Cold Feet: Series One Review

Colin Polonowski has reviewed the Region 2 DVD release of Cold Feet: Series One

I’ve never watched Cold Feet before in my life – it’s not really my sort of TV programme, so when I received review copies of Series 1 and Series 2 in the post I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

I’d heard people describe it as being the UK’s answer to Friends and this made me even more unsure, Friends is far from my favourite TV show. In fact, I don’t like it one bit! So, here I was with over eleven hours of a TV show to watch and I went into it expecting the worst.

Thankfully, things were nowhere near as bad as they could have been – I found myself enjoying nearly every minute of the first series (I haven’t got around to the second one yet). Cold Feet is a sort of drama/comedy hybrid – however, unlike Friends which styles itself as primarily a comedy, Cold Feet actually manages to be funny.

The cast is particularly strong and everything seems right about the actors and the characters they portray – you get a strong feeling that these could be real people in real situations and it is frequently easily possible to relate to the on-screen events.

The double-disc DVD release features both the pilot episode along with all six episodes from the first series. Here’s a brief rundown of the episodes in question:

The Pilot

Pete and Jenny are trying desperately for a baby, Rachel’s boyfriend Simon leaves her for a job in Hong Kong and she meets Adam after crashing her car into his in a supermarket car park and Karen and David are finding life a struggle with work and their baby. And that’s just the beginning!

Episode One

Set nine months after the events of the pilot. Adam and Rachel are still together but living apart – this is the cause of some tension! After falling pregnant at the end of the pilot, Jenny and Pete are preparing for the birth of their baby and Pete is becoming obsessive. Karen and David have taken on a Spanish nanny to help them cope with their busy lives but David is still finding it difficult spreading his time between work and his family…

Episode Two

Adam and Rachel finally decide to move in together and find a place to live – however, in the process of moving in Adam discovers that Rachel is still married to Kris. They row and Adam decides to go to stay with Pete and Jenny who are finding it hard enough coping with their new arrival – their new son, also called Adam! Kris returns and tries to get things back together with Rachel. Pete and Jenny kick Adam out after he hangs their baby from the washing line and he finally comes fact to face with Kris. Meanwhile, having decided to have another baby Karen and David run into money problems…

Episode Three

David is having problems in the ‘bedroom department’ and turns to Adam for advice. Adam finds it all very amusing but agrees to try to help by asking advice for a ‘friend’ – this leads to all kinds of misunderstandings.

Episode Four

Karen has returned to work and David begins to find it difficult keeping on top of things – up to the point where Karen has to turn down a very lucrative job opporunity. Pete’s parents come to stay with him and Jenny and it’s not long before things get out of hand. Adam, decides to try his hand at writing a novel but due to his lack of experience he decides to base it upon Pete’s relationship with his father.

Episode Five

Adam’s bad habits begin to annoy Rachel. Jenny is getting frustrated that she and Pete never seem to go out any more and are spending more and more time in front of the TV. Karen and David visit a marriage guideance counsellor. Adam and Pete go to a nightclub and end up being arrested after Pete has some tablets planted on him during a fight.

Episode Six

David invites everyone to a posh charity dinner party – however, not everyone feels they fit in! Rachel confesses to Karen that she’s pregnant and she doesn’t know whether the father is Kris or Adam. Natalie, David’s boss begins to wind Jenny and after one remark too many, Jenny retaliates with a fire extinguisher. Adam discovers that Rachel is pregnant – but at first he doesn’t know that the baby may not be his…

All in all, it’s a pretty eventful series and manages to walk the fine line between drama and comedy in a way that puts almost any other similar programme I’ve seen to shame. It probably appeals a whole lot more to the ladies, but hey guys – give it a try and you may be a little surprised.

As mentioned above, the DVD release is spread over two discs packaged in one of those nice dual-DVD Amaray cases the BBC seem so fond of. Retailing at £24.99, the package seems to offer pretty good value for money.

The picture quality is quite variable – at times it seems a little too soft and even occasionally blurry. The colours can also seem a little overly muted during some of the indoor scenes – this may be down to the original source material and not the transfer itself. The encoding seems to have been competently done although close inspection does reveal occasional blocking and shimmering.

The sound is presented in DD2.0 with pro-logic surround encoding. There isn’t much in the way of surround action though and this certainly isn’t going to impress as a demo disc. It’s functional and most probably identical in every way to the original TV transmission.

The extras area also pretty limited – we’ve got a photo gallery and a sort-of featurette entitled ‘The Meaning of Love’. Neither really add anything of value to the package – the latter is around ten minutes and just features the actors (in character) talking about their on-screen relationships.

The DVD release is frankly a little disappointing – I’m not sure if the quality of presentation even meets the original TV broadcast but as I never saw it I can’t really say either way. However, if you enjoyed the series then you’ll get a lot out of this release and the DVD is best way you can actually own a copy of the series yourself.

Colin Polonowski

Updated: Feb 27, 1999

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