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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > British TV > Cold Feet (Pilot + Season One)

Cold Feet – Pilot + First Season


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Episodes: B-



A recent British TV import that has received some critical acclaim is Cold Feet, which began its original broadcast run in 1996, and some of that acclaim is deserved.  The film takes the relationships (or potential relationships) of three couples and follows them.  It is semi-comic, even to the point of some surreal moments that seem forced and Ali McBeal-lite, but this humor is often too obvious and the show is ultimately no match for something more exciting and unexpectedly hilarious like At Home With The Braithwaites (also out on DVD from Acorn Media, reviewed elsewhere on this site).


We get the pilot and the first six shows of the first season, none of which happen to have titles.  However, the stories cover the usual range of those affairs of people not just starting out on their first relationships.  All in their 30s, we have David and Karen, who have seen the passion go out of their relationship.  He the working white-collar guy, she the not- necessarily-happy housewife.  Adam and Rachel and Jenny meet after an auto collision and it turns out to be love at first sight, which leads to the silliest of the three storylines.  The leaves Peter and Jenny, already happy and trying to have a child, though there have been complications.


The actors are as good as they are believable, but the teleplays by Mike Bullen stretch out the situations just too much without putting more twists and turns on them.  The result is that the comedy is dampered by the effect of having the characters going through life in a more mundane way that is supposed to be “realistic” than natural.  This is the tone of the show and fans like it that way, but that is not an assured way to have mass appeal.  At least they are mature adults and nothing is intentionally infantilized, as this would be if it were a U.S. TV series, so it has a more solid foundation in the approach it takes.  Each show is meant for an hour-long time slot, including the pilot, and does qualify more as a drama than comedy.  How much comedy depends on your sense of humor, but it is not always British.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1/16 X 9 image is not bad, but has some digital artifacts likely from the translation from the PAL format.  Otherwise, it is not bad, especially for its age as an early such TV production.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is credited as having Pro Logic surrounds with the “Dolby Surround” logo in the lower left hand corner before every episode.  This is correct, but such surrounds are limited.  The performance is about what we could expect form the period, but in a few shots where the characters are using camcorders, quality drops further.  Extras are all included on DVD 1 and include promo vignettes at 16 X 9 (but NOT anamorphic), a slide show of publicity stills and filmographies on the six actors playing the couples.  That adds up to a package fans will like and will give a chance for those less familiar a good shot at seeing if they’ll join them.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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