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56 Up
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TOPIC: 56 Up

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  • Making the simple complicated since 1964
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posted 08-05-2012 12:02
Delighted to see this is on its way soon (and hopefully to Oz as well). An utterly compelling documentary series over the years; the first one I think I remember seeing "live" rather than by way of a catch-up was 28 Up. Not sure about the maths, if Seven Up was in 1964 I would expect 56 Up next year, but let's not split hairs.

However unbalanced the original demographic, one can't help becoming engaged in the outcomes for the individuals and concerned for their wellbeing, as the article discusses. Always particularly anxious to see how Neil Hughes is getting on.
posted 08-05-2012 13:30
They should repeat 49up on one of the hundreds of available channels, in advance, so that we can remind ourselves of the characters. But I bet they won't.
posted 08-05-2012 15:00
Delighted to see this news. The tone of 49Up seemed to be a lot of them felt it should be stopped, particularly Apted himself. I felt that 42Up was much stronger (no real shame in that, I rate 42Up very very highly) but very much looking forward to 56Up.
posted 08-05-2012 17:59
49 up is up on YouTube.
posted 08-05-2012 20:01
PFC Sevastonelephant wrote:
Always particularly anxious to see how Neil Hughes is getting on.


SPOILER ALERT



He was the Lib Dem candidate for Carlisle at the last General Election (I didn't vote for him though). He worked at the Defra office here for a while, he worked with one of my friends. I suspect they'll focus more on the election thing rather than his time working with my friend, admittedly.

END OF SPOILER

Another seven years gone by already, bloody hell. Looking forward to it though.
  • Conquistador
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posted 15-05-2012 13:22
*********SPOILER ALERT***********

The one surprise was the scheduling of Neil as the 3rd participant when in previous programmes he was the last to appear on the basis that his story is by far and away the most tragic (although he rightly points out that there is a sense of manipulation in that each interview is not entirely reflective of the seven years that have passed).

For once the would-be-Littlejohn Tony did not appear first (the bubbly and youthful Sue, usually joined at the hip with Jackie and Lynn, had that distinction) and it was mad seeing Peter after 28 years, although his promotion of his Americana-style country band was hardly benevolent.

Michael Apted is an accomplished director, but he’s also a superb interviewer in the sense that does not assume rapport with any of the participants and his understated style allows them to open up, which makes for continuously compelling television that is the once last link to an era in which ITV mattered.

In fact, ITV have been keen to point out that this is the jewel in their crown, so it is a shame that the voice-over bint did not pay due reverence by remaining silent over the end-titles thereby spoiling my enjoyment of the Mastermind-like theme.
  • Wyatt Earp
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posted 15-05-2012 15:52
ShakhtarLakaBoomBoom wrote:
For once the would-be-Littlejohn Tony did not appear first (the bubbly and youthful Sue, usually joined at the hip with Jackie and Lynn, had that distinction) and it was mad seeing Peter after 28 years, although his promotion of his Americana-style country band was hardly benevolent.


Come on, I thought that was fair enough.

I was struck by two things. One is that people are often more likeable when they're happier. I wouldn't want to make a universal out of it, but it's definitely true of me, and I thought it was especially noticeable in Peter. At the time he was being righteously angry about Mrs Thatch, he was quite right to be so, but he hated a job he wasn't cut out for but that hoovered up all his time, and, well, he was difficult company onscreen. It was good to see him contented, even if the price one had to pay was a bit too much very very mellow Americana for my liking.

The other thing is that despite Apted's intention to make a documentary about the influence of class on one's destiny, and despite the fact that this viewer too signs up to a form of class politics, it's the people themselves who end up being fascinating, for my money, not the categories to which they belong.
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posted 15-05-2012 16:53
Mykolai on Earth wrote:
ShakhtarLakaBoomBoom wrote:
it was mad seeing Peter after 28 years, although his promotion of his Americana-style country band was hardly benevolent.


Come on, I thought that was fair enough.

Peter had every right to speak of his love of music and his band, especially as it is something he shares with his missus, but to say that the only reason he came back to the show was to promote his band (who have done pretty well in their own right in any case) was selling himself short somewhat as his story of a working-class lad torn between his upbringing and ambition could have been one of the more fascinating case studies.

