smoking-justifying) 'authenticity'. Ruins it for me.
I thoroughly endorse Liam's well expressed review. Going Straight deals with the same person in very different circumstances and one that has to have non-humorous aspects. The episodes are clever, and funny where they need to be, very funny, with Fletch's repartee as sharp as ever. And his delivery is flawless. I found myself chuckling all the time I wasn't feeling sorry for him or worried about him. It's an excellent supplement to the wonderful Porridge. And Godber was as perfect in his new circumstances as he ever was. Interesting to see some supporting actors who went on to considerable acclaim themselves. If I have any reservations they are only about Ingrid's London accent - though nothing could ever be as bad as Dick Van Dyke's chimney sweep.