Sunday, October 22

Always Believe in Your Soul

Televisionreview’s very own Cheshire correspondent, Helen Parton, reports from the northwest’s televisual front line

Billing itself as Channel 4's answer to Footballers' Wives, Goldplated (Wednesday, 10pm) is hardly in the premiership of comedy dramas about the rich and useless but is rather trashily good fun all the same.

The opening scene features sweeping shots of a young girl (who we later learn is the appallingly named golddigger character Cassidy) driving up to a mock Tudor mansion in a red sports car accompanied by the opening refrain to Suede's 'Beautiful Ones'.

This is just the start of the show's literal use of song titles as some kind of plot advancement device - 'cos, like, Cassidy is a beautiful one, geddit? - which continues until the end of the episode when that cheery Flaming Lips song with the line, "Do you realise, that one day everyone you know will die' accompanies one man's untimely demise.

The other point of musical irritation is that the nightclub everyone, young or old, frequents, only seems to play Goldfrapp, much in the same way that the bar in Ally McBeal only ever played Vonda Sheppard. Still the smooth glam rock electro kind of suits the show, so we'll let it pass. For now.

They’ve got the nouveau-riche ness of this part of Cheshire spot on – every woman’s hair has been golden Labrador-ed to within an inch of its life and their bodies sprayed orange and then dipped in a tub of designer labels. Even the woman who played the frizzy permed Mum of Joe from Eastenders (you know the one that went mad and covered his room in tinfoil) has succumbed. The supporting cast is like a Stepford Wife army of Colleen McLoughlins, only not as classy. The blokes meanwhile are all shiny suits, penis extension cars and sleazy demeanors. I can’t think why I stopped living there as soon as I could.

The show does rather labour its location though, “I AM from Didsbury!” says Cassidy at one point indignantly and several other geographical reference go over even my head though one did make me chuckle. “It’s like Saudi Arabia round ‘ere’” says one older woman about half way through. I’m not sure, but the last time I checked, that particularly part of the Middle East hadn’t taken crop tops, push up bras and Bet Lynch earrings to its sartorial heart just yet.

Goldplated doesn’t yet have a superbitch character in the way Footballers’ Wives had Zoe Lucker, but Ray Winstone’s daughter Jamie - with a highly convincing Manc accent Bez’d be proud of - displays promise, what with the hot pant wearing, cocaine snorting and old man shagging. And there’s plenty of cliffhangers crowbarred into this first offering too – who is the girl in the institution visited by the shouty bloke who’s been booming, “Right lads, let’s get to work and make sooooooooome moneeeeeeeeey! like Gordon Gekko crossed with Geoffrey Boycott in all the trailers? Will we find out Cassidy is not from Didsbury at all? Will she stay with that shouty bloke when she finds out he’s about to go bankrupt? And more to the point will anyone change that bloody Goldfrapp CD?

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