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Saturday, May 17, 2014

'The Street' S1 DVD: British Anthology Series About Ordinary Blokes and Birds

The Street Complete Collection DVD
The universality of the stories in the 2006-09 three series (my people call them seasons) BBC hour-long BBC drama "The Street" is one of numerous things that makes this show great. Please note that Unreal TV is dividing coverage of the BFS Entertainment complete series DVD set of the show into reviews of each individual season.

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, of a scene from "The Street" offers a good sense of the realistic nature (and entertainment value) of the program.

Each episode of "Street" focuses on trauma in the lives of a family in a blue-collar neighborhood in Manchester, England. These stories (and the neighbors) interact to varying degrees in the seven first-season episodes.

The drama in the first episode begins with a newly commenced covert adulterous affair between two neighbors. A subsequent trauma that strains the relationship between the families of the couple that are violating the sanctity of their marriages first leads to intense pressure and then an unexpected form of an anticipated confrontation. The validity of the justification for setting up that conflict provides viewers fodder for several hours of quality debate.

Another episode has the mandatory age-based retirement of factory supervisor Stan coincide with his shock on witnessing the aforementioned trauma resulting in his being late for work for the first time in the more than 20 years that he has been an employee of that company. The added insult to the injury relates to an unpleasant surprise regarding his pension.

The response of Stan to the news regarding his pension provides amusing black humor; a shocking experience and having your world tumble down around you is tragic when it happens to you and hilarious when someone else is the victim.

These escapades of Stan further play a role in the downward spiral of another neighbor, who is a central figure in the very emotional season finale. This story shows how rapidly a mental state can deteriorate.
An especially good episode centers around an ordinary 20-something bloke who is living with his blind father; the single event that causes this man to experience the same form of dramatic chain reaction as his neighbors is an impulsive theft of a pair of sneakers.

The  most compelling thing, aside from the exceptional writing and cast of some of the best-known British actors, about these episodes is that they all center around the universal theme that a single incident can profoundly change your life. Additional realism comes in the form of not every ending being a happy one.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "The Street" is encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.