This spin-off manages the tough task of being just as entertaining as its glamorous mother show "Footballers Wive$"-- in some ways it's even better, since its compact episode lengths (22m for Series One and 33m for Series Two) allow for a faster pace. "Extra Time" really deserves to be judged on its own. It carves out a unique identity, grittier, raunchier, less suburban, yet absolutely in keeping with FBW's high standard of unpretentiously heightened drama.
Among the many pleasures of "Extra Time"'s all-too-brief two seasons: expertly crafted plot lines involving Anika Beevor, Tanya Turner's ruthless baby sister, and her whorifying simultaneous relationships with Earls Park owner/pervy ex-pop star Gary Ryan and his hot son Oliver, and the murderous love triangle between Bruno Milligan's housing estate love child Yasmin, doomed footballer Seb Webb and fascinating roughneck sociopath Cash Brown; and the return of sick bitch-nurse Jeanette Dunkley, whose antics with Darius are so wrong they're right.
Add to this the best cast since FBW Series One. Sarah Matravers has the gutsy, commanding quality of Rachel Griffiths-- Joly Salter, her hard-luck mum abandoned by Bruno years before anchors the show with real family heart much the way Jackie is the moral center of FBW. Marc Bannerman is the manliest slab of FBW beef since Jason Turner-- helping spike the hunk quotient are the enormously appealing Marc Hendrey as Rees, Jack Pierce's psycho-sexy Cash, and Travis Oliver, who provides the best nudity in FBW history as Anika's troubled toy-boy. His and hers scene-stealing top honors go to Ross Finbow as Cash's put-upon, affecting accomplice Woody, and the outrageously charismatic Dominique Moore. Playing Yaz and Rees's trashette pal Chanel, she's hilarious, shameless and bubbling over with entitlement. In short, she's what FBW has always been all about.
Sod off, naysayers. Now I want to watch every episode of EXTRA TIME again.
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