Critical Condition: Brief Encounters

Brief Encounters (TV One, 8.35 Wednesdays)

“This tale of X-rated Tupperware parties in Eighties Sheffield was about as sexy as a nylon nightie from C&A. The realism was largely wasted by the storyline, a predictable tale of women’s lib in the suburbs. But the impeccably vintage props and decor gave the story a hallucinatory vividness, as forgotten shopfronts, billboards, pub lounges and fitted kitchens were lovingly recreated. Even the telly in the corner of the sitting room was a rental, as they always were.” — Daily Mail.

“The tone was all very The Full Monty, but with women and vibrators instead of men and police uniforms. The four empowered-to-be women made this very watchable, not least Penelope Wilton as a woman in a stultifying marriage to Brian the butcher.” — The Times.

“With its bleak northern setting and its sturdy female leads, new drama Brief Encounters is like Educating Rita – but with knickers … It was all quite jolly and not always that predictable … No matter how cartoonish the male characters are there’s a core of truth here, not least the way the recession forced Eighties men to hand power – and long overdue respect – to women.” — Daily Express.

Brief Encounters is a sparky new six-part drama about Ann Summers reps in Eighties Yorkshire, set against a backdrop of unemployment. An unpromising pitch on paper, perhaps, but this first episode was a revelation: frank, funny, and full of heart … It was as if Victoria Wood had rewritten The Full MontyBrief Encounters was drama by women, about women – but not just for women. It spoke of friendship and the struggle to find fulfilment.” — The Telegraph.

“It’s fun. Just good enough to while away an hour without making you want to throw something at the screen, and just bad enough to make your eyes mist with longing for the great days of Making Out, Clocking Off, Playing the Field and assorted other Horsfield, Abbott and Mellor masterpieces.” — The Guardian.

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