Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Sensitive Skin - The Complete Seasons 1 and 2|
Actors: Joanna Lumley, Denis Lawson
Al (Denis Lawson) and Davina Jackson (Joanna Lumley)seem to have the perfect life. At 60, they both look great, enjoy their work (he's a music writer for a newspaper; she works in an art gallery) and having finally said au... more »
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Belinda S. (niara) from NEW YORK, NY
Reviewed on 7/27/2012...
My find of the year. I have never seen Joanna Lumley in anything save for the hilarious AbFab so this caught me completely off-guard. I was only going to watch a few episodes and ended up watching the entire series until 1:00 in the morning and was sorry when it ended. Funny and heartbreaking, all in the same breath. Such nuanced characters and a storyline that was laugh-out-loud funny at times and then open-mouth-in-horror. Like life, I guess. Characters who found themselves in the winters of their lives and finally recognized what was important, what mattered. Things kind of came full circle. "Here I Am" on a sign at the end, followed by "Me, Too." Kind of a metaphor for all of who find ourselves in the middle of our lives, wondering what is left. I loved every moment of it.
I'm 64 and loved it--it is how we are today
D. Bishop | Columbia, MO United States | 10/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this dvd series because I so enjoyed Joanna Lumley in AbFab and wanted to see more of her work. Two things struck me about this BBC series: First, this is a realistic telling of what it is like to be in your 60's today. We were "the me generation," it is hard to believe we are in our 60's now--we were important, we set the rules, we partied and we thought we'd go on forever. We still think of ourselves that way. Being 60 today is not like when my Grandmother turned 60. We still drive sports cars, bikes, hike, party, drink, some do drugs, and have sex. Seeing flirting and sexual appetites still strong in people in their 60's is common today--just you wait! The Second thing, I felt was that I really knew these people. Joanna's character's discussions with her halucinatory visitors is typical of someone who is trying to come to terms with getting older. How does it affect me, and how should it affect me? What are the boundaries? How should I be living my life now and how should I represent that. It's totally weird to realize that if you are still waiting for things to happen to you, you have missed most of your life! Mr. Blick, who is writer, director and producer has done an incredible job. He is either 60 or he understands that generation extremely well. This is a wonderful series. The actors are first rate, Joanna Lumley is terrific. When you remember Patsy from AbFab, and see Ms. Lumley in this, you realize what a good actor she is. If you are a fan of hers, grab it."
Frieslander | Bogota, D.C., Colombia | 12/04/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just finished series 1 & 2. I love Joanna Lumley and was surprised to find a cast of familiar faces from other BBC classics. It takes a bit a patience to get through the first series. It's pretty glum, but you have time to get introduced to everyone. The second series is great. There's a lot more characters who come in and out that add a humorous tone."
Ends just when it's getting really good!
Nef | Urban east coast, USA | 02/03/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is a wonderful "bittersweet dramedy" rendered in twelve half-hour episodes. If only there had been more closure to the storyline; the writers/producers leave us after the main character has come to grips with certain elements of her life, but also at the very moment she is embarking on a juicy new "life chapter"! Characters we are just now warming are snatched out from under us as Series 2 (disc 2) ends.
JOANNA LUMLEY's PERFORMANCE
I had never seen Joanna Lumley in a leading role (no, I never did get around to watching Absolutely Fabulous) and was deeply impressed by her work in Sensitive Skin. Here, as a 62-year old woman struggling with an unfulfilling marriage, her out-to-lunch adult son, her bitter sister, and life and death in general, she is oh-so-heartbreakingly good: pensive, quietly intelligent, quietly glamorous, quietly tragic, even, in her way. Her wit is dry but never cutting or sarcastic; you sense she is a more-than-decent person, possibly even a kind one. And she seems to have an air of bittersweet humor about her at all times, as though people's most outrageous, offensive, or hurtful behavior amuses her. But she telegraphs her amusement in a way that makes it seem she is not only smiling over their absurdities, but laughing at herself, too. What I loved best about her was her air of vulnerability.
Her face can be described as a "magnificent ruin": conventionally, model-worthy beautiful, but also slightly craggy with the years, with regret, and with a subdued sort of pain she keeps close to her chest. She is elegantly but heavily made up with dark lip rouge and black eye pencil and softly glowing blush, almost as though the rituals of beauty help ease this unnamed, muted pain she carries around with her at all times.
DISC 1 (SERIES 1)
There is a marked difference between the two discs. The first disc, series 1, is more like a series of vignettes that are loosely related due to the recurring characters and themes. The general vignette subjects include: managing to live with a neurotic long-time spouse who hasn't emotionally resonated with you for years; dealing with an envious sister and her boorish husband; wondering whether you've really "made something" of your life after all; trying to fill the inexplicable holes in your heart with posh flats and Vidal Sassoon haircuts and always coming up short; and being alarmingly pursued by a variety of inappropriate men.
The first few episodes did not really hold my attention all that well, because the writers just drop us into said vignettes and show us a series of characters we don't know who display neurotic, selfish, bizarre, or embarassing behavior. Sometimes I felt my attention wander.
I felt, oddly enough, that there was a whif of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM about this series. Now, please know that they are vastly different shows with *completely* different approaches and senses of humor. CURB is broad, laugh-out-loud, outrageous comedy rendered in colorful splashes; SKIN is utterly subdued, autumnal, bitterish-sweet "dramedy" that mixes sharp, cutting humor with sometimes heart-wrenching reflections on life and death. But, they are similar in that in both series, the main characters encounter increasingly absurd people who make the main characters, dysfunctional as they themselves might be, seem almost sane in relation to the rest of the world.
I gaurantee that even if you weren't that engaged by the first few episodes, the last episode of this 6-part disc will hook you expertly and reel you in. After that, the show really picks up steam.
DISC 2 (Series 2)
The second disc/series is much more like a traditional serial, with plots and subplots that run throughout all 6 episodes. It is also much more emotionally compelling than the first disc.There are some shocking plot twists throughout, all the way to the last episode. That's about all I can say without giving away spoilers, but I hope you stick with the series until the end.
I was so disappointed when I realized BBC had not made any more episodes after these twelve. There are so many characters I wanted to know more about, storylines I wanted to explore in greater depth. I believe HB0 will be producing a re-make of this series starring Kim Cattrell in the Lumley role, but I urge you to see the original version first because I highly doubt the same "autumnal" tone will translate into the American version.
The overall impression of the teleplay, humor, acting, camera work and color palette is indeed one of autumn--the autumns of people's lifespans, but also autumn as a represenation of emotional bruising and bottled up-pain. The somber selections of classical, folk, and pop music combine to create an almost constant elegiac tone; even at the conclusion of the funniest or most amusing scenes, the music reminds us that life is always embroidered with pain, one side lined with humor but the other inevitably lined with suffering.
Denis Lawson is excellent as Lumley's husband; this Scottish actor (Ewan MacGregor's uncle) is highly underrated and I always long to see him on screen more. Pitch-perfect guest stars include luminaries such as Frances De La Tour and Jean Marsh (in a devastating role).
If you are looking for sharp humor but not for outright comedy; if you don't mind a good dose of the bitter with your sweet (I dont really even think there is a "sweet" here); and if you don't mind not quite knowing "what ultimately happens" to the characters you've grown to be invested in, this series will really speak to you. Be prepared to sit and brood a little bit and perhaps even shed a tear throughout.