TV Preview: In the Club

In the Club: TV1, 8.30 Sunday


By Doug Coutts

At first glance, this wasn’t looking promising – an ensemble cast playing a stereotypical set of characters centred round an unlikely premise for drama – an antenatal class.

I’ve been to antenatal classes – as a participant I hasten to add (nothing creepy about me) – and in our little group there was little bonding going on, no friendships forged.

I think there was one afternoon tea where we all got to show off the results – and there were some funny looking kids to be sure – before people moved on; to another child, another town or another partner. And sometimes all three …

So the programme had its work cut out.

In the Club there are a successful middle-aged woman and her toy boy, a same sex couple, an arranged-marriage couple with a secret, a couple who have previously adopted but are now expecting and also have a secret and a schoolgirl who doesn’t want anyone to know. So far so true-to-type…

And then it kicks off, slowly at the start. The first one to unravel is the career woman, followed by the adoptive husband and by halfway through everyone’s running round like a collection of frayed knots. It’d be funny if it weren’t so serious – but serious in a good way.

Older readers might remember the work of Alan Bleasdale (Boys from the Blackstuff) and Willy Russell (Our Day Out), who were turning out some of the bleakest and most compelling British drama during the Thatcher years. In the Club has that feel about it – real people up against it, or in this case pushing against it.

What on the face of it had the potential to be a dramatised version of that awful reality series 16 and Pregnant has turned out to be exactly the opposite. It’s got the same amount of gore but a lot more of the interest factor. And a much better script.

The only niggle is that the older woman says she went to pregnancy classes for her older kids. In the real world, at least in New Zealand, once you’ve been for the first child, they assume you’ll retain all the information so you don’t have to go back.  Which is a very good thing.

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply