World News – GB – Mike Bartlett Life’s BBC drama is absorbing, watchable – and full of surprising twists


After the first episode I was totally drawn to the brilliant performances of Alison Steadman, Peter Davison and Victoria Hamilton, says Eleanor Bley Griffiths

By Eleanor Bley Griffiths

So David’s wife was dead from the start! Henry has terminal cancer! The revelations came crudely and quickly in Episode 1 of Life, and after watching the next two episodes, you can rest assured there are a lot more twists to come – not that I dream of ruining them for you. p>

Screenwriter Mike Bartlett’s new soapy BBC drama has started off well (And when I say ‘soapy’ I don’t mean that in a bad way at all) Set in a large subdivided house in Manchester (rather in a soap-style street or plaza), this six-part drama follows the residents of the building’s four apartments on their different – but ultimately interconnected storylines.In addition, there are soap-style bombs, which range from shiny to slightly silly

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The larger of the four apartments is owned by Gail (Alison Steadman) and her husband Henry (Peter Davison), who have been married for many, many decades. But one day, Gail hits a pedestrian (literally, with her car bumper) and realizes that she nearly ran over her old school friend, Dawn, who turns Gail’s life upside down by reminding her of the young woman. dynamic and outgoing that she was Dawn also pulls the wool out of Gail’s eyes pointing out the obvious: Henry is a boorish and boring one who talks about his wife, belittles her and treats her with little to no respect

It’s the story of Gail that’s the most powerful in life so far – even if you’d expect it with the acting powers of Steadman and Davison combined and oh, you have to feel for Gail! All the little fights All the oblivion and condescending comments of her husband and her adult children who find her so stupid

And just as she made a runner of her own 70th birthday party, packed a bag and wrote her husband a note informing him that she needed space. well, comes Henry with his big news that he’s only six months to live, and she must have guessed he was sick because what else could she be upset about? (Again: unconscious)

And let’s talk about Gail and Henry’s neighbor, David (Adrian Lester) In all the press leading up to the first episode, poor Lester must have been very vague on what the deal with his character was, what he could only tell he was going through a rough time in his carefully crafted marriage to avoid giving the big spoiler

But Bartlett planted little clues throughout the episode (which I have to say I totally missed) and ultimately David dropped the big reveal: his wife Kelly (Rachael Stirling) hit him in the head and died five weeks ago We saw him chatting with Ghost-Kelly throughout

The dead woman Sixth Sense thing sucks, but I have to say the twist was unexpected It also gives new meaning to David’s meeting with Saira (played by Saira Choudhry), the young woman. daring who invaded her vacation apartment in the first episode, drank her wine, asked her a bunch of questions then kissed her on the lips

That said, I have a few gripes about the troubled-widower-speaker-pursued-by-younger-wife trope, which continues when Saira inevitably resurfaces later in the series (as you’d expect) Honestly , I rolled my eyes a lot while watching David’s scenes in the first few episodes; but then the scenario didn’t exactly go where I expected – and I won’t say more

This drama is also functioning as a sort of spin-off of Mike Bartlett’s previous hit BBC drama Doctor Foster, and plenty of people will have tune in to catch up with Anna Baker (Victoria Hamilton), now known as by Belle

Since her divorce, she’s been trying to build a new life in Manchester, and at first glance, it seems like things are going well – but in reality, she’s just keeping together, pushing back loneliness and alcoholism while keeping it flat super clean and super tidy

Then her sister tries to kill herself, and Belle suddenly has to open her apartment to her 15 year old niece Maya (Erin Kellyman) who is chaotic, vulnerable and angry.This is really the last thing Belle can handle, this which naturally makes it a great drama Oh, the scenes with Belle and Maya are so good! And so painful! (And, sometimes, quite funny)

The last apartment in the building is home to Hannah (Melissa Johns), an empathetic and funny young woman who is about to give birth to her first child – and, in fact, gives birth to her first child alive. floor of the room at the end of the first episode Since becoming pregnant, she has teamed up with Liam (Joshua James), who wishes to be the father of this baby – but the biological father of baby Andy (Calvin Demba) is also involved Hannah is a fan; Liam is not; Andy doesn’t know where he’s at This is an interesting setup, and it will be interesting to see where Bartlett goes with

But whatever Bartlett has in store for us, we won’t all be discussing it at once – because while all six episodes of the drama will continue to air on BBC One at 9 p.m. every Tuesday, the entire series is already available in boxed set on iPlayer And I really wish it wasn’t! Life is the kind of drama that could really be ‘event TV’ if given a good chance.It’s also the kind of drama that is best watched one episode at a time, instead of being banged up. so you should really hold back and watch it every week if you can

After watching the first episode of Life, I got it for a three-star review But then over the next few days I found that I liked it more and more – and I couldn’t stop thinking about it Gail and Belle live in my head now I have a real anger towards Henry I support Hannah So here we are: four stars for life, and many more twists to come

Life Goes On Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on BBC One and is now available as a boxed set on BBC iPlayer Find out what’s up with our TV guide or take a look at our new 2020 TV shows page to find out what will be airing this fall and beyond

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Doctor Foster, Life, BBC One, Drama, Victoria Hamilton, Alison Steadman, Suranne Jones

News from around the world – UK – Mike Bartlett drama on the BBC Life is Exciting, watchable and full of surprise twists



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