Friday, 17 May 2013

Dancing on the Edge Review

Congratulations! If you're reading this then the Dancing on the Edge curse has been broken!

I mention this because it took us several attempts to actual watch the series. First we were downloading the whole series to watch on iPlayer desktop, which promptly decided that it didn't want to play anything we downloaded or even download anything new. Then we tried downloading the episodes to view with Windows Media Player which was fine for episode one but less fine for episode two which decided that it didn't want to play the last twenty minutes.

So we gave up and decided to wait until it came out on DVD. Once it arrived we then had to wait to finish watching watchever it was that we were watching before we could start on the DVDs. Since watching it I've had to keep on putting off writing the review and it's reached that point where if I don't actually write the review soon I'll forget what it was I actually wanted to say about it.

But writing the review hasn't exactly been easy. I started writing it on my iPhone, only for it to have vanished when I went back to the app. Then when I started writing this review online Internet Explorer seized up and I had to restart it yet again! I'm totally ready to be done with this review!

The series told the story of a jazz band in 1930s London as they rise to fame with the help of a young journalist. It ran over six episodes with the first being an extra long episode. It was literally an all-singing, all-dancing affair and we came to watch it because the guy holding the trumpet at the far right of the group photo above went to college with Mr Click. His name is Chris Storr and he played 'Joe' (the only band member to have a name).

Aside from Mr Click's ex-classmates it also stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Head and John Goodman as well as a selection of other people who you'll recognise while you're watching it but won't be able to place without the help of IMDB.

It wasn't quite what I was expecting. I didn't really know what it was going to be about, aside from following the fortunes of a jazz band. I expected there to be some focus on class and race at the time and there was a fair bit of time spent dealing with political aspects (a brilliant scene where Stanley gets the band to play for the German Embassy which they were not very impressed with).

I wasn't expecting the crime aspect of the story. That came as a real surprise to me. I was just expecting it to be about the band and the music, which it was, but I when the story took that route I was really surprised. It really sucked me in though. We ended up watching the last two episodes in one afternoon because we wanted to know how it ended.

I loved the way it was staged. The costumes and scenery just screamed 1930s and it really helped you to get lost in the setting. I loved the contrast between the wealthy inhabitants of the hotel and then the band and Stanley. It was like watching old photographs at times, just beautiful.

And of course I have to mention the music. The music played a huge part in the series and I loved all the songs. We ended up getting the CD soundtrack which is full of the songs the band sings and plays. The fact that Mr Click loves the CD is probably a huge point in its favour because he is definitely not a jazz fan.

I'd definitely recommend this series. It's the sort of thing that the BBC does really well. The fact that it's just six episodes means that you don't get bogged down with it and I'm really glad that we waited until we could watch it all in one go. There was a good balance of comedy, intrigue and music and I've been thinking about going back and rewatching with it at some point because I keep on thinking about bits of it. It's funny because I might not have watched it at all had it not been for someone Mr Click knew who had a part in it. I hope we see more programmes in this sort of vein on BBC soon.


  1. Yey the review is up at last! Hehe

    I really loved this, I'm a huge fan of Poliakoff's writing and this was no exception. You're right it was staged beautifully, the period detail exquisite which the BBC always excels in. I loved the cast too, as you say a lot of famous famous, I was rather pleased to see actors we normally see in comedy like Caroline Quentin and Mel Smith appear in straight roles especially as they're clearly capable of drama.

    1. Oh, I completely forgot to mention the comedy actors in straight roles. I loved seeing Caroline Quentin in this. John and I both went 'ooh, look who it is!' when she appeared on the screen.

      I really hope they do more in this sort of vein.

  2. This sounds like something I could share with the hubbie. He loves jazz. I love period pieces. Six episodes. That's a win all the way around.

    1. I'd definitely recommend it. There's lots of different bits that you could fall in love with there. ;-)

  3. hello, I nominated you for a Liebster award! I enjoy your blog. (also Dancing on the edge was amazing!)

    Check out my post for more details.

    1. Hi, thanks for stopping by and for the award. I'll get onto those questions soon. :-)


Let me know what you think. :-)