The five part drama took place this week with stars such as Lacey Turner, Billie Piper and David Tennant taking part. The episodes which were based on love were improvised and were very different to what I expected. Was it worth a watch?
I saw the advert for the series and a couple of interviews so on Monday night I tuned in to see the first episode. The five episodes were based on different stories about love and different couples, although there was a connection between all of them. The improvised drama was the first time the BBC had done anything like it and I think it worked well. The actors are all well-known and it was nice to see their skills and how they decided to flow with the stories.
Episode 1 focused on David Tennant who played Nick and his wife Ruth. Although they were deeply in love, when his ex-girlfriend, Serena, appeared on the scene, there was an instant attraction between the pair and he couldn’t help thinking about her again. Ruth picked up on this straight away after seeing Serena in town but he wouldn’t admit he had seen his old love. He couldn’t help meeting up with Serena again and they ended up rekindling their relationship and ended up in the bedroom. We see Nick deciding he would leave with Serena but in the end they part ways knowing it would never work and he does love his wife. He goes back to his wife and whispers sorry and that’s the end of the episode. I think the story was handled well and it leaves you questioning if you ever get over your first love. It was hard to believe Ruth would get over it so quickly but you’re led to believe that she will forgive Nick for his betrayal.
Episode 2 focused on young couple Paul and Michelle played by Ashley Walters and Lacey Turner. The connection from episode 1 is Michelle was Serena’s sister and appeared to talk to Nick. The couple have a young child and we can tell straight away Michelle and Paul are having problems with her not wanting to go near him for any affection. He ends up falling for a young lady, Stella, at the bus stop and after meeting up with her they end up sleeping together and spending time together all the time. Michelle knows something is going on but doesn’t question him. Paul actually falls for Stella but when she needs some money to take to her mum, he gives it to her but she never comes back and he realises that he’s been conned. He tells Michelle about Stella but after telling him to get out, she begs him to stay and you are led to believe Stella will forgive and forget. It was hard to feel sympathetic for selfish Paul, especially when young Michelle had to bring up the child on her own. I think this was the most uncomfortable story and made you think whether Paul might do it again in the future.
Episode 3 focused on teacher Holly played by Billie Piper and her complicated love life. Sleeping with a married man, Holly is fed up of being taken advantage of. She soon finds a connection with a young school girl in her class, Karen played by Skins star Kaya Scodelario, who seems to understand her. The scenes which see them fall in love is quite sweet and aren’t too uncomfortable to watch. We see Holly also tell her mum about the relationship which unsurprisingly doesn’t go well. The couple face trouble when one of Karen’s friends (Nick’s daughter from the first episode) Lorraine, tells the other classmates that they are together. As Holly realises she soon will be caught out she tells Karen she will be leaving. After the kids start chanting lesbian in class, she storms out and Karen joins them as they walk off into the distance. I liked the story but I did find it quite unbelievable a 16 year old would go off with her teacher without any repercussions and I don’t think their relationship should be glorified but it was a good episode.
Episode 4 focuses on Sandra, played by Jane Horrocks as she comes to terms with sending her daughter off to university and finding out her marriage is pretty much dead. She tries to go off for a meal with her husband David (who is Holly’s lover in the third episode) but they barely speak and when she questions the state of their relationship, he brushes her off. She soon finds an attraction with Ismail, a young gentleman who comes into her store and asks her how she is feeling. They go on long walks on the beach and she finds a real connection with him. David starts to wonder what’s going on and one night he follows her and sees her meeting up with Ismail. He questions her and it looks like she is going to go back to him but when he pops out to get her flowers he comes back to find her gone and we see her off on a train to start a new life, possibly with Ismail. It was strange as we knew that David had been cheating on Sandra so it was hard to feel sorry for him. I think he was sorry at the end but still she went off to feel appreciated. I think this was the most believable episode and I found it quite moving.
Episode 5 featured David Morrissey as Adrian, a middle aged guy alone and searching for love. We immediately see him searching for love on the computer and comes across a pretty lady who is working over in China as Kathy. He soon speaks to her and they start building up a relationship. In the meantime his daughter who is Karen, the schoolgirl from episode 3 has her mate Lorraine over and he gives her a lift home. She is instantly attracted to him and comes over to their home and tries to get him to like her. Kathy arrives and Adrian and her fall deeply in love and spend the next few days in bed. As he tells his friend about her at work, Lorraine turns up saying she wants to spend time with him. He brushes her off and she gets very upset. The next day she turns up at his flat and shouts about how her and Adrian are in love. Kathy is deeply shocked and we think that she may leave but at the end we see her tell him she believes nothing happened between him and Lorraine and they end up walking off together. I think it was hard to believe that she would become so obsessed so quickly without any kind of attraction from him. He was a likable guy and it was quite a gripping episode still.
It was great to see this improvised drama and I found it quite gripping to watch and it felt like you didn’t know and they didn’t know what was coming next. It really did make you think about love, the different types and how complicated it is. I thoroughly enjoyed it (maybe not the theme song or the tunes during the episode though!) and hope there will more improvised drama to come.