Age Before Beauty Lightbox-Bound

Spark’s streaming service Lightbox, which this week marked its fourth birthday, has picked up the BBC series Age Before Beauty.

Set in a Manchester hair salon, the family drama stars Robson Green, Sue Johnston and Polly Walker.

It ended its UK run this week as one of the BBC’s 30 most-watched shows and is likely to be renewed, having regularly drawn 3.6 million to 4.5 million viewers.

But those expecting a sharp, satirical take on the beauty business will disappointed, The Guardian said.

Any mockery is relatively benign and gentle, and the weight of predictable marital drama soon overshadows the more fun aspects. But this is solid writing, with a solid cast of decent, watchable actors.

And The Independent likened the premiere to an episode of Coronation Street spiked with Love Island-style preening:

For the viewer there’s a lot of soap-style relationship wrangling but not much more than soap-standard levels of credibility. You get the background noise of society’s eugenics-light obsession with looks and youth but, you know, believe me, some of us know all about that already.

Lightbox has confirmed an October launch for the six-part series from Poldark scribe Debbie Horsfield (who also penned Cutting It) and the return of several exclusives that have distinguished it from the competition: Outlander S4 (November), Vikings S5b (November) and the fourth and penultimate season of Mr Robot.

“When we first launched it was with a great range of carefully curated TV shows, many of which remain among our favourites: Suits, Outlander and Vikings,” Lightbox General Manager Hema Patel says.

Since then, our content has grown to include some of the best shows in the world like the critically-acclaimed The Handmaid’s Tale and upcoming thriller Castle Rock, starring Kiwi actor Melanie Lynskey.

We’ve been able to capitalise on our head start into the market to build an important NZ brand and change the shape of the TV landscape in New Zealand.

The Lightbox team is passionate about creating an awesome stable of content and innovation in our technology to keep evolving. And our continued growth suggests our customers love what we do

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