Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch

The small screen sequel to the 1997 hit film is a sweet comedy-drama that ditches stripteases for challenging subject matter.

Plot: Taking place 25 years after the original British smash hit, the eight-episode series will follow the same band of brothers as they navigate the post-industrial city of Sheffield and society’s crumbling healthcare, education, and employment sectors. The comedy-drama will explore the brighter, sillier, and more desperate moments of the gang, after they put on their kit. It will also highlight how the fiercely funny world of these working-class heroes – still residing in Sheffield – has changed in the intervening decades.

Review: In the late 90s, The Full Monty was a surprise hit film thanks to Simon Beaufoy’s script, which told the story of a group of working-class guys who devised a Chippendales-inspired plan to save their town. The Full Monty capitalized on Robert Carlyle’s growing popularity due to Trainspotting, along with inspired performances by Mark Addy, Tom Wilkinson and more. The film was a smash hit at the box-office that led to a Broadway Musical and now a follow-up television series. The Full Monty, which reunites the original cast nearly three decades after the events, brings back the humor, drama, and heart of the Sheffield residents still struggling with economic depression. The Full Monty

is set in the present and focuses on Destiny, the daughter of Gary Schofield (Talitha). Destiny, on her way to school, crosses paths with various characters from the 1997 film. These include her dad Lomper (Steve Huison), whose husband runs the local restaurant Big Baps, and Dave (Mark Addy), whose wife Jean (Lesley Sharp) works at the school. Gerald Cooper (Tom Wilkinson), Horse (Paul Barber), and Guy (Hugo Speer), who were fired from the series due to allegations during production, frequent Big Baps with their friends. Destiny, the daughter of Gaz (Wim Snape), is often involved in schemes that involve her friends, much to Gaz’s chagrin. Early episodes show that, despite the passages of time, little has changed for these characters except their age. As soon as Destiny is introduced, she finds herself in a ransom situation with a dog, Britain’s Got Talent, and her father.As i watched The Full Monty

, I felt comfortable with these characters. The cast members were able to slip into their original roles with no problem, especially Robert Carlyle who was the most physical actor. This continuation was written by Simon Beaufoy and Alice Nutter. The economy in Sheffield has gotten worse. Beaufoy & Nutter aim to portray poverty and discrimination in a more realistic way than the movie. The striptease scheme that Gaz brought the gang into in the movie was an inspiring plot device. This new series is much more stark. Themes of adultery, sexuality, malnutrition, homelessness, and unemployment may not sound very funny, but The Full Monty makes you laugh as much as it makes you think.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FgjqX34soQAside from Destiny and Gaz, there is a substantial amount of time spent with the other characters, especially Mark Addy as Dave Horsefall. Dave and Jean are still grieving years after the movie. This has caused a rift in their relationship. Horse is also a series that has a lot of things going on, and Paul Barber gets to experience one of the most powerful stories of the series. It is also very different from the movie. The series introduces a number of new characters that expand the Sheffield population while also giving them their own subplots to drive the overall story forward. While the stories are all connected and have a forward momentum, it is a series with very little stakes compared to the film. The entire gang is made up of likable characters that exude an inviting air, making you feel at home. In some ways

The full Monty

can be compared to

Ted Lasso. The trials and tribulations that the gang faces are energizing. I felt like I was rooting for them all the way. Robert Carlyle is often portrayed as a villain, but Gaz was his best role. The Monty gang’s misadventures and the story they tell are the main focus of this series. However, it also serves to transition the story into the next generation, led by Destiny, and her friends. The different subplots are brought together in an emotional and touching finale that could mark the end of this series, or the beginning of a second. The Full Monty is written in such a way as to work as a standalone sequel or the start of a longer story.Directed by Andrew Chaplin and Catherine Morshead, The Full Monty is bleaker than I anticipated. The subject matter may be darker and more realistic, but it is still approached with humor and love, making the journey a journey. It was a joy to travel with the original cast. They have all grown and developed since 1997, and still have much to learn. The Full Monty

has more of a comedy with some drama than the opposite, but it’s a worthy companion for the movie and the new chapter in the lives the Sheffield population. I am not sure if everyone will be as open to this series without the plot device that made the feature film a box office hit, but I enjoyed heading North one more time.The Full Monty premieres on June 14th on Hulu.7

Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch