Sunday, 19 June 2011

Television Review - Moving On: Skin Deep

This could have been an engaging story. It deals with a woman who becomes obsessed with her physical appearance, after a school reunion sets her off on a mid-life crisis. She's sixty now, and struggling with her image of herself. It's not an easy story to tell, but one that is unusual enough to have potential.

It seems, on surface level, to be in decent hands too. Moving On is a series created by Jimmy McGovern, a writer who also was responsible for The Street - a series of incredibly strong and dark dramas concerning the eventful and depressing lives of one particularly street. All the pieces seemed to be in place.

But, alas, it was not to be. Nothing works here. The directing - and by extension the acting - is piss poor. The script is terrible. Between clunky dialogue and endless melodrama, the characters are all dislikeable and annoying. It was filmed and directed in something of a light way, but there was only the odd moment that relieved the atmosphere of neuroticism.

The main character, really, is where the story could rise or fall. It's a character study, an intense look at one individual specifically. And, damn, is she annoying. She comes across as neurotic and petulant, and, frankly, by the end I wanted to see some sort of comeuppance. Instead, the story panders to her obsession, tries to play it off as a happy ending.

There's a tired predictability to it all. The husband withholds information that drags the plot out for another twenty minutes for no good reason. Their two daughters crow on in a thoroughly bland way, playing out a series of particularly non-engaging interaction about their tribulations when their parents look like they are going to split up.

One to be avoided.

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