"This is England" started out with a movie and was later followed by several seasons of mini series. The story is about a group of young skinheads. The film takes place in 1983 and the series take place from 1986 untill 1990. Every season takes place in another year, and as the story goes along you find out what happened in the years in between. It's a drama/crime series which follows a group of friends from young teenagers to young adults. Each of them have their own struggles in life. The film and series deal with a lot of issues like racism, drugs and sexual abuse.. But at the same time "This Is England" also has a lot of humor in it. The setting of the 80's and 90's feels very autentic. You start off with following Shaun, who is 12 years old. He gets involved with a group of skinheads. Slowly you're getting to know more members of the group. Including the older skinhead Combo who attemps to be the leader. This creates turbulence in the group and people are picking sides. Combo turns out to be a racist and white nationalist.You also get to know Woody, who accepts Shaun as a member and takes him in, because Shaun was being bullied. More and more you see the other group members as well. And later on, it's not just about Shaun anymore, but many people from the group take an important place in the movie/ series.
How about the actors?
Stephen Graham plays the role of Combo, an older skinhead who just returned from prison. Stephen Graham also played roles in "Snatch", "Boardwalk Empire" & "The Innocence Project". The main character is played by Thomas Turgoose. Whom you might also know for "Eden Lake" or "The Innocence Project". Other main characters are played by Jo Hartley, Vicky McClure, Andrew Shim and Joseph Gilgun. Most of the cast consists of actors who are/where pretty unkown, but each of them does a great job.
Who will like This is England?
You'll like it if you enjoy the mix of crime, drama and humor. You will also like it if you like to see the developement of relations within a group of friends. All of the group are outcasts from society. The story is very intense and it is definitley a show that you have to watch from the start to get to know the characters.
How many seasons?
First there was a movie: "This is England" ( The story took place in 1983). Then there's a miniseries: "This is England '86". It's set 3 years later and includes 4 episodes. Next in line is "This is England '88": also a miniseries, including 3 episodes. The last one (up untill now) is "This is England '90". Also a miniseries, containing 4 episodes: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.
Since the series follow up on the movie (You see the group X years later) it's all about the characters and their development. You actually get the feeling that you're following them for a few years, so you can keep up with their lives. I like that a lot. It feels real and keeps you close to the characters. I really like Vicky McClure as Lol and Stephen Graham does a great job in playing Combo. He's very believable.
This is England: 7,7
This is England '86: 8,3
This is England '88: 8,4
This is England '90: 8,6