sat 23/03/2019

Cold Feet, Series 8, ITV, review - mortality lite | reviews, news & interviews

Cold Feet, Series 8, ITV, review - mortality lite

Cold Feet, Series 8, ITV, review - mortality lite

The cast return once more to pull sad faces and silly faces

All smiles? The cast of 'Cold Feet'

How much more is there to say about the thrills and spills of midlife? Cold Feet made a surprisingly nimble return to ITV a couple of series ago after a long furlough. There was little evidence of stiff joints or saggy bottoms in Mike Bullen’s writing as he welcomed a gang of teens to the cast list. A second series of Cold Feet 2.0 wore the slightly botoxed rictus of a drama that was running out of new expressions and at that point it would have been no dishonour to call it a day.

But no, ratings suggest there’s still a national appetite for this friendship group. The key to tolerating Cold Feet has been to accept that it has only two modes: silly face, and serious face. Take Adam (James Nesbitt, pictured below) who was abandoned by his girlfriend at the end of the last series and has now become a pathetic singleton clownishly misreading signals put out by a flirty young barista. The comedy of awks. Cringe face. Then Karen (Hermione Norris) sensibly told him to get real and stop running from his own mortality. Contemplative face. Similarly Pete (John Thomson) was ridiculously allowed to pursue the fantasy that his loaded loins had fertilised one of his wife Jenny's last remaining eggs, only to have his bubble burst when he saved the life of an ungrateful suicide. Silly face. Serious face.James Nesbitt in Cold FeetWe began with a wedding in Anglesey, where the weather behaved beautifully. In a flagrant act of misdirection, every woman apart from the bride wore white. This was a neat illustration of Bullen’s tendency to deploy his characters where he needs them on the battlefield. Ramona’s short-lived marriage was an utterly worthless development which provided a nice location, a joke about how to pronounce “count” and a lifeboat for young Josh Marsden (Daniel Hall) to escape university and start life anew in Barcelona. (Ramona, played by Jacey Sallés, feels more of a Castilian cliché than a Catalan, but hey.) No matter that Josh’s Spanish is so execrable it insults the viewers’ intelligence to believe he might have been studying it at university. 

Likewise, for a bit of useful infill in the Marsdens’ father-son plotline, the script rubbed the lamp and in a puff of smoke the late father of the lovable old pillock David (Robert Bathurst) was conjured up for the first time in eight series. Cold Feet never really bothered with its core characters’ parents but, when one was needed, he was scribbled on the back of an envelope and bodied forth as an ogre to be oedipally slain. It's to be hoped that David's rich new partner Nikki (Siobhan Finneran) achieves a more solid human form.

And so to Jenny (Fay Ripley). The minute she began fondling her boobs it could be confidently predicted that the time had arrived for Cold Feet-does-cancer. It goes without saying that some viewers will find value in the way Jenny’s story plays out. But at times the pendulum-like reliability of the show's storytelling makes you yearn for a well-sprung surprise. What about a Brexit episode in which the characters all take lumps out of one another? That would insert some welcome grit in a well-oiled mechanism.

The minute Jenny began fondling her boobs it could be confidently predicted that the time had arrived for 'Cold Feet'-does-cancer

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Comments

They can't do Brexit. They'd all fall out, go their separate ways and that'd be the end of the show. Good review. I wondered what I'd missed.

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