This Is England '88 (2011)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Drama
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 3,468 users  
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Set during Christmas 1988, Lol is haunted by the devastating events that took place two and a half years before. She and Woody both find themselves struggling to cope with their lives ... See full summary »

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Series cast summary:
Andrew Ellis ...
 Gadget (3 episodes, 2011)
 Milky (3 episodes, 2011)
Chanel Cresswell ...
 Kelly (3 episodes, 2011)
Charlotte Tyree ...
 Fay (3 episodes, 2011)
Danielle Watson ...
 Trev (3 episodes, 2011)
 Banjo (3 episodes, 2011)
Helen Behan ...
 Evelyn (3 episodes, 2011)
 Woody (3 episodes, 2011)
 Cynthia Fields (3 episodes, 2011)
 Mick (3 episodes, 2011)
Katherine Dow Blyton ...
 Chrissy (3 episodes, 2011)
Kriss Dosanjh ...
 Mr. Sandhu (3 episodes, 2011)
 Lisa (3 episodes, 2011)
 Harvey (3 episodes, 2011)
Rebecca Manley ...
 Babs (3 episodes, 2011)
 Smell (3 episodes, 2011)
Stacey Sampson ...
 Jennifer (3 episodes, 2011)
 Combo (3 episodes, 2011)
Steve Brody ...
 Richard (3 episodes, 2011)
 Shaun (3 episodes, 2011)
 Lol (3 episodes, 2011)
Autumn Smiles ...
 Titch (3 episodes, 2011)
Ian Smith ...
 Mr. Benson (3 episodes, 2011)
William Travis ...
 Mr. Squires (3 episodes, 2011)
Ryan Barr
(3 episodes, 2011)
Hannah Walters ...
 Trudy (2 episodes, 2011)
 Fay's Dad (2 episodes, 2011)
Emily Aston ...
 Janice (2 episodes, 2011)
Joanna Swain ...
 Maitre D' (2 episodes, 2011)


Set during Christmas 1988, Lol is haunted by the devastating events that took place two and a half years before. She and Woody both find themselves struggling to cope with their lives without each other after he leaves the gang. Lol is carrying the burden of her guilt, whilst Woody is trying to build a domestic life with a new girlfriend and a potential promotion at work. Shaun has started drama college and, although still in a relationship with Smell, he has grown close to a girl performing in his Christmas play.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tv mini series | christmas | See All (2) »





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Release Date:

13 December 2011 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

In the middle part of the saga that works on it's own merits
20 December 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

Picking up two years where the last instalment left off, TIE '88 catches up with the characters that were left behind from last time, with Woody (Joseph Gilgun) trying to settle down with a new girlfriend and angling for a promotion at work, whilst still trying to come to terms with the fact that his former love Lol (Vicky McClure) has given birth to a child by his best mate Milky (Andrew Shim), whose return will mark an explosive reunion between the pair. Meanwhile, Sean (Thomas Turgoose) finds himself in a personal crisis after enrolling in a drama class, while Lol herself is locked in her own personal hell, struggling to come to terms with what she was forced to do to her father and the fact Combo (Stephen Graham) is currently serving time for her crime.

This entirely unexpected latest instalment in the This is England saga came pretty much out of nowhere for me, and would, in all fairness, have been wrapped up perfectly with the last part. There didn't even appear to be any sort of publicity or build up to it, like there was with the last part. Still, with this all in mind, writer/director Shane Meadows proves there's still a lot of inspiration to be drawn from the source material, even if this feels, and was even sort of billed as, a stop off point between the last one and the allegedly explosive final part in the shape of This is England '90.

The dramatic dynamic is maintained in the driving force of the different plot lines involving the different characters, which consistently delivers as it always has. Meadows has, as ever, put a lot of effort in to recreating the bleak, desolate landscape of the Midlands back drop he grew up in, and the rough, hard bitten characters it bred. While there's plenty of flashes of light interspersed into the story, it's main focus is getting down to the tough, nitty gritty hard hitting drama, and this, at times, is pretty tough to watch. There's even an element of horror present, all of it psychological and more towards the end than the beginning, but just adding to the stomach churniness of it all that bit more.

While it's good that all of this is present, there just doesn't appear to be quite the tough, meaty chewiness to the material than there was to the last part and the film, merely feeling like an extension of the last part and the characters in that, like an update and a prelude to the next part. The narrative also loses it's flow a little, with certain dramatic plot developments suddenly abandoned here and there and never explored further, meaning the story loses it's substance a bit. Still, even if this is just a preview of what's to come, it's still an effective and powerful one. ***

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
woody iis a nazi lizziie
Just what C4 needs...A new soap opera... Adams5905
Episode 2 - The Shaun/Drama Girl/Smell sex scene was so cringworthy :( Marsha_CutiePie
The ghost-hallucination was just too damn far iwillbreakyourface
No Meggy? enfieldboy
Why does Lol's dad do that heavy panting? nickmurrin
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