Ackley Bridge Series One Episode Six ~ Episode Review

DNA ~ It’s Corey’s baby after all! The DNA test that Steve thought was a good idea has proven that the ‘daddy’ is the uncle after all. A shock plot twist indeed and something to be explored further in series two.

It’s all over? ~ Nasreen seems remarkably cool and collected when she casually informs Lila that it’s all over between them and she’s OK with that. Is it just me or do neither of them seem OK with it really? I want this storyline to carry over, it’s not done with in my head!

Affair Exposed ~ Sadiq’s affair with Mandy is revealed publically by his daughter! Humiliating for both parties and it’s still not boding well for Mandy and Steve in terms of a reconciliation – but then who can blame Steve? For such a small amount of screen time, this affair has caused maximum impact.

Happy Families ~ The Booths are reunited when Simone finally gets her act together despite temptation from her drug dealer. Emma and Chloe are also reconciled and it seems to be decided that Chloe will stay with her mum, quite an emotional realisation which was beautifully performed.

Summary ~ What can I say that I haven’t already said? What a series, what incredible writing and excellent casting. This ought to be in line for awards and the second series that has been commissioned is richly deserved. Ackley Bridge is filled a gap on our television screens and I hadn’t anticipated becoming as emotionally connected to the characters and plots. Every role has been created so innovatively and the choice of storylines amazed me every week. Culturally current, unpredictable, exciting and gripping telly. In fact, this felt like the Channel Four of old and we need more of this. On a side note, I’d like to see more of Lorraine, the nosey receptionist in the next series!

Ackley Bridge Cast & Information

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Ackley Bridge Series One Episode Five ~ Review

The penultimate instalment of Ackley Bridge was so innovative and ground-breaking that I feel it contained some of the most poignant scenes I’ve ever seen on television. Highlights to follow, as I reminisce about the sheer brilliance of this show:

Mothers/Daughters ~ I feel I ought to comment on the mother/daughter relationships that have been so carefully crafted in this series. Whether it be Emma and Chloe, Kaneez and Nas or Simone and Missy. We also saw the broken down relationship between Nana and Simone as well as Nana’s place as surrogate mum to Missy and Hayley. Ooh who misses Nana? I really haven’t gotten over her death yet! The point is though, that each mother/daughter pairing has been constructed to perfection.

Revelations ~ Nas seemed hell bent on following through with an arranged marriage, which was not something her mum, Kaneez felt was right for her and caused a ruckus in itself. However, cracking under the pressure and feeling that her mum might be open to the news, Nas finally revealed that she’s a Lesbian. The news was not received well… initially….

Daughter behaving badly ~ Chloe steps up to read as Juliet in her mum, Emma’s English literature lesson. However, possibly feeling pushed to one side by her mum (that’s how it’s coming across to me…) Chloe uses the opportunity to play the role as Missy and to effectively pull her fellow student to pieces in front of the class. Although her behaviour wasn’t tolerated and she was disciplined appropriately, I can see why Chloe might feel that her nose has been pushed out as her mum does appear to take more interest in the Booth sisters. Attention seeking? I should say so!

Nas & Kaneez ~ With the news that her daughter is gay resonating, Kaneez takes it upon herself to delve deeper and seeks out a café where she comes to terms with her daughter’s honesty. She follows this up with a trip to the local ice rink which culminates in Kaneez introducing Nas to a homosexual Asian man. Genius!

Missy & Simone ~ Missy discovers that there is a way to reunite her with her sister, but it involves Simone’s co-operation. A trip to their mum’s hide-out meets with a fairly predictable response as Simone is not at her best! It seems a hopeless business and Missy gives up easily. What she doesn’t bank on is her mum showing up at home ready to make peace. What a final scene, I was in tears – beautiful acting from this pair, excellent casting!

