fri 24/03/2017

In the Club, Series Finale, BBC One | reviews, news & interviews

In the Club, Series Finale, BBC One

In the Club, Series Finale, BBC One

No time for deep breaths as baby drama reaches a suitably eventful conclusion

Clubbing: Jill Halfpenny, Christine Bottomley, Katherine Parkinson, Hermione Norris, Taj Atwal, Hannah Midgley

By the time that In the Club reached its final episode, fans of Kay Mellor’s pregnancy-pals drama were probably ready for a happy-ever-after. Across six eventful hours we had seen car crashes, assaults, social workers, a bank robbery and Jill Halfpenny giving birth in a car park. We’d also witnessed the usually glacial Hermione Norris living off wine and pizza in a student flat for weeks before popping out one of the healthiest babies of the series - although by that stage it was hardly the least realistic plot development.

But to concentrate on the drama - and boy, was there drama - was, I think, to miss the point. If In the Club had merely been an incident-laden vehicle for beloved telly actresses to camp it up in prosthetic bumps (although unless Katherine Parkinson wore hers straight from the set of The Honourable Woman the props department probably was not working overtime) I doubt it could have reduced me, a cynical 30-something lacking any such thing as a biological clock, to tears while binge-watching the last three episodes in quick succession. No, what set this show apart was its portrayal of female friendships with the relationships between the six main characters a warm, supportive counterpoint to the tempests that raged around not only their imminent births but their personal lives.

As we leave them to raise their newborns I can honestly say that I will miss them

Perhaps it was the setting: given the commonality of pregnancy as an experience (chronic flatulence and frank monologues on constipation, if Norris’s character Roanna was to be believed) there was little room for the usual tropes writers deploy to divide and conquer groups of women: the office bitch, the romantic rival, the one whose perfect hair and figure and marriage belie a shameful secret. Perhaps it was the fact that most of the characters had shameful secrets of their own that meant that when an infidelity or the criminal acts of a partner were confessed to they were listened to without judgement (with, in the case of Taj Atwal’s Jasmin, practical suggestions for figuring out the father of your suspiciously pale baby provided). Mellor’s writing treated new mums not as pliant, dewy-eyed symbols of Cameron’s Britain but as rounded, sympathetic characters with life experience and messy pasts. As we leave them to raise their newborns I can honestly say that I will miss them.

Sacha Dhawan in In The ClubWith so much plot already past Mellor could have been forgiven for taking things slowly in this final episode, but there were a few tubes remaining to be tied. The fate of Rick (Will Mellor), who we saw politely robbing a bank to pay for pizza for his kids in the very first episode, seemed like a done deal given the heartache he and wife Diane (Halfpenny) had gone through with their premature twins, but any other solution would have felt a little like cheating. Bubbly midwife Vicky (Christine Bottomley), whose pregnancy was the subject of giggly speculation amongst the group what seemed like a week ago, was hurried along by a case of appendicitis and a ridiculous subplot which found newly-wrought happy family Jasmin and Dev (Sacha Dhawan, above) visited by social services after the latter left their baby daughter in the back of his car and it was papped by a passing camera-phone enabled YouTuber.

In the end it was lovely Kim (Parkinson), the blogger whose musings had bound the group together while occasionally turning the series into Mumsnet, who was left with the rawest deal: 20 years after Brookside’s lesbian kiss, you can still only cheat and live happily ever after if you’re straight. Left alone with baby Emily after choosing her sperm donor over Tara Fitzgerald, she signed off with the final thought that life would never be the same.

What set this show apart was its portrayal of female friendships

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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Comments

This has been a brilliant series I am going to miss it & I hope after leaving us in the dark at the end? They have to make another series! Please!

I'll miss them too! Please make some more next year!!!

Am I the only one that felt there were a few loose ends to be tied up still? Did Kim end up with the father of her baby? I hope they are planning a second series, I really enjoyed this one.

Who was Simon's father in relation to Rowanna?

Was it just me or was there something between Rowana and her partners dad? Hmm

This was series i just didnt want to end. Quite sad in parts but extremly funny in others. Come on ms meller please do another series, there are still some loose ends that need to be tied

Every one of the principal characters/couples has been left with a "cliffhanger". Surely this points to a sequel!

Fantastic series. Loved it. What am I going to do on Tuesday evenings now? There MUST be another series. Is it in the pipeline?

Yes definitely a pointer to an old relationship between Rosanna and her baby's smug grandad. It was obvious when she refused his gift and said she didn't wear that one anymore. So he knew her and had brought her that perfume in the past. Have to say that some of the storylines were stretched too far. No one tells their girlfriend when she is screaming in the agony of labour that he is married, no woman would go to a party the same evening her husband was sent to prison and the lesbian row in the middle of a birthday party didn't ring true. But I too think that a sequel is needed as we have been left not knowing... And that bloody green coat! Did Kim ever take it off?

The actress who played Kim was pregnant when she was filming so she was probably covering up. x

I KNEW IT. It would have been too much of a coincidence to have her playing two pregnant parts simultaneously otherwise!

Please make a second series. Let's follow their lives further!

Fantastic series, loved every minute. Such superb acting and great story lines. Please a second series.

They must be hoping to make another series. Why else introduce the mystery of Neil Pearson so late in this series?

I really enjoyed this series, I liked all of the Mums and the back stories. I did feel that the door was left open for another series, hopefully, as there were a few loose ends. Not everyone is going to live happily ever after ! That much is obvious.... Maybe it will depend on the ratings ? Kay Mellor is a wonderful writer.

Please please Kay mellor Let there be more in the club Loved it I wish it was a regular thing as we need more good TV Only thing bad for me and it's not a huge matter, but the two midwives ( both were in early doors ) well the older of these two was a very unconvincing midwife Far to nice and to softly spoken, sorry but just not very convincing at all

Loved all the episodes, please make another series. There are so many more storyline you could make a second series with.

Normally only catch up on Soaps but love this type of drama. Hope there's another series....love it. Even got the hubby watching it x

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