A rather unconventional and controversial love story told in a rather familiar format by one of the best writers TV has to offer. OK, if that’s not enough to get you there, allow me to go on…
Russell T Davies is about as close to Joss Whedon as I’ve seen out there. His fearlessness about content, whether taking on gay life in the original Queer as Folk, or religion in Second Coming, or aliens in Doctor Who, combined with his ability to make it all believable and funny and, most importantly, effortless, is always a joy to behold. I’ve yet to find a series of his that wasn’t hugely entertaining, and often thought provoking.
Bob & Rose also happens to star two actors I truly enjoy, Alan Davies (of Jonathan Creek fame and no relation to RTD) and Lesley Sharp (seen in many Davies’ efforts). It also has a smaller role for Penelope Wilton, who is rapidy becoming a favorite. The rest of the cast is equally talented, but these 3 truly stand out.
The story, based on real life friends of Davies’, is sure to raise eyebrows and ire: what happens when a gay man falls in love with a woman? All the questions and concerns that raises are looked at. Admittedly the series is a bit sit-comish and overly dramatic at moments, but it ultimately satisfies and has a large comment to make on what makes us human and what it is to love. This is all familar ground for Davies, but it never seems to get old as his characters each have new challenges and issues and are all true to their situations.
My only negative comments are that the two commentaries on the discs are amusing, but not particularly enlightening (RTD usually does better commentaries) and it was only 6 episodes long. Mind you, I think if he had stretched out the story it would have collapsed of its own weight into soap-opera drivel, so perhaps leaving us wanting more was a better choice. So, when you need a bit of diversion and are in the mood for a great love story, snag this.