Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Cilla, Part 2

"Come and give me a cuddle. And stop sulking."

Once again this is a bit of Feelgood fun and not exactly high art, but for what it is it's brill. Yes, it's somewhat predictable that this episode should end with Cilla finally getting success with her first number one single and yes, you can predict every beat of the drama. But who cares, frankly?

Sheridan Smith is again brilliant at both singing and acting. I shall leave the judgement of her Liverpudlian accent to those more qualified. And the period is, again, brilliantly reconstructed both visually and socially. The scenes of Brian Epstein's awkwardness within London's gay scene, in a time not only before legalisation but before Julian and Sandy, are poignant. And again we have sectarianism, with contrasts; Bob cannot live at home because he's with a Catholic girl, yet Cilla's parent come to accept Bob, seeing past his Catholicism.

Another big theme, of course, is class, especially between the delightfully common Cilla and the relatively posh and gentlemanly George Martin; we are even given a scene focusing on her accent while singing. Ed Stoppard, incidentally, is superb as Martin, a rather complex figure in his combination. Of old-fashioned gentlemanly mannerisms and innovation on the studio. Still, there's a clash between him and Bob, who isn't happy with the choice of a decidedly non-rock 'n' roll song from Dionne Warwick. 

We end, having seen the contrast between Liverpool and the showbiz world of That London, with a montage of all the characters we've seen hearing "All Kinds of Everything", including two very proud parents. But will success spoil Priscilla White...?

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