Thursday, 15 December 2011

Catching Up with Old Friends

Anyone else feel like film characters are friends?  Don't leave me hanging here.  With the immense satisfaction that I'm getting from Shane Meadow's latest TV series This is England 88, comes a realisation that I want to see these characters; Lol, Woody, Shaun, Smell and even Combo grow old.  After the unrelenting despair of the previous series, This is England 86, the two episodes of '88 screened so far have been bleak but with many more moments of lightness, not least from Joe Gilgun's fantastic comic/tragic performance as Woody.

Last night's episode had two standout scenes though.  Both featured exceptional acting from Bafta winning Vicky McClure as poor old Lol, still struggling to deal with her harsh past.  But in both scenes, McClure was brilliantly supported by other fine actors.  In the first scene, Lol broke down and opened up to a nurse perfectly played by Helen Behan.  It was truly hard to believe she is not a real nurse Meadows plucked off the street.  In the second scene, Lol visits Combo in prison and Stephen Graham's performance is another example of heart breaking perfection.  From film to '86, Combo has transformed from racist messed up bastard to a truly sympathetic character.  Both scenes made my eyes do this strange watering thing.  It is a testament to Meadows that there are so many outstanding performances in the film and the series.  I look forward to the final episode tonight with bated breath and hope that This is England 90 materialises on our screens in the not-too-distant future.

With no sign of my good friends, the This is England gang, disappearing from screens anytime soon then, I began wondering what other films I'd love to see get a TV series follow-up catching up with the characters 5, 10, 20 years later.  It's been amazing watching the characters (and actors) grow, particularly Thomas Turgoose as Shaun who has gone from boy to young man on screen.  I have heard that the Tomorrow When The war Began series will begin with three films and turn into a TV series, a format which I have to agree will work best for these book adaptations.  So here's a selection of films I'd love to see a TV series follow-up of:

1. Mallrats (Kevin Smith, 1995) One of my favourite films of the 90s, I'd love to catch up with Brodie and T.S. and see that they are still hanging out at the mall causing trouble with Jay and Silent Bob.  Smith gave us Clerks 2 and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back so we've seen the further adventures of many of his Jersey characters, but Brodie's always been my favourite and Jason Lee is no stanger to TV now with My Name is Earl.  Ok so the actors are now sixteen years older (and they already looked a bit old for hanging out in malls in 95) but I'd still be curious to see if Brodie stuck with Rene (Shannen Doherty) and has grown out of videogames and settled down with a job and kids.  Could be depressing though.

2. La Haine (Mathieu Kassovitz, 1995) Ending with a bang, we know what happened to Vinz but the future of Hubert is uncertain from the final shot of the film.  And Said, poor old Said always caught in the middle.  What would he be doing years down the line?  He may have lost both his best friends.  Would he be in jail?  Still stuck on the estate?  Or would he be campaigning for justice for his friend/s?  I'd love to find out.

3. Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993) So many characters I feel close to after just spending the one night in their company.  What would this lot be doing after finishing school?  They discussed their futures in the film but their destinies are uncertain.  Is Slater still a stoner?  Is Wooderson still picking up high school girls?  What would be going on with these characters in the 80s?  It's time for new TV series Dazed and Confused 86 to check in with these characters ten years on from the film.

4. The Goonies (Richard Donner, 1985)  Ok it might be a bit late for a follow-up to this one.  I'm not really sure I want to see what the characters would be doing approaching their forties.  But imagine if the Goonies had gotten back together for a series of adventures in their twenties.  It could have been cool.  Perhaps they became activists against golf course developments and travel the world going up against greedy developers, stealing from the rich to help the poor save their houses.  Or perhaps this is a bad idea.

5. Trainspotting (Danny Boyle, 1996)  Irvine Welsh wrote a sequel to his book and rumours persist that Boyle might get the cast back together (when they look old enough) for a reunion.  Perhaps when they do put Welsh's sequel, titled Porno, on screen they could consider a short TV series.  Boyle started in TV so perhaps he'd be willing to make a return.  It would be great to see Renton and the gang ten years on from the events of the film.  With Begbie released from prison, will Renton have to keep running? 

Anyone else want to see their favourite film characters return in a TV series or is this a really bad idea?  Anyone else loving This is England 88?  Speak freely...


  1. HAHA Some great picks there, especially the love for La Haine, in my all time top 10 for sure.

    A film I have seen recently which I thought would be a great TV Show.... Lincoln Lawyer... seems the perfect fit!

  2. @Scott not seen Lincoln Lawyer yet but heard good things. Thanks for reading!

  3. Hello Pete! I'd like to take a quick second to give you a welcome to LAMB! Hope to see you around!

  4. @Matt Thank you very much, it's great to be a part of the community!

  5. I really need to catch up with both La Haine and This is England. From what I have heard, it sounds like I would enjoy both immensely.

  6. @CS Do it! Both are excellent! Really really brilliant. Some people find La Haine a struggle as it's got a slow pace, but it will blow you away by the end! And TIE is another powerful look at racism dominated by a brilliant performance.


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