All or nothing, the series: a friendly reunion with the least expected strippers, 25 years later
All or nothing: the series (The Full Monty, United Kingdom / 2023).
Andrew Chaplin, Catherine Morshead.
Simon Beaufoy, Alice Nutter.
Tony Slater Ling, Luke Bryant, Malte Rosenfeld.
Charlie Fawcett, Justin Krish.
Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, Paul Barber, Steve Huison, Paul Clayton, Lesley Sharp, Miles Jupp, Talitha Wing, Natalie Davies, Tom Wilkinson, Sophie Stanton.
Number of episodes:
The first glance is disconcerting, and even unsympathetic. Yes, there are the same protagonists from twenty-five years ago, but they are just names and faces placed in a different context. There are no tributes in spirit, just a few references (an image beginning the first chapter pretends to be), not even a plot that allows them to function as a group, as happened in the 1997 film.
The friends from then are now old acquaintances, whose personal dramas intertwine from time to time. Was it necessary to summon the original cast and call it All or Nothing? Artistically, no.
After the bad taste in the mouth and averaging the 8 episodes already available on Star+, the series settles down and the first glimpses of a well-made, tragicomic and even at times interesting product begin. Unlike the excellent movie from the late 90s, where the social context led this group of ex-work colleagues to make a desperate decision, this sequel focuses more on the life decisions that affect us after a certain age.
Each character goes through an internal process, full of insecurities, denials and subsequent acceptance, while wondering what legacy he is going to leave behind. At the same time that the script co-written by Simon Beaufoy and Alice Nutter reveals their concern for the educational crisis, the bureaucracy and the value system, although without ever getting fully involved to establish a position.
In this internal search and its chiaroscuros once the conclusions are reflected in the real world, the problem of the series runs. The intention is very good, and at times it appears accomplished; however, in the general set it is diluted by a certain slowness and ease to lose direction. The camaraderie is intact, but it takes too long to reveal itself.
All or Nothing, a reunion in the form of a series 25 years after the film’s premiere
Seeing Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy, Lesley Sharp and the rest together again is a welcome blow of nostalgia, and it was probably the commercial hook that made this British production a reality. But it is only enough from time to time, as in those reunion meetings in which, after the usual talk, one wonders: “And now what is going to happen?”. At the end of the night everything could have gone well, which means a guaranteed continuation. It can go wrong and be debut and dismissal. Or, as in this case, the day can also be passed without enthusiasm but kindly.
Gaz with his daughter Destiny
Among the new names that are revealed as the great protagonists of this reunion, Talitha Wing stands out as Destiny, the daughter of Gaz “Carlyle” Schofield, even more rebellious than his father. And with respect to the originals, despite the fact that the different subplots look for spaces to shine for everyone, the Mark Addy-Robert Carlyle pairing gets all the applause, in their scenes together or separately.
You don’t have to see the movie to understand or enjoy All or Nothing: The Series, you may even play against it. Although his original team is behind the proposal, an attachment to nostalgia is likely to detract from this reunion. And since it doesn’t have too many merits either, it would be a shame to ignore what was tried to be done. With mistakes, successes and less disruption than in the past.