Monday, 30 June 2014

From There To Here

Do you remember all the cultural events between 1996 and 2000? Well you don’t have to, because remembering them for you in a genuinely bloody good mini-series drama, or dramatic mini-series, is From There to Here. Out now on DVD and Blu-Ray this week, From There To Here centres around Daniel Cotton (Philip Glenister, from Life on Mars and the like) who, with his Father and Brother, ends up on the warm end of an IRA bomb in Arndale on the 15th June 1996.  It’s there he meets a young woman named Joanne (Liz White, Crimson Petal And The White and others) under a bit of roof that fell on her, like a Whomp from Mario 64.

Finding themselves infatuated with each due to their shared and survived tragedy, Daniel gives Joanne a wee lift home where he briefly meets her children and decides he wants to give her one of those loud, elongated, wet and particularly special hugs.  She asks him if he’s married and though he means to say “Yes I have kids and a family and I’m rich and own a company that makes sweets” he said “No I’m single and I’m poor don’t ask questions you stupid woman” and she loves him all the more for it.

Daniel’s brother Robbo (Stephen Mackintosh, Kick-Ass 2) frequently borrows money from his brother to do silly things; betting £10,000 on England winning Euro ’96 and opening and running clubs.  He also happens to be in debt to some bad, bad dudes who will definitely try and fuck him right up at some point. So he’s in dire need of cash or they’re gonna come round and leave his milk out on a warm day and not tell him, leading to him wasting cereal the next morning as it chunks out onto his bran flakes like cottage cheese.  He’s also a bit of a lad so there’s some boobs to keep people entertained too.  Their appearance is brief though; wank and you’ll miss ‘em.

His wife does fuck all but helps their daughter run as a labour candidate.  His son Charlie is entrusted with upgrading the business of sweets and making loads and loads of money in a way that only he will understand and everyone thinks is very clever and confusing and that’s okay.

That’s basically the premise and it’s actually enthralling from the very beginning; the bomb at the start, the black sense of humour and the constant almost Curb Your Enthusiasm levels of tension caused by various characters making fucking terrible decisions. Sometimes it feels like a very well crafted drama worthy of any film studio, others it feels like an intense episode of Brookside (yes, even more intense than the Murder on the Orient Express style finale), but I was on the edge of my seat at moments I wouldn’t have expected.  The downside with the tension is that for a lot of it you’d need to have forgotten some things you know about the period; like just how amazing Gareth Southgate wasn’t in Euro ’96.

Part 2 (remember, this is a mini series) started off with a slightly irritating etcha-sketch style beginning, completely erasing the point of the cliff hanger in the previous episode, but throughout it continued to hold my attention and it would’ve distracted me from my work if I hadn’t been walking around in the sun listening to podcasts.

The 3rd part, as often happens a la The Matrix and the original Spider-Man trilogy, was the weakest of the three but tidied everything up nicely. Not exactly a happy ending but a realistically messy one, if not entirely nihilistic. The show was very absorbing, the acting was some sort of notch, not top but notch nonetheless. From me there, to you here, I suggest that you give this one a go at some point in your meaningless lives.

From There To Here gets a 4/5.


Dave Roberts

From There To Here at CeX

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