The Full Monty: TV Series Review
The only stripping going on in the 25th anniversary reunion series of The Full Monty is the gradual erosion of the dignities of its original characters.
Returning to a Sheffield largely eroded of its beauty, the gradual crumbling is not just limited to the school which Mark Addy's Dave is now a caretaker of. As mental fortitude begin to fade, everyone of thr original gang is facing their crossroad moments.
While the first episode toys with a light flippery of a plot of the theft of a Britain's Got Talent dog winner, the end shows how desperate they've all become - a theme which is only underscored by tragedy ahead from episode two onwards where the depressing reality of daily life in the poorer areas of Britain is laid bare.
Though with a large dash of British gallows humor and honesty coursing through its veins, most of what transpires builds to the old English adage that it's grim up north - but thankfully, the friendships forged over two decades ago come rising to the top.
From familiar tropes of problems ignored at home in favour of wider pursuits to disjointed and dysfunctional families, the TV update of The Full Monty treads the usual gamut of quiet desperation pioneered by decades of English dramedies such as This Is England.
Yet it does it such aplomb that it becomes infectious as it gets under your skin and reminds you why exactly you cared about these characters in the first place.
From Robert Carlyle's charismatic Gaz to Addy's heartfelt Dave the relatability factor is high even if nostalgia threatens to topple it.
It's not all successful though.
Tom Wilkinson is relegated to cafe bound cameos and Hugo Speers' Guy simply disappears after offset allegations toppled him.
But largely avoiding mawkishness and giving the drama time to breathe pays dividends over the 8 episodes as those who fall through the cracks get their commentary and voices heard once again.
The Full Monty's TV series wears its heart on its sleeve and will make you fall in love with these characters all over again. Just don't be surprised if this bittersweet return breaks your heart doing so.
The Full Monty airs on Disney+ from June 14.