Review: This Is England ’90, Episode 4: ‘Winter’ (The End)

This Is England 90

“You’re clocked in”

It’s taken me a while to ruminate on the final episode of This Is England ’90 (and the last episode ever!). The feature-length ‘Winter’ gave the audience plenty of stuff to chew on. From Kelly’s wilful estrangement, to Combo’s redemptive job and inevitable confrontation with Milky, to the wedding of Lol and Woody (and everything in between), the episode was stuffed to the gills with stories and characters. Almost perfectly plotted, with incredible acting from all involved, ‘Winter’ was a suitably bittersweet but brilliant ending for the characters that we’ve grown to love. There was even a happy ending, but an ending inhibited by the demons of the past and present. Continue reading

Review: This Is England ’90, Episode 3: ‘Autumn’ (Winter Is Coming…)

This Is England 90

“The past does matter…it shapes the future if we face it”

After two uneven and (sometimes painfully) slow episodes of This Is England ’90, we returned to the familiar drama that has defined the film/TV series. Let’s face it; the drama and darkness are what we have been waiting for. It was necessary and nice to see our characters being happy, but what we wanted was misery, tears and arguments. For better or worse, that’s what we received in ‘Autumn.’ The sunlight is fading, and the cold nights are drawing in. Happiness is being sucked out of our characters slowly but surely…
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Review: This Is England ’90, Episode 2: ‘Summer’ (Look On The Bright Side!)

This Is England 90

“Are you moving out?

If you were looking for ‘This Is England’s’ trademark darkness, then you’d be satisfied with ‘Summer’…but only after forty-five minutes! It was very much like ‘Spring,’ with a more light-hearted approach that set the scene, rather than plunged us into the nitty-gritty. However, unlike last week’s dull hour, ‘Summer’ offered genuine humour and meaningful dialogue. Of course, there were moments of boredom where nothing of substance happened. But it felt like a worthwhile hour of television, and an improvement on the debut episode of This Is England ’90. Continue reading

Review: This Is England ’90, Episode 1, ‘Spring’ (Failure to Blossom?)

This Is England 90

“It’s not about the money, it’s about the nostalgia”

This Is England returned to our screens last night for the final series, This Is England ’90. We’ve followed the cast of This Is England through the 80s, and fittingly, their story will come to an end in 1990. We’ve had highs (well, there’s been one or two…), and many, many lows with the characters of TIE, from brutal racist beatings to rape. If you want very depressing and gritty drama, coloured by a tint of nostalgia, TIE is the film/TV series for you. However, from the first episode of TIE ’90, ‘Spring,’ there was barely any grit in sight. What we received were attempts at comedy and lethargic exchanges between the characters we know and love… Continue reading

Review: This Is England (2007) (It Was Acceptable In The 80s…)


“Are you gonna buy that?”

To prepare for This Is England ’90, I started where it all began: This Is England. I’ve seen it several times before. But for the most part, it’s always a film I can go back to. Of course, with all of the media attention on the so-called ‘migrant crisis,’ the film is still topical. Every time I watch it, it resonates with the news of the day, be it the BNP or UKIP. It tackles the themes of growing up and racism in the era of the Thatcher’s Britain, the National Front, skinheads and Space Invaders. It’s critically acclaimed, and I heartily agree with all the plaudits the film was given. However, there are moments when the façade falls, and it feels like an A-Level drama performance. Regardless of those moments, it is a film that needs and begs to be seen. Once viewed, never forgotten, from the innocent beginning to the brutal ending. Continue reading