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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cold Feet - Complete Second Series
Cold Feet - Complete Second Series
Acorn Media // Unrated // April 26, 2005
List Price: $59.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Holly E. Ordway | posted April 8, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The movie

In its second season, the British comedy/drama series Cold Feet continues to demonstrate its strengths; this is no "Friends clone," but an entertaining and surprisingly substantial production with its own distinct feel. In a nutshell, Cold Feet is about relationships, but the six main characters give us a broader picture: we see more than just the Seinfeld/Friends/Coupling type of "young single people in the dating scene" relationships. We have two married couples, but the lives of Pete and Jenny, who just had a baby toward the end of Series 1, are taking quite a different turn than those of David and Karen, each of whom is faced with an identity crisis of sorts in Series 2. And then there's the on-again, off-again relationship of Adam and Rachel, providing a third perspective on the challenges of love and commitment.

As Series 2 opens, Rachel has returned from her self-imposed exile to London... but the real question is, whose baby did she have? Viewers of Series 1 will recall the cliffhanger ending, leaving Adam (and all the rest of us) in doubt as to whether she was pregnant with Adam's baby, or that of "Kris with a K" as Adam sarcastically puts it. Without revealing any spoilers, it's fair to say that this plot thread does get resolved in the first episode of Series 2, with effects on all the characters that will extend through the rest of the season.

There are only six episodes in Series 2 (the British tend to go for quality over quantity in their shows), which means that every single one can move the overall story forward. Each episode focuses on a particular story thread, whether it's David coming to a new appreciation of fatherhood, Pete making a big mistake in his relationship with Jenny, or Karen realizing that she needs to make a change in her life. At the same time, though, all the other stories are also moving forward and affecting each other, and there's a direct continuity from one episode to the next. This connection between episodes certainly gives the show more of a "hook," as you'll always be interested in finding out where things go from here.

It's impossible to summarize the plots of the Cold Feet episodes without having them sound like soap opera, since the stories deal with the various relationship problems that they're all having. The episodes themselves don't (generally) feel like soap opera, though: whether it's the solid writing, the excellent acting from the whole ensemble, or both, the result is that these stories feel natural. These aren't glossy, artificial Hollywood actors moving through improbable romantic triangles, but regular "blokes" who could very well be your next-door neighbors or co-workers.

But while one of the merits of Cold Feet is its realistic characters, on the other hand, one of the things I really like about Cold Feet is its sense of creativity and style and its willingness to step outside the box labeled "realism." The episodes frequently include "fantasy" segments, daydreams (or nightmares), or scenes that show us how the characters' perceptions are affected by their attitudes. It gives a generous dash of charm to the show, and offers the best humorous moments.

Speaking of humor, one thing that's noticeably different in Series 2 is the balance of comedy and drama. While Series 1 felt rather uneven in that regard, starting off heavily comedic and shifting to heavily dramatic at the end, Series 2 is more consistent in its tone, with the dramatic storylines leavened with humorous moments and situations throughout. Curiously, though, there's a distinct similarity in the way Series 1 and Series 2 handle the final two episodes of the season: in both cases, the dramatic elements are brought more heavily to the fore, bringing the show to its closest brush with soap opera, and the humorous elements are pushed to the background. In Series 2 as in the earlier season, I found this to be the weakest part of the season; there's just not as much charm and spark in the last two episodes as in the earlier four. In particular, the season finale, which has a "New Year's Eve 1999" theme, is by far the weakest of the season: it's unevenly paced and not particularly compelling.

I'm not too concerned about the weaker ending of Series 2, though; if the pattern holds true, Series 3 should get right back into the swing of things. What's more important is that Series 2 of Cold Feet, as a whole, is lots of fun, and anyone who enjoyed Series 1 will be very pleased with it.

The DVD

Cold Feet is a three-disc set, with two 50-minute episodes per disc. Each DVD has its own keepcase, with the three volumes enclosed in an attractive glossy paperboard slipcase. The set contains all six episodes from the show's 1999 season.

Video

Cold Feet appears in its original widescreen broadcast aspect ratio of 1.85:1; it's anamorphically enhanced. The image has a generally soft look to it, with a moderate amount of noise and grain in some scenes, but overall it looks quite good. Colors are consistently bright and natural, as are skin tones; contrast is also handled well.

Audio

The Dolby 2.0 soundtrack handles the dialogue well, better than in the DVD transfer of the first season. The overall sound is clean and clear, with all the actors' voices sounding natural and easy to understand.

Extras

The special features are minimal. A "behind-the-scenes featurette" looks promising, at 31 minutes long, but it's really just a promotional piece for the start of Series 2. It also spoils the punchline of a genuinely funny moment in the final episode, so be warned. Apart from this, we get a photo gallery and a set of cast filmographies.

Final thoughts

The British comedy-drama Cold Feet offers a fresh, charming, and quite entertaining view on the lives, loves, and tangled relationships of the ensemble cast. I actually enjoyed Series 2 a bit more than Series 1, as these episodes have a more consistent tone and maintain the overall story arc of the season in an entertaining and addictive way. Cold Feet: Series 2 gets a solid "recommended."

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