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"As If"
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"As If" More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

If only all teen shows were this good . . .

Author: Stuart Ian Burns from Liverpool, England
12 April 2001

'As If' is the first British show to tackle what being a teenager in the Naughties is actually about. Rather like 'My So-Called Life' in the 1990s, we are presented with a mindset and production which are particularly adolescent - but unlike 'Grange Hill' or 'HollyOaks' we find young people who are intelligent - who have opinions, who in ways they don't quite understand themselves know their place in the world.

The required format of all ensemble shows is fulfilled (three girls, three guys). Anyone familiar with 'The Breakfast Club' will know the stereotypes. Jamie is the cocky one always trying to do that good turn; Sooz is his confident, hard as nails, closet romantic; Alex a gay character who for once seems comfortable with himself; Nikki is the naïve fashion victim with a lot to learn about friendship; Rob tries hard to help everyone, even though his home life isn't perfect and Sasha, a girl destined to be half a relationship - any relationship. On paper this doesn't seem too special - but as with all of these shows, it's in the execution.

Everything is immediately subverted by making each character a focus for a particular episode, and filtering the story and subplot through their eyes. In earlier episodes, this coloured the action to a great degree. The first shows were a maniac mix of editing and hyper-reality that was at times difficult to follow. Many of the techniques Oliver Stone has used for his 'big idea' films were employed here. Perhaps in line with the constraints of the production, this has been toned down for later episodes, but not to the detriment of the show. It's just that in these newer silences to get to know the characters better.

The plotting is just as fractured, the clichés of the genre forever turned on their head. As was shown in 'Dawson's Creek' its always the gay character who ends up estranged from his parents - here it's the supposed Adonis. The 'goth' is more successful with men than the serial dater. The hopeless romantic became the conquest of the older woman.

We wouldn't want to know the characters if the playing wasn't so exemplary, considering the time constraints (two episodes are filmed a week). As with all of these types of shows, its difficult to single anyone in particular out, but special word should be given to Emily Corrie's Sooz, offering one of the most multi-layered and intelligent performance I've seen since Clare Dane in 'My So-Called Life'. It's obvious she understands the type of person she's playing - seemingly unshockable and hard as nails but in many ways even more vulnerable for it. Word also for the putty like complexity of Paul Checker, the central pillar of the show whose performance, whilst brash, presents the vagaries of friendship. Watch as his attitude changes in moments between the passion of his life Nikki and Rob is nearly best friend. Again, Orlando Wells' Alex (unlike Warren, his antecedent in 'This Life') is quiet certain of his sexuality, but never feels the need to camp-it-up which afflicts other actors in his position (witness 'Queer as Folk'), his work heartbreaking during the recent plot involving his love for the wrong man. At first Jemima Rooper seemed a little brusk, playing as she had to the distant object of affection. But over successive episodes her work has developed into something of the emotional cornerstone of the show. Rob could have been a one note character but Ben Waters offers a mess of pent up anger and passion which feels like it could explode at any second. Then there's Sasha the hardest character to get a grip on. Unfortunately, for the first few weeks, Caroline Chikezie has to watch from the sidelines, being by turns the friend and lover. Given her own time eventually she distinguishes herself with much sharp work to the point that we wish we'd known her better from the beginning.

The final character in the piece is the music. Taking a cue from George Lucas in 'American Graffitti' each scene seems to span the length of a track, each episode offering an eclectic but satisfying mix of chart hits and well selected album tracks. See the moment when Jamie is blown off by the older woman and how the words of the song fitted his moments of rejection. This is filmic work, found on a half hour 'teen' show.

Which sums up the entire production. What could have been something we've all seen on TV before, we are given something we've never seen anywhere before, despite the influences. Currently broadcast at Six in the slot formerly home to 'Friends' and with a further series currently ready for production. Now, this can go one of two ways. Either the show follows through, gets a cult following and in fifteen years we'll all be watching 'I Love 2001' and complaining because Stuart Maconie hasn't mentioned 'As if'. Or everyone reading these words now will tune in and make the show the success it deserves to be. Believe me you'll be as tingly as I was, and you'll actually feel like you were there at the start of something which could change how television is made for years to come.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Great London Programme

Author: minnie_mie from London, UK
12 April 2001

'As If' is about the lives (mostly love lives) of six 18-19 year olds living in London. Shot in a quirky but fun way, the programme shows the ups and downs of relationships between the "friends". Although a bit of an exaggeration on the London scenery (bright colours, lovely weather) it's altogether a great programme and the music is funky. It's the teen programme UK television has been waiting for.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic, entertaining but above all, real!

