23 April 2012
'Up' with Reality TV
Great news! The 'Up' Series returns.
The perhaps original 'Reality' TV show was a show aired on the BBC and ITV in 1964 profiling the lives of 14 British seven year old boys and girls. It was called 'Seven Up!' Seven years later, when they were 14, Granada produced a sequel, '7 Plus Seven,' which followed up on the group as teenagers. Despite changing circumstances and some drop outs, the series has repeated every seven years ('21 Up!,' '28 Up!,' ... '40 Up!'), directed, since the second installment in 1970 by Michael Apted. Here in the U.S., we've been able to follow it in repertory movie theaters and on PBS.
The news is that '56 Up' is set to be released in a few weeks, in May. I am so excited! This is m-m-m-my generation. The first one I saw, I believe, was '21 Up', and I've been hooked ever since. It's an unparalleled look at the lives of these British folks as they grew up negotiating the enormous changes that marked the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st Centuries, like many of us. Remarkable. Touching. Insightful. For the humanist and voyeur in us all.
You can find clips from the series on the YouTubes starting, say, here.
[Also, birthday celebrations today include Shakespeare and Nabokov.]