Six London school kids are best friends. Gorgeous Alex is academically gifted, comes from a good home, has the fine taste of a classy gay boy and proves able to date good catches, including a cop who could have been the love of his life if he hadn't lied about being a minor. Jamie Collier is the clown of the pack, a hopeless optimist, bragger and unreliable, but he means well and tries hard to please. Robert 'Rob' Conway is the most serious one, coming from a broken home with an abusive father, and has to work as a waiter in the gang's favorite pub. Finally there are three neurotic girls they hang out with: pushy Nicki Sutton, hippie rebel Suzanne 'Sooz' Lee and spoiled colored Sasha Williams, as well as a long list of boy- and girlfriends who come and go, although some have definite long-term potential, such as Alex's gay cop friend Dan Parker who sadly can't risk being find out legally 'raping' a willing minor. Written by
For the first time, I have been able to watch a British 'teen' drama and not only can I believe in the characters being portrayed, but I can almost see myself being mates with them. Well, most of them. Nicki is a little too much of a superficial cow to be a friend of mine, (excellently acted by Jemima Rooper, by the way). Everything about the group is spot-on. Fashion (and individuality), friendly banter and colloquialisms, inter-group relationships, all seem natural and well thought out.
My particular favourite is Sooz. I totally identify with her unrequited love for Rob, the loneliness she feels, and the rejection felt by not having a boyfriend. Also, the way her overwhelming physical individuality thinly hides her emotional vulnerability. Emily Corrie is perfect.
The production team are not afraid to tackle important issues without making the plots completely 'out-there'. Normality without the mundane boredom of, well...normal life. This coming series will give the audience time to get deeper into the character's lives but hopefully it will remain as light-hearted and fun to watch as the first series. 'As If' is definitely in a class of it's own.
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