Ackley Bridge Cast & Information

Ackley Bridge, Series One Episode Four ~ Episode Review

Ackley Bridge ~ what can I say? It packed a punch this week and no mistake. Oh, and it’s getting a second series which is set to be longer! I’m so excited – here are my highlights from this week:

Death ~ I was not prepared for the death of Missy and Hayley’s Nana, it was so wholly unexpected that I still feel sad about it now! Not least because I will miss Rita May who played her! The aftermath was played out exceptionally well and the scene with the girls’ mother Simone was a masterclass de force. Watching Missy trying to handle the funeral without a penny to her name or help from her useless mother was heart-breaking. thanks heavens for Emma, stepping in – she seems fonder of the Booth girls than of her own daughter though, don’t you think?

Social Services ~ The situation that Missy and Hayley find themselves in means that it’s Mandy’s duty to contact social services and the sisters are separated. Missy takes it on the chin, as much as you might expect. However, again, I find myself wondering if Emma will play a part in this and possibly be able to help out, this reuniting the girls? Her extra ‘gift’ of paying the extra money to get Nana’s ashes to Missy was quite something.

Love ~ Nas is still pining after Lila as their will they/won’t they relationship continues and it’s not long before Lila has come out to her colleague and Mandy is calling her in to discuss the implications. Is the relationship doomed to fail? It seems so, especially after Lila asks Nas not to text her again.

Adultery ~ Quite surprisingly, Mandy comes clean to Steve about her one night stand with Sadiq, just as they’re about to travel home after Mandy’s traumatic meeting with social services. It doesn’t look good…

Lorraine ~ I have to mention Lorrain Cheshire as Lorraine Bird, the receptionist – again! She literally has a small amount of screen time and yet she optimises it brilliantly. Who else wants to find out more about Lorraine? Show of hands, please!

Ackley Bridge Cast & Information

Ackley Bridge – Series One Episode Three

Ackley Bridge, well well well! What an amazing episode which covered so much and crosses boundaries that other dramas haven’t dared to cross. I love this series and can’t speak more highly of it! Let’s look at the highlights, even though the entire episode was one big highlight…

Nas ~ what a terrific character, her ethnic background and the fact that she’s homosexual make her a complex girl if ever there was one. A brave move, as I’ve said before – but this episode sees her explore her sexuality further as she pushes the teacher she is in love with to the brink and their past history emerges too. More to come from this given the finale of the episode.

Mandy & Sadiq ~ So Mandy and Sadiq have been up to naughties and they’re both having the same idea, there will be no repeat. Although is this really the end of it? I fear not, sexual tension ahoy! However, Sadiq’s son is on to them…

Your Disco Needs You! ~ Brilliant scenes with Missy and Nas hitting the night club and boogeying to the Kylie hit Your Disco Needs You! Missy was in her element and Nas had a better time outside! An inspired plot which the girls played out fantastically.

Karaoke ~ I have to mention the character of Lorraine on karaoke singing Baggy Trousers. It was hilarious and too funny – well done to Lorraine Cheshire, you make the most of your role and Lorraine is a great character thanks to you.

Second Series Please!! ~ I’m already anticipating a second series, please Channel Four? Can we have some more? A show like this could run and run, like Waterloo Road.

Ackley Bridge Cast & Information

Ackley Bridge – Series One Episode Two

Episode two of Ackley Bridge bounded onto our screens on Wednesday night and it was another cracking episode. The scripts are intricate and current, the characters are all fascinating and you never know what they’re going to throw in the pot next. One thing’s for sure, that hour isn’t boring and the shocks, twists and turns keep on pounding. Here are a few highlights…

Nasreen ~ Nasreen has taken to wearing a hajib in a bid to shun Missy – her mum waves it off as nonsense and the feud between the pals doesn’t even last an entire episode. However, I wasn’t expecting Nasreen to come out as gay. What a fantastic storyline to tackle though, and I feel sure that this will be handled brilliantly.