As it is, half a lifetime has been lost even though any furore that followed his condemnation of Thatcher in 84 would have been long forgotten by 91. I can’t believe that was the only reason for his quitting the programme, not that it would matter, but it is a shame he’s been away for so long. That said, I did laugh when Apted asked which final it was when Tommy Smith scored just for his reaction, as if the 77 European Cup final should be on the National Curriculum along with Shakespeare.
posted 15-05-2012 17:04
I thought that very fact that Pete said that the reason he rejoined the series was to publicise his band at once gave him a free pass. Not only was it him saying "You used me, I am now allowed to use you" but 'ordinary people' being part of the media is now such a part of life (as opposed to when it started) that it would seem inauthentic not to have one person publicising something via the series.

I did notice that, from last night's episode, people seemed to be much more content with life in their 50s. I hope so
posted 15-05-2012 17:06
it's the people themselves who end up being fascinating, for my money, not the categories to which they belong.


I think that your paying other people to be fascinating is a sign of class politics
Last Edit: 15-05-2012 17:06:52 by Bored of Education.
posted 15-05-2012 21:04
I didn't have a problem with Peter declaring that he was coming on the show to promote his group, not least because if he hadn't made such an upfront statement, it would have looked a bit embarrassing when he was patently doing so. I suspect that this programme may not be the makings of Good Intentions, however. As Neil complains, household name he may be but can he get a publishing house even to pass a cursory glance over his reams of scribblings? Can . . . well, maybe they have.

Like most people, I look in every seven years to see what has become of Neil. For the first time, I think he was showing a significant amount of consciousness about the attention he's drawn, and, rightly I think, found it unhelpful, patronising even. His very demeanour suggests a man with a "nervous complaint" as he puts it, but as he points out, he doesn't give us anything like enough information for us to presume to know what his issues are and that, of course, is fair enough.
posted 22-05-2012 22:25
I was extremely glad that he mentioned about the nervous complaint. Not for any reasons of armchair psychology but because it was an elephant in the room that they obviously could not broach with him until he brought it up himself. Perhaps, his consciousness of his condition is down to him having had treatment for it in the meantime.

Actually, that is the pop psychology I was trying to avoid but there you go
  • E10 Rifle
  • If this were really happening,what would you think
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posted 29-05-2012 18:53
So last night, then: we had what you might call the two most overtly stereotypical of the group: posh One Nation Tory-boy barrister, and Tony, East End Geezer made good with his place in the sun in Spain. Yet, strangely, both came across better this time round than before I reckon, even if you'd disagree with them about loads of things and find them a bit tedious and annoying if you spent too much time in their company.

And another of the Londoners, Lynn, got in a couple of nice digs at the Labour party's rightward drift. The three East End girls/women have consistently come across as the most likeable, well-adjusted and basically decent of the whole group all the way through, and so it's continued this time.
Last Edit: 29-05-2012 18:54:00 by E10 Rifle.
posted 29-05-2012 19:25
Nothing against the East End girls, who I agree come across as being decent 'normal' people, but the man who moved to Australia and in particular Bruce seem the most likeable to me. Especially when you take into account Bruce's background.
  • E10 Rifle
  • If this were really happening,what would you think
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posted 29-05-2012 19:50
Yeah, they both turned out good. To the extent that I didn't feel like slagging Bruce off for the teaching-in-a-private-school thing, and his relationship with his two lads seems genuinely endearing.

A lot of it's blurring in my mind, cos we got the box-set DVD of 7-49up at Christmas and have just started watching it in tandem with the new progs.
Last Edit: 29-05-2012 19:52:38 by E10 Rifle.
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posted 29-05-2012 22:34
I was intrigued by Tony, who was first up on past programmes, being last in line this time round. My fantastical inkling was that his whole world had come crashing down and he was living in some wheely bin in Dolgellau.

As it was, Apted's documentary legacy was suspended momentarily as Tony returned to his beloved dog-track, now the Olympic stadium, which proved a somewhat cinematic end to this series.

My sense was that the whole format was somewhat rushed. Three hours overall is not enough to capture these ever-expanding lives. It would be nice to think that six one-hour episodes would be commissioned for 63 Up, should it ever happen.

Otherwise, just give Bruce his own show. He's just lovely.
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