This Life

Stephen Lacey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


It was hard to be indifferent to This Life. By the time the second series concluded in August 1997, it had become iconic, whatever one’s attitude towards its depiction of sex and drugs, and for audiences far beyond London’s haute-bourgeois. Indeed, when the BBC announced that there would be no third series there were so many complaints that the Head of BBC 2, Mark Thompson (now the Director-General of the Corporation), was forced to explain the decision in the pages of the Guardian newspaper in an unprecedented display of public hand-wringing. This Life clearly caught a particular social moment, giving voice to a new generation of rootless, metropolitan young professionals, whose values and life-style signalled a break from both the radical politics and grubby materialism of the Thatcher years. It was also shot in a distinctive, semi-improvised manner, using digital technology to create a ‘hand-held’ aesthetic that was cheaper than established film-based production practices, and which won the company that made it (World Productions) and its executive producer, Tony Garnett, a string of awards.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe essential Cult TV Reader
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • cult tv
  • british television drama
  • tony garnett


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