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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Bleasdale rivals Shakespeare.

Author: beauvallet from Columbus, Ohio USA
12 December 1999

High praise indeed, but it's not unwarranted. Bleasdale's script elicits dread, fury, revulsion, pity, tenderness, and roaring laughter. Even when you're pretty sure you know what's going to happen, Bleasdale can deliver the expected with a twist that rips either your heart or your guts out. And the acting? Bleasdale's ensemble of Robert Lindsay, Julie Walters, and Lindsay Duncan are unequalled -- and Dorothy Tutin deserves raves as Walter's mother. This one is aces all round. Give an A+ to the director also, for excellent pacing.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

One of the greatest living writers in the English language

Author: ethanschmeisser (
20 October 2000

After a 5 years delay, I've seen the show. It's the first Bleasdale show I've seen and I believe this is one of the deepest, touching (not to mention dark) and original works ever produced for T.V. It made me go back in my memory to my childhood and discover hidden spaces in the human soul. All thanks to the incredible use of language and human observation by Alan Bleasdale (and of course, all the cast), who for me, is the greatest living screenwriter today, together with Jimmy Mcgovern.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Another great one from Alan Bleasdale!

Author: Polly McGillivray ( from London, England
15 June 1999

This is one of my all time favorites. I was glued to the TV set every week when this mini series aired both times in England. Robert Lindsay is amazing as usual, and the on screen chemistry he and Julie Walters emit keep you glued right through to the end. Full of drama and exciting story lines. Wonderfully written with one of the best endings I have ever seen.If you can get your hands on a copy of this you will not be disappointed. A must see if you are a fan of Robert Lindsay or Alan Bleasdale.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:


Author: Becky from Canada
13 June 2000

This is one of the best mini-series I have ever seen. Dark, funny, sexy, disturbing... you name it, it is here. The actors were superb! Especially Barclay Wright, who plays Jake... Haley Joel Osment(The Sixth Sense) is good, but... Barclay Wright is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated young actors ever. The plot twists and suspense in this mini-series were almost more than I could stand, having to wait each week for the next episode. And although I was sorry to see the series end, what an ending! So shocking and yet so PERFECT! If you see this series in your TV listings, program the VCR! It is definitely worth it.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

It gets better with each viewing!

Author: prose from Adelaide, Australia
11 April 2001

This mini series is currently being run for the 3rd time on Australian TV, and despite air-time being after midnight, I'm stilled glued to it, in awe of the writing and the performances.

Nothing works without excellent writing, and Alan Bleasdale delivered a ripper with `Jake's Progress'. Robert Lindsay as the irresponsible, forever adolescent Jamie, Julie Walters (always brilliant in my view) as the harrassed Julie, Dorothy Tutin as the frightened and bewildered Nanna, and of course, Barclay Wright as Jake, contribute so much to this magnificent and unique TV series. (My early 20's son couldn't watch it - `There's that scary kid again', was his comment whenever Barclay Wright came on the screen!)

See it, or you may never know how incredible a TV series can be!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Bleasdales lesser known masterpiece

Author: kimdino-1 from United Kingdom
17 August 2010

It's all too easy to create drama by unreal events, you see this every day on TV - car chases, explosions, shootouts and so on. Bleasdale doesn't need these gimmicks, his magic is to highlight the drama that exists in all our lives. We have all seen how nasty sibling rivalry can get, the temptations to stray from marriage, great weight being made of thoughtless words and the jokes that go wrong. This is the stuff that touches us all and it is the thread from which Bleasdale, the master plot weaver, creates his dramas.

Bleasdfales "Boys from 'The Black Stuff'" was a great series that has become a British TV icon. 'GBH' also made a great mark. But, for me, 'Jakes Progress' is his masterpiece. Maybe it is just because I can relate to the Diadoni family better than I can relate to Chrissie, Yosser etc from 'The Black Stuff', but I'm sure millions of other people can. What I do know is that this is great, riveting drama that will draw on all your emotions. Where is it all going to end up? Just like real life, we don't know.

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