sun 26/05/2024

Cold Feet, ITV | reviews, news & interviews

Cold Feet, ITV

Cold Feet, ITV

Mike Bullen's drama tackles midlife as if it's never been away

Welcome back: John Thomson and James Nesbitt get 'Cold Feet' again

You can usually tell a show is in trouble when it executes one of its main characters. By the end, Cold Feet had run out of gas. Its instinct to laugh at life rubbed up against genuine grief, and there was nowhere for it to go but off air. But 13 years on here we are again. Historical precedent suggests it has no right to work. This Life didn’t profit when exhumed and nor in the end did Upstairs Downstairs.

But if Cold Feet was your thing, it looks so far as if it still will be.

What’s changed? Everything but also nothing. Adam (James Nesbitt) is now working in Singapore and after an exhaustive search has finally alighted on Mrs Right in the form of Angela (Karen David), the hot 30-year-old daughter of a billionaire. Karen (Hermione Norris) and Jenny (Fay Ripley) were soon rolling their eyeballs at the cliché of the codger and the babe while Pete (John Thomson) and David (Robert Bathurst) couldn’t see where the problem was, especially once they’d clapped eyes on her. (Pictured below: Fay ripley and Hermione Norris)

Meanwhile Pete and Jenny’s marriage is the undernourished thing it always was, and is underfunded too now that Pete has lost his job and is working double shifts as a cabbie and a carer. David has got himself spliced to a divorce lawyer called Robyn (Lucy Robinson) who, by the end of the episode, he confessed to not liking very much. You could see his point, but the script isn’t yet allowing the poor woman to reveal her unfrosty side, and possibly never will.

As for the kids, they are now all teenagers. The only one who has properly featured so far is Matt (Ceallach Spellman), the 15-year-old son of Adam and the late Rachel who is at a posh boarding school where he is by no means having a blast. It slightly beggars belief that Adam would have abandoned him for a job on the other side of the world, but Cold Feet was always happy to bend reality out of shape to expedite a storyline or in pursuit of a laugh (of which there were plenty). How else was Adam’s perky new landlady Tina (Leanne Best), having barely shown him the keys, soon fondly knotting his tie on the morning of his wedding. This is a script that supplies its own spoiler alerts. (Pictured below: Lucy Robinson and Robert Bathurst)

Cold Feet’s field of operation used to be new marriage and young parenthood among Blairite thirtysomethings. After its extra-long sabbatical it has moved on to the territory of disappointed middle age, in which second marriages are just as much of a challenge as first ones. “I hope you're as happy as me and Jenny thought we were going to me,” says Pete mordantly as he toasts Adam.

Scriptwriter Mike Bullen has teleported his famous five back in their old milieu with a seamlessness that merits high fives all round. There was even a cheeky joke at the expense of Nesbitt’s miraculous new weave. The only odd note was in continuity when, shot from overhead, Adam parked to collect Tina at the same location as the one to which he then drove her. (In a running joke, characters kept on being mistaken for cabbies.) Accidentally it underpinned the feeling that Cold Feet is back where it started.

As for the actors, it’s a pleasure to see Thomson and Ripley reinhabiting roles as if donning a second skin. Norris is going to need a bit more to work with and will no doubt get it if David starts mooning after Karen. The immensely skilful Bathurst is the cast's unsung treat, his face an everchanging picture of rueful grins and sly delight.

Top marks for the music too, especially Elbow’s “One Day Like This” performed by string quartet at the wedding, although the whole thing feels more like a Take That reunion, in which the new songs are as schmaltzy as the old but now wearing the wrinkles of wisdom.

This is a script that supplies its own spoiler alerts


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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"Adam parked to collect Tina at the same location as the one to which he then drove her. Accidentally it underpinned the feeling that Cold Feet is back where it started"

er, yes. He stopped off there first to unload for his BnB and she got in before he could unload.  She went on an errand and back to her flat.  So not a continuity error at all!

two continuity errors in episode 2;

Pete's watch at 8:05 when he first hugged his son, but at 8:02 for second hug. 

Adam's son puts on MUFC shirt which by magic tucks itself in his trousers. 

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