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Stroll On: Cold Feet Returns on ITV

ITV's flagship dramedy gets rebooted for another decade – and viewers of UK TV abroad can decide if it's up to the mark.

Mon, October 3rd, 2016

No Footwarmers… Cold Feet

Reboots have long been the stock-in-trade of the film industry, and revived television serials are growing in popularity in both the UK and the US. They tend to be grand affairs, designed to capture the public imagination and re-ignite the hopes of fans. Sometimes they take off in marvellous and unexpected ways, but just as often the revived show stumbles under the weight of expectations. Cold Feet is the most recent returnee from extended slumber, coming back after 13 years off the air.

The original run, one of the most best-loved British TV series of the late-90s to early-aughts, was broadcast in 34 countries worldwide, reaching the US, Spain, and much of Eastern Europe. It’s early days to pronounce on the success of the new episodes, but they’ve certainly been well-received by new viewers and old fans alike. That’s commendable given the show’s commitment to working with its original cast, and to delivering a realistic account of their development.

 

Clearing up the mess without getting Cold Feet

Set and filmed in Manchester, Cold Feet was always an odd mix of sitcom sensibilities with soap opera plotlines, featuring characters who learned life lessons as they fell perpetually in and out of love. The original run of four series concentrated on three couples struggling through the minefields of society and family. Public response was strong enough to prompt a fifth, but the 2003 series ended in an almighty mess, with couple #2 negotiating the process of separation, while over in couple #1 leading man Adam (James Nesbitt) was left to clear up after the unexpected death of leading lady Rachel.

The reboot was never going to be easy. The series team have worked hard to reintroduce Adam and his family, friends and lovers to viewers who want to watch British TV abroad and at home. The surviving characters have grown and aged, as has their audience. The new series sees Adam returning to Manchester from a long stay in Singapore <em>sans</em> Rachel, but with his now-teenage son Matthew in tow. Adam’s going to marry a millionaire, while Matthew is dabbling in drugs…

 

Hitting the ground running

Cold Feet, in short, has hit the ground running. Between the laughs and the gasps, it delivers. While tight writing keeps the characters accessible to UK TV viewers worldwide, the new series is really a love letter to original fans. By pitching to them, the production team have kept alive the unique, bittersweet tone of the show… and given themselves the best chance of recruiting new Cold Feet fans.

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