56 Up – The Show That Was Pre Reality TV To Screen On SBS
Every seven years you get to see old friends on screen in the the 7 up series that was started forty nine years ago by Mike Apted. Now the next instalment is here in 56 UP.
The UK director came up with the idea to follow a group of people from diverse socio-economic backgrounds over the course of their lives and to examine how their class impacted upon them. All the participants were white except for Tony who had a black father.
It has been fascinating to see the ups and down of their lives and see what factors have influenced them.
This series could have contributed to my love of reality TV and in fact is a pure form of the genre, however it is a documentary even though there have been criticisms about the editing. I have watched each series multiple times and have a huge emotional attachment to it. It has indeed been a privilege to follow the journey of their lives.
My favourite from the beginning is Neil who was the effervescent and happy boy at seven and ended up having a profound mental illness that has effected his life. It was great to see in the last few series him living in a council flat dabbling in local politics. Interesting another participant Bruce helped him to get on his feet.
This time around all the original participants bar one are involved. Charles a private school boy, and ironically a documentary maker himself.
Even if you have not seen the previous series they cover the previous years well so each series can stand alone. Highly recommended.
56 UP will screen in three parts on Tuesday 30 of October at 7.30pm on SBS.