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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Cold Feet - The Complete Third Series
Cold Feet - The Complete Third Series
Acorn Media // Unrated // July 26, 2005
List Price: $39.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Holly E. Ordway | posted August 3, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The movie

It's not uncommon for a show to shift its focus slightly as it progresses through multiple seasons, especially when it starts out as a mix of several genres, as in the case of the British series Cold Feet, which blends comedy and drama in its story of three couples and their often troubled relationships. This third season marks a change in the overall tone of the show, one that had its germination in Series 2 but takes hold much more fully here; whether you find Series 3 to be better or worse than the earlier seasons depends on what it was that you liked about Series 1 and Series 2.

The basic change is that Cold Feet is much more of a straight drama now. There are still touches of humor here and there, such as in the occasional dream sequence, but as a whole, the show is much more serious. It's especially noticeable if you think back on the comedic elements in the pilot and the first season; there, Cold Feet could have been described as a comedy with dramatic elements in the story line, but that's certainly not the case any longer. Since the humor was what I liked best about Cold Feet, its passage into "minor feature" status left me feeling less engaged with the series as a whole.

There's also a definite soap-opera feel to the plots in Series 3. The potential was there in the earlier seasons to have this feel, as the relationship problems in Series 1 and Series 2 were at times a bit exaggerated, but the show still felt reasonably like a slice of life of ordinary working people. That's not the case so much in Series 3, in which it seems that every single character has all sorts of romantic ups and downs. We have affairs, proposed divorces, re-unions, new boyfriends and girlfriends, jealousies, and so on. In the first two seasons, I was genuinely interested in the lives of Pete, Jenny, Karen, David, Adam, and Rachel (though some more than others), but in Series 3 I felt like I was getting overloaded with soapy drama. Instead of developing material out of the smaller aspects of daily life, Cold Feet starts to rely more and more on the big relationship-busting plot twists. The problem is that when the big issues are pulled out of the hat too often, they lose their punch; certainly by the end of Series 3, I didn't feel nearly as interested in any of the characters as I had in the earlier seasons. The actors are still doing a good job overall (except for James Nesbitt, whom I never was all that thrilled about), but I think the material that they've been given to work with is a lot weaker than in the earlier seasons.

Series 3 is composed of eight 48-minute episodes; as with the earlier seasons, the show runs in a continuous arc from beginning to end. In fact, this season feels more like a single long story than the others did, probably because it's more of a soap opera than the other seasons. The story lines shift between the relationships of all three couples: Adam and Rachel are becoming more secure in their relationship, and are thinking of having a child; Pete and Jenny are separated and struggling with new relationships; Karen and David are experiencing new troubles in their marriage.

If the dramatic part of Cold Feet was what you enjoyed most from the earlier seasons, then Series 3 is a safe bet, as long as you don't mind the increasingly soapy feel. If you liked the comedy more than the drama, or if you don't have much patience with relationship plots that start to feel rather contrived, then it might be best to let the series rest with the end of Series 2.

The DVD

Cold Feet: The Complete Third Series is a three-DVD set, with each disc in its own keepcase, and all three inside a glossy paperboard slipcase.

Video

The episodes are presented in their original widescreen (1.85:1) aspect ratio, and are anamorphically enhanced. The overall appearance is a notch above average, and is generally pleasing to the eye. There's a fair amount of noise in the image, though, along with some edge enhancement, so the picture tends to be on the soft side. Contrast is also a bit heavy at times, but colors look natural.

Audio

The Dolby 2.0 soundtrack gets the job done in a competent manner. The sound is clear and clean, and dialogue is always easy to understand.

Extras

The only special features are a photo gallery and cast filmographies.

Final thoughts

I enjoyed the first two seasons of Cold Feet, with its mix of oddball humor and realistic human drama, but this third season takes the show in a direction that I'm not thrilled with. The humor is toned down, and the focus is much more on the soap-opera relationships of the six characters. If you liked that element in the previous seasons, go ahead and pick up Series 3, but overall I'll give this a "rent it" for a general rating.

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