This is England ‘86 review | Adorable simpletons get by

Published by jamdog on 20th February, 2011.

 This is England ‘86 review

This is England ‘86

Channel 4

 

Three years after Shane Meadows convinced the world 1980s England consisted of friendly skinheads roaming the subways adopting waifs and strays and schools filled with children dressed like Boy George, his crew of East Midlands halfwits are back for more revisionist cultural history. Living hell on earth, in other words.

“Slow learner Our Shaun is still sniffing around girl gump Smell and you can only imagine the brood of incessantly chirpy ‘tards that coupling may one day spawn. “

That means brain holocaust Woody is back, his wedding to the terminally dopey LOL! tragically curtailed when he forgets how the “I do” part goes. Joining him is Milky, apparently suffering no ill effects from getting his skull caved in that time by Combo (the shoeing may have actually added a couple of IQ points). Slow learner Our Shaun is still sniffing around girl gump Smell and you can only imagine the brood of incessantly chirpy ‘tards that coupling may one day spawn.

Because everyone here is dumb but spirited, all pulling together for the common good. Lovable racists Banjo, Meggy and Gadge are here being lovable, presumably having put their paki bashing in the original film behind them. No explanation is sought or offered: flipping ‘eck, calm down mate, have a brew!

“Nobody, not even Richturd Spurtis, uses sentimentality as brutally as Lame Credblows – the uncontested inaugural Duke of Mawk.”

It’s hard to stomach these nodding unquestioning Stepford Proles. Nobody, not even Richturd Spurtis, uses sentimentality as brutally as Lame Credblows – the uncontested inaugural Duke of Mawk.

Be thick but essentially goodhearted and you’re very welcome in Meadowsland. Show any ambition beyond marrying the local skank and working in the post office and Meadows is not interested. The This Is England franchise is a shrine to stupidity, accepting your lot and being exactly who you are expected to be. Its cultural legacy it is an endorsement of the status quo, a denial of punk and an admission of defeat.

“The This Is England franchise is a shrine to stupidity, accepting your lot and being exactly who you are expected to be. Its cultural legacy it is an endorsement of the status quo, a denial of punk and an admission of defeat.”

The poverty of aspiration of the characters is mirrored by Meadows’ stunted vision. Happy to wallow in a career-long homage to the well-meaning but thick, he stays put. Say what you like about Paul Abbott‘s Shameless but he made sure it had the spirited Fiona, the brilliant Debbie and the boy genius Liam – kids who had magic in them, frustrated not defeated by their circumstances. Meadows just fetishises failure.

Of course, This Is England ‘86 will be critically acclaimed as gritty, authentic and honest – everything it is not. Every Meadows escapade ends up the same – time in the mire with the people who grinned themselves to death.

The verdict on This is England ‘86: In its own way, as bad as the real 80s were.

Marks out of 10: 4

 

Imagined: Monday 28th ‎February ‎2011

 

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Tags: , , Categories: British comedy British drama

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