Author: Lindsey Pope ( from Bedford, England
18 November 2001

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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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

best program ever!!

Author: victoriawarrenuk from essex, england
4 August 2004

as if is a really cool program. the story lines are much more interesting than normal soap like programs. they focus on things relevant to teenager life and how to deal with them and how not to deal with them. i have only been watching this program over the last few weeks but i am already hooked. the characters are all great and have different personalities which makes the show more interesting because of their conflicts and arguments. this is the best program i have seen in a long while and if you haven't seen it i definitely recommend you watch it because its just great!!!!! i love this program so much and i am making sure that all my friends are watching it bcos it is 1 not to be missed.!!!

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"As If" finally reaches New Zealand in 2015

Author: Paul Axford from New Zealand
25 February 2015

It's now 2015 and "As If" has appeared in New Zealand for the first time (as best as I'm aware) - not on broadcast TV but via our Lightbox on-line TV streaming service.

I had never heard of the show before but was looking for something interesting within the roughly 100 on offer, and the shows are ordered alphabetically. If the show's name did not start with "A" I would have not found it for weeks or months, if ever.

Sampling the first episode (and knowing that I had a lot of other choices) I almost stopped it within the first minute due to being irritated by the loud soundtrack, jumpy shots and rapid edits. However, I thought I would give it a whirl after being instantly attracted to the demure and less-conventional Sooz character, and it didn't take long before I had zipped through the first season.

I generally like the low-budget UK TV shows, the characters are real people, with skin flaws, tea-stained teeth, and less than perfect self-confidence - normal attributes that Hollywood seems incapable of leaving intact. Having lived in the UK for a few years (and having ancestral roots) I also feel some empathy with the culture, and having lived in the US for three decades, a growing weariness for theirs.

A few of the other reviewers here have analysed the show's framework much better than I could but I would agree that the editing technique with time-shifted scenes and flashbacks works effectively once you get used to it and makes the show stand out.

I'm almost through the second season and to me the Sooz and Jamie relationship is the highlight as it starts from a solid friendship (which initially includes Alex) and is evolved gently over many episodes. There is a connection between the two characters that is not as well developed between the other pairings. The milestone episodes that focus entirely on them are beautifully crafted and some scenes can leave a few tears. Perhaps I can't personally relate as well to the on/off relationships of Sasha, Nikki, Rob and certainly Alex, but it appears to me that those are in place to provide a backdrop and context to Sooz and Jamie, and both those actors incidentally do a stellar job.

I was a bit surprised when I discovered how old the show is. Only the funky cell phones and lack of any digital cameras give it away. Everything else is just as valid today as it was 14 years ago. Why this show appears now - here - I don't know. Lightbox has other old, classic shows but this one has never played here before and would have no following.

If nothing else New Zealand culture is more similar to UK culture than any other, including Australian, so the show is well-placed in our market. We have all 76 episodes available which are divided into 3 seasons (instead of 4.)

This show is a gem and I'm glad I stumbled on it.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

one of my favorite series

Author: Armand from Romania
29 December 2014

it is not easy to say why. for characters, for script, for memories from high school, for the humor, adventures, interrogations, arguments, for realistic image of friends group, for the rhythm of episodes, for the crisis of Sooz, for Callum Blue as Mark, for Paul Chequer as perfect Jamie. it is a film about teenagers but it represents more than a chain of stories. its virtue - the fresh air. not sentimental cages, not lessons about life, not ambitions to be unique. only slices from every day life, in humor sauce but not far by experiences of many viewers. that is all. a nice series. or, maybe, good support for memories. as in my case.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

great show

Author: saasha2005 from london
21 September 2003

i love the show unfortunitly it has not been shown on tv for a while so im hoping it will come back soon and show all the repeats.Although the show is a few years old its still the best thing on tv and is still modern.I hope more show like it will come out, its the only teen drama around.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great show!!

Author: natrajk ( from Oslo, Norway
20 November 2002

"As if" is really a great show with good characters. I would call it England's answer to "Dawson's Creek"!! I especially like the characters Sooz, Alex and Jamie. I don't think the characters of Nicki, Sasha and Rob are lifelike... Anyway, the show is great, and I really love. My advice to everyone: Watch it!:)

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4 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Quirky Teen Programme

Author: Ashley Whitear from Southampton, England
6 December 2002

As If is a teen drama programme showcasing the lives of six 18-19 year old people. This series was shot at Notting Hill Gate. The characters are Jamie, Sasha, Rob, Sooz, Al and Nicki. There are a lot of twists and turns in this programme but if there is a teenager out there who is interested in this series do watch this programme.

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