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Friday, 3 January 2014

Birds of a Feather Return

Last night saw the return of Birds of a Feather to television screens after an absence of fifteen years. Critics have been mixed - Digital Spy seemed to enjoy it while The Telegraph gave it one star - but a lot of the fans seemed to enjoy it. Personally, I loved it. Took a little bit to get going but once Dorien turned up on the doorstep it was back to its usual self. I was in fits of giggles at the end when 'Shrek' walked though the door.

One thing that intrigues me about the return is the shift from the BBC to ITV. Linda Robson who plays Tracey said that it was because the BBC only offered a half an hour Christmas special whereas ITV were willing to take a punt on a full series. She suggests there's a policy at the BBC not to do retrospective series, something that tallies with some of the irritating decisions of recent years (though you'll note there are still hopes to bring Only Fools and Horses back again and this time unfortunately without the input of John Sullivan). It's hardly a blanket ban on retrospective series, is it? But, even if such a thing existed, it would be excessively stupid, especially in this case. You see, Birds of a Feather proved in 2012 that it could be updated and revitalised as it toured the country in a very popular stage show, which I saw in Sheffield. A 'retrospective series' was a natural continuation of this success. I would've been disappointed if they hadn't given it a shot and thank you to ITV (not often I say that) for giving it a chance.

Of course, the next seven episodes could prove me wrong and the whole idea could be a terrible one but, somehow, I don't think so. It was like stepping into a comfortable pair of slippers last night and this time with social commentary I could actually understand. It'll take the new characters and actors a little time to gel but the chemistry between the main cast is there and always has been. The BBC have shot themselves in the foot with this one.

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