mon 20/11/2017

Cold Feet, series 7, ITV review - more comedy than drama | reviews, news & interviews

Cold Feet, series 7, ITV review - more comedy than drama

Cold Feet, series 7, ITV review - more comedy than drama

After last year's comeback, it's a fresh start for Mike Bullen's friends

Five end up on a wall: 'Cold Feet' returns

When the ITV comedy drama Cold Feet returned last year after a 13-year break, it seemed something of a risk. Looking back, after the near-universal acclaim and excellent viewing figures, it’s difficult to think it could have been anything but a sure-fire hit. Like inviting friends you haven’t seen in years to stay and lingering, pre-weekend nerves dissipating as soon as they walk in the door, something felt entirely right about it. Time had passed, people had changed, but the feel of them was the same. 

The start of the latest series suggests that this is set to continue with economy and pace. The opening dream sequence made a song and dance about childbirth, and placed us immediately into the psyche of broody Adam with no further exposition needed. His ongoing relationship with neighbour Tina, meanwhile, means a welcome core-cast placement for Leanne Best, who brings the same air of relaxed authority to her role as the veterans. 

Throughout, it felt as if this was the real reboot, as if last season’s reintroduction was really all about getting us to a place where things can begin again – fresh starts and new beginnings all around. For Adam there was an obsession with babies, a new job in the offing, and a gear-shift in his relationship with Tina. Cold FeetKaren (Hermione Norris, pictured above) had a new business and a book launch to focus on. Quite why anyone with her intelligence and sense has chosen to start up a tiny publishing company when print is falling off a cliff is anyone’s guess. Despite adverse financial and business weather, it looked like she spent a small fortune on a book launch for an untried and untested author in a scene that seemed to have as much grounding in reality as Adam’s dream. Still, if this particular plot point gives Ramona (Jacey Salles) a regular gig as Karen's hapless assistant, then I’ll happily suspend my disbelief. 

Elsewhere, an unexpected promotion for Jenny gave husband Pete the chance to ditch being a posh cabbie in favour of entertainments manager at the care home, while David (the excellent Robert Bathurst) needed a way out of a tiresome, predatory job going door-to-door trying to separate people from their equity – a task which saw him as able to close a deal as David Davis selling sterling at a German Christmas market.

David’s eventual escape was via the filthy-rich WAGs of Manchester, to whom he ended up giving financial advice. There were also subtle hints of a possible liaison with one of these, Nikki (Siobhan Finneran, pictured below with John Thomson). Of course that’s "subtle hints" in the "writ large in sky by a massive plane" sense. Here, in fact, the show pretty much slipped into farce as Bathurst made an exit as unexpected as Nikki’s husband’s return. It all felt surprisingly comfortable.Cold FeetIn fact, it was all very light with not a great deal of shade. While that will, presumably, come later, I’m in no hurry for it. Cold Feet works best when it’s being a comedy with dramatic themes. The comedy itself may be broad and blunt, but it’s played with a rare finesse and detail that raises it a division. James Nesbitt’s face as he stepped out of a clothes shop (improbably named hipsta), having had to buy a new outfit for an interview following a soaking, flattered the writing. In another actor’s hands, this could easily have seemed lazy and obvious. And while the job interview in question felt heavy-handed (the idea of a company run by millennials using slides instead of stairs was worryingly off), Nesbitt’s keen sense of reaction – once again – managed to sell the scene. 

Similarly, Thomson and Ripley’s gentle back and forth was a delight to watch, so well do they wear their roles. The scene where their daughter’s troubles at school led to a moment of revelation for Ripley’s Jenny, mirroring as they did her own anxieties over friendship, was jocose and fun. We were led to an emotional conclusion with all the subtlety of a late-night White House tweet, but we followed willingly, such is the characters' appeal. 

Perhaps it’s a new start for Cold Feet itself, putting issues to one side in favour of sweeping strokes with a lighter touch? Given we’re at the start of the series, I’d guess probably not, but I’m not sure I’d mind if it were. 

@jahshabby

The comedy may be broad and blunt, but it’s played with a rare finesse and detail

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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This last series has been crap from start to finish - I don't know what Mike Bullen was thinking about, perhaps a combination of dumbing down, and more sex - anyway it has failed miserably, destroyed what had been a very entertaining series.

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