Jordan’s the daddy ~ Jordan is on the run from ‘heavies’ and he is also being pursued by the mother of his child, or so we are led to believe. He is literally left holding the baby and it’s up to Steve to help him out. We also got a glimpse of Jordan’s relationship with his father, which is surely going to be a recurring plot.

Steve’s past ~ Just happening to have a child’s car seat in his car is not what I expected from Steve when he lent a hand to Jordan. A much better option than the holdall that Jordan has his baby secreted in and also much more legal than breaking into a car to steal one! So, we now know that Steve must have a child somewhere.

Missy’s on a mission ~ When Nana is reaching for her inhaler because £80 worth of bingo winnings has gone missing, Missy and Nasreen reunite to find Missy’s mum who is suspected of thieving the cash to find her habits. Heading straight to a dodgy set-up, they easily find the culprit and thanks to Nasreen’s quick thinking, have it away on their toes with a wallet.

Mandy & Sadiq ~ The rumours about Mandy and Sadiq were planted in episode one, but this episode sees the pair in a clinch! There may be trouble ahead…

For information on the episode, the show and the cast: Ackley Bridge

Ackley Bridge – Series One Episode One

Ackley Bridge looks set to be the edgier version of Grange Hill meets Waterloo Road meets Shameless! Just what Channel Four needed, with characters who have been perfectly cast and gritty plotlines that don’t shy away from the truth – bring it on say I. Here are a few highlights from what I feel is going to become one of my favourite television shows!

Alcohol & Drugs ~ dealing with underage drinking from the off and then countering it with the drugs problem that one of the mums has is a hard-hitting message. It’s also an early direct link to the reasons why at least one of the pupils (mis)behaves and is repeating a year. Simone and Missy Booth are the two in question and they are played brilliantly by Samantha Power and Poppy Lee Friar. I’m already looking forward to watching this play out. It’s painful to watch yet spectacularly current and truthful. A storyline that has been established from the start and no doubt will become a running theme.

Mixed Race & Culture ~ the merger of the two school to form Ackley Bridge Academy has brought races and cultures together. The new mix lays down the gauntlet for racial differences and as was demonstrated in this episode, shows the hand of friendship being (reluctantly) held out only to be rejected. An interesting take on what continues to be an on-going issue in this country. I suspect that the potential plots won’t back away from being close to the knuckle either.

Naughty Teacher! – straight away one of the teachers is introduced as a wayward one! Liz White as Emma Keane shows us a down to earth, free spirited educator who bends the rules and locks horns with the new head teacher. She also has an eye for the men and a disturbed, social media-happy daughter. There is so much scope with this situation, I’m rubbing my hands together with glee!!

Jo Joyner – Tanya from EastEnders we may recognise her for, or I certainly do – but she’s putting her stamp on a new and strong character with many layers. I’m going to enjoy watching her take us on Mandy’s journey as head teacher and of course, let’s see if she really is having an affair…

Lorraine Cheshire – Lorraine has to have her own mention, Patron of this website and a lovely lady – Lorraine never fails to impress me as an actor. I’m delighted to see her playing the disapproving Lorraine, she’s just the right person to portray the character who has to deal with the pesky kids. It’s also great to see Rita May (who stars in Trollied with Lorraine) starring as Nana Booth, nobody does comedy nans quite like Rita. Amazing casting choices.

Power Monkeys Episode Six ~ Channel Four

So we reach the final episode of Power Monkeys, Channel Four’s EU Referendum-based comedy series. There were a number of highlights in the final instalment, Spencer’s (played by Kevin McNally) wedding with the missing bride being one of them. Although I have missed the No Thank EU brigade being based on their bus and I definitely missed Spencer’s waistcoat, this week! Still, there’s no denying that the poor b*gger has wound up married to a Visa grabber.

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The tale of the Tories ended in tears – ironically!

