The children, especially during the earlier series, could only act for 30-45 minutes at a time. Often when they were out of shot, the directors would often stand in their place so that the adults would know where to look. See more »
Stumbled across this on an Australian catch up TV website and was just so delighted by the whole series I have recommended it constantly to family and friends. All the characters are beautifully drawn, the children, so normal and so extraordinarily gifted in their portrayals, the adults all flailing helplessly under their skewering questions and inconvenient presence and trying desperately to manage the minutiae and constant throb of everyday "adult" issues. This is a fond and gentle study of a real family where irrational squabbles, thumps and bumps happen regardless of adult conversations and concerns. Unlike any other family sitcom, British or American, the grown up issues and conversations are not "encapsulated" in some weird vacuum where every room in the house is spotless and looks like it has sprung from the pages of a magazine, and where background noise is non existent and problems and issues are all sorted in under 30 minutes. I am a mother myself, and have had a "Ben" of my own, so I completely get the bemused and frustrated love of Dad, Pete, the tired and gentle patience of Mum, Sue, who is also coping with a rat bag sister with no sense of responsibility and a father drifting off into a world of dementia. I just want to give young "Jake" the biggest hug as he tries valiantly to support Mum and Dad quietly and carefully, whilst still needing to do a whole lot more growing up himself. And then there is Karen of the lively intelligence and the never ending quest to see clarity and certainty in a world where grown ups use words like "never" and "always" and just don't follow through. This is a real gem of a series and the writers have captured the real essence of modern family life for lots of parents and have been assisted faultlessly in their portrayal by gifted and intelligent actors who know when not to labour the point. Well done and can I have some more, please?
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