If you have the new cable channel, Sky Atlantic (sadly we don't) starting this week, you will be able to watch the entire series of Thirtysomething from beginning to end. For some forty somethings this will be massive news, but if you are actually thirty something (or even twenty something) it will probably mean nothing to you, and if you do watch it, might be left wondering what all the fuss is about – because you had to be there.
The ultimate 80's drama, Thirtysomething summed up the mood of the time, focussing on the lives of Hope, Micheal, Elliot, Nancy, Ellyn and Gary. For four years we watched the characters struggle with relationships, marriage and break ups, babies, career issues, illness and even death (how much did we cry when Gary died). And even though we were actually only twenty something when we started watching it, we identified with the domestic and professional lives of the characters and realised that as we fast approached thirty the serious issues of babies, career, meeting the right man etc etc were looming in the future.
The characters weren't glamorous in a Desperate Housewives type way, they were ordinary and Hope was even a little bit dull, but they were believable and we liked them. We wanted them to do well and be happy, as somehow their success meant we could potentially be too. They gave us hope and made us excited about the future.
The show ended in 1991 and we wonder what the characters would be doing now if they made a Thirtysomething – where are they now, special. Would it be like real life? Would Micheal would have a beer gut, be angry with the world and be buying a midlife crisis sports car, would Hope be on HRT and not so secretly hate Micheal. Would Ellyn have had massive amounts of botox and be struggling with an alcohol addiction and would Nancy have discovered she was a lesbian and have left Elliot to live with a woman in the Catskills? Or am I being horribly cynical? Either way, we are not sure we want to know, as somehow that would be too much like real life and we would prefer to think they are still living that 1980's dream!
Thirtysomething is on Sky Atlantic everyday at 10am and 3pm.