Life in Putin’s camp is both hilarious and mysterious at the same time, with the imminent demise of Alexi (Alec Utgoff) being the central storyline there, his disappearance leaves Oleg (Ben Willbond) confused and a bit scared!

Brett (Robert Wilfort) has been fired from his job with team Trump, meanwhile, the bewildered Trump supporter dared to pause before he concurred with his boss that they were going to win. Bea (Ayda Field) is quite delighted with her execution of Trump’s orders, but she ends up with egg on her face at the end of the programme!

The Tory party are possibly the most entertaining, though, Sara (Claire Skinner) turns violent and attacks Preeya (Archie Panjabi), Oliver (Jack Dee) and Tony (Anthony Calf) which does distract from her rumbling stomach, somewhat! Ruby (Liz Kingsman) predictably rocks up after the main drama is over.

It’s been a witty and highly observational series with a fantastic cast and a clever script writing team. Despite my initial thoughts, I’ll be sad to see the back of Power Monkeys.

Photo credits: Channel Four

Power Monkeys Episode Three ~ Channel Four

A slightly belated write up of this week’s Power Monkeys, and what an apt day to be posting on! The result aside (and what an interesting episode the result will make for, next week!) this week’s episode was mostly concentrating on the characters themselves, I felt. Naturally, aboard the Trump jet reference was made to the Brit who attempted to assassinate the wannabe President, and discussions about preventing Brits from gaining access to Trump were had. I still think that Brett, played by Robert Wilfort, is a great character, his lack of understanding and awareness beyond the Trump campaign is so insular that it’s funny.

The Russians were also on form, with Ben Willbond as Oleg playing a delicious prank on President Obama, the pairing with Alex Utgoff as Alexi is getting better every week. The tongue in cheek references are always so close to the bone, and probably more accurate than we would believe.

There’s still an undercurrent with Tony (Anthony Calf) and Sara (Claire Skinner) following their one night stand, and Oliver (Jack Dee) is in the dog-house when he mentions a trigger word “Nutter!”.

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Kevin McNally and Jack Dee Photo Credit: Channel Four

Kevin McNally stole this episode for me, he steps his character of Spencer up another gear each week. His comments about Nigel Farage were hilarious and his complete disregard for Gerry (Andy Nyman) and his recent bereavement was notable, whether intentional or not!

Overall, this week’s instalment appeared to feature more character based stories than those that made the news, but it’s still becoming an impressive piece of telly.

Power Monkeys Episode Two ~ Channel Four

The opinion polls on Donald Trump and his wife have had me in tear rolling laughter in this week’s episode. The belly laughs that I was hoping for have definitely emerged. Trump’s jet is yet again the source of most of my amusement, the comments relating to Trump’s statement in relation to the Orlando tragedy were spot on. Amelia Bullmore, Robert Wilfort and Ayda Field are making a formidable team.

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Amelia Bullmore as Lauren. Photo Credit: Channel Four

The Russians are naturally worried about the football, and talk on the No Thank E.U. bus turns to the violence between the England and Russian football fans. Then there’s Priya (Archie Panjabi) has been asked on News Night… and then been ditched again! Spencer (Kevin McNally) is on form and still sporting the Union Jack waistcoat while taking exception to Priya’s comments – the banter and pace of interaction between the Brexit pushers is gathering momentum.

 

In the Tory camp Tony (Anthony Calf) and Sarah (Claire Skinner) have been up to no good in a hotel, typical Tories! There’s also plenty of talk about Sir Philip Green whose reputation and indeed his knighthood depends on what he does to rectify the BHS pensions situation. Jack Dee is still the perfect addition to team Tory, one withering look is all it takes from him.

The Geldof/Farage exchange appeared to dominate the script, but for the most part, I’m still finding the Trump campaigners to be the heroes of the show!

My overall opinion on this week’s episode? I’m still finding some of the disjointed scenes slightly distracting, but the instalment itself was an improvement on last week’s.

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