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Sex, Chips, and Rock N' Roll
Getting introduced to a TV series through DVD is kind of a fun experience since you can watch as much or as little in one sitting as you want. I'd never heard of the BBC series Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll before opening up the two-disc, six-episode set, but was pleasantly surprised by the tone and the performances. Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll is the story of a pair of non-identical English twin sisters living in the mid-sixties. Gillian Kearney is completely believable as Ellie, the slightly mousier of the two, while Emma Cook plays Arden as the kind of blonde bombshell whose need for affection gets her in trouble.
By attaching the love-sick trials and tribulations of these two girls to the rock-and-roll invasion of the mid-60's the show's creators have guaranteed a certain level of excitement. A Beatles-esque band called The Ice Cubes hit town and throw the local teens - and the sisters, specifically - into a hormonal frenzy. With both sisters falling for the guys in the band there is instant drama. And with Ellie set to wed the staid Norman (practically an arranged marriage) nothing stays simple for long.
The greatest strength of British shows like these (over many American shows) is that the characters don't always come in cookie cutter shapes. Norman isn't played as the disgusting boob that he could have been, but he's far from perfect. The Ice Cubes are sexy and fun but also unreliable. Seen through the eyes of these two girls, all of these characters are complex and contradictory. By the time the entire team follows the band to London Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll has developed a stable of interesting, well-rounded characters and situations.
The full-frame video looks fine. There is little in the way of dirt or damage and the colors and picture are crisp and lively. Some scenes appear desaturated for effect while others, particularly parties and concerts, are vibrant.
The Dolby Digital stereo audio is pretty good. The music has energy and swing. It's well-recorded and has a nice separation of instruments. The dialog clear and understandable.
Bios, a 1965 top 10 music chart, and trivia are included.
While not necessarily a ground-breaking series, Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll sets out to cover a small slice of an era with interesting characters and personal situations. It succeeds a lot better than an overreaching miniseries like The 60's can simply because it stays specific and focused. Helped along by good performances and music, Sex, Chips and Rock 'N' Roll is worth a few nights