It’s about time ITV was shaken up a bit, and what a dream of a television show we have been given to do just that! Brief Encounters, written by Fay Rusling and Oriane Messina is set around a group of women who are being enticed into the world of Ann Summers! So, the likes of Penelope Wilton and Elsie Kelly (Noreen from ITV’s Benidorm) basically find themselves surrounded by marital aids!
It’s set I the early 80s and the first episode revolved around Steph, Nita and Pauline, played by Sophie Rundle, Angela Griffin and Penelope Wilton respectively. Steph feels as though she is contributing nothing to her household, or life, in fact, while her husband Terry (Karl Davies) is jobless and not paying her any attention.
Nita becomes friendly with Steph after they start chatting in the playground, and the ballsy mum of four convinces Steph to go and see what the Ann Summers demonstrator roles, entail. Steph’s current job is as a cleaner for Pauline, she’s stagnating while her career-focused husband is working all hours.
So the scene is set for drama, friendship and hilarious consequences. Also along for the ride are Sharon Rooney who plays Dawn, a young hairdresser who is engaged to Russell, played by Will Merrick.
It’s a terrific first episode from the point of view of introducing characters and their relationships, setting up potential storylines for future episodes and the chemistry between the cast is perfect. As an ensemble, they make a formidable team, already. The main female roles seem to be forming a bond not dissimilar to that seen in Calendar Girls, Fat Friends and In The Club – all of which are successful, so this looks promising.
When Pauline caved in and allowed Steph to hold her first party at her house, it was everything I hoped it would be. The fact that the majority of the party were embracing the raciness, was a sheer delight in itself. I don’t think I’ll forget the look on Pauline’s Mother-In-Law’s face for a long time to come, Elsie Kelly is playing her as stupendously well as she plays Noreen in Benidorm.
I’m excited for next week’s instalment and what a rollercoaster of a cliff-hanger we were left with. Brilliant!
Photo Credits: ITV