As If (UK TV series)

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As If
Genre Comedy-drama
Starring Paul Chequer
Emily Corrie
Jemima Rooper
Orlando Wells
Caroline Chikezie
Ben Waters
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 4
No. of episodes 76
Production
Running time 22 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Channel 4
Original run 22 January 2001 (2001-01-22)  – 31 July 2004 (2004-07-31)
Chronology
Related shows As If (U.S. TV series)

As If is a British comedy-drama series broadcast on Channel 4. There were 76 episodes across four series, the first broadcast on 22 January 2001 and the last on 31 July 2004.

Premise & Facts[edit]

The series focused on six young adults who lived in London. Each episode was presented from a different character's point of view, which up to that point in time had never been done before in a comedy-drama television show. The show had a cult following and received critical acclaim. It was considered groundbreaking and was compared to another British serial drama Hollyoaks.[citation needed]

Part of the show's identity was the style, such as surreal fly-on-the-wall style camera work, fast camera transitions, wacky sound effects added to some scenes and the distinctive theme music (the tune "Would you...?" by the band Touch and Go). Episode four of the first series was awarded an RTS Television Award for Best Tape or Film Editing - Drama.

Several notable episodes were centred around parodies of other films or TV shows, including The Blair Witch Project (episode 1x16); Moulin Rouge (2x20); The Italian Job (3x12) and 24 (4x04).

In the beginning, the gang was divided in two. We learn Sooz, Jamie and Alex are good friends. Jamie has a crush on Nikki, who he sees as a nice, innocent, delicate girl. Nikki was friends with Sasha, who was in a relationship with Rob. When Jamie invited Nikki to a fake party, the destinies of these six persons crossed and friendships were born. While Rob, Jamie and Alex became good friends, Nikki and Sasha didn't get along with Sooz, although the three had their moments together.

Crew[edit]

Directed by : John Duthie, Nicholas Jacobs, Brian Grant, David Kerr, Barnaby Southcombe (2003)

Writing credits : Amanda Coe, Tom Higgins, Jane English, Julian Jones, Leslie Stewart, Jess Walters, Patrick Wilde

Produced by : Sarah Baynes (2002), Nicki Gunning, Greg Boardman, Johnny Capps, Jonathan Collier, Brian Eastman, Brian Grant, Dean Hargrove, Dan Kaplow, Julian Murphy, Andi Peters

The Main Characters[edit]

Jamie Collier (Paul Chequer)[edit]

The loveable joker of the group, he was a well-meaning pleasant guy, but had a tendency to get himself into trouble due to his rather naive attitude. He had an optimistic outlook and was content to play the role of the group's clown. Despite the foolish mistakes he sometimes made, he was well liked by the group as his heart seemed to be in the right place.
During the first series, we follow Jamie as he enjoys the freedom of single life: he dates an older, married woman he met over the internet; idealizes Nicki, courts her and fails miserably; and eventually ends up kissing Sooz in the last episode. The second series follows the Jamie-Sooz relationship turmoil: from the problematic beginning, to the outing and eventually end of the relationship as Sooz ends it. Jamie ends up with Nicki for a one night stand. The third series follows Jamie's undying love and sacrifice for Sooz, his coping with her coma, and eventually the distance torn between them due to her suicide attempt. The fourth series focuses primarily on Jamie's academic career or the lack of such: he fakes his leaving to Inverness; attempts to retake the qualifying tests and eventually is accepted to study psychology. Sooz and Jamie are together throughout most of the fourth series, but end up breaking up after Sooz is unfaithful. The series ends in an optimistic note as the last scene where Sooz and Jamie appear in shows them talking to each other on the phone, but saying nothing: Sooz eventually asks "Are you still there?" and Jamie answers: "Of course I am". They both smile, and that's all we'll ever hear of them.
Jamie was a big fan of Michael Caine, especially in the original The Italian Job. He enjoyed playing a PlayStation 2, had a robotic pet dog called Sparky and was a general gadget freak.

Suzanne 'Sooz' Lee (Emily Corrie)[edit]

A sarcastic young woman who tended to be blunt and was something of a loner. She was rebellious, and did not agree with social conventions, preferring to live by her own rules.
Sooz had a brief crush on Rob, which started when he was in a break up with Sasha. When they both got together, Sooz had to get over it.
She had to deal with multiple mental health problems. She favoured nu-metal/goth/mosher/grungy style clothing, had a number of tattoos and facial piercings, and was known for her trademark multicoloured dreadlocks (which were reduced to bright red for the final season). She was a talented artist. She had a tough exterior but inside was very insecure.
Sooz's dreadlocks inspired the 2004 McFly hit Five Colours In Her Hair.[1]
The only member of the UK cast to transfer to the US version of the show, after two years in Los Angeles Corrie joined the Royal Navy.[2]

Nicki Sutton (Jemima Rooper)[edit]

A girl who was initially considered to be a 'slut' in that she slept around and stole other people's boyfriends. Nicki is a man-eater and spoiled, but inside is a nice girl and a good friend. She suffered a lot after her father was sent to prison and because her mother didn't pay her enough attention. The last episode of the series was from Nicki's point of view, in which she chose between staying with Rob or going on an around the world trip, a present her mother made her.

Alexander "Alex" Stanton (Orlando Wells)[edit]

A gay character, who did not fit any particular gay stereotype. He was a fan of Star Wars, Dead Poets Society and football, hated Hollywood musicals and modern art, and preferred sex to shopping. Alex was in many couples during the series, including police officer Dan and Mark. When he served as auxiliary teacher at a school, he met one of the students, Allen (who called himself "Little Al" after Alex, who was also known as Al). Allen forced him into a relationship after feeling threatened at first, Alex put things clear to Allen. Alex then tried to insert Allen to the gay world, and they became friends. In the last episode, Alex realized he was in love with Allen (or either he was afraid to end up alone), but Allen rejected him.

Sasha Williams (Caroline Chikezie)[edit]

The "bitch" of the group. She was very classy and loved fashion. She also didn't suffer fools gladly, but was often derided for shallowness. In the first seasons, Sasha was romantically involved with Rob, but they eventually broke up after Sasha was unfaithful. She later tried to get Rob back, but without success.

Robert "Rob" Conway (Benjamin Waters)[edit]

Rob was someone who cared a lot for the others and always seemed sensitive to their problems. Sooz had a crush on him in the first season, but because Rob was with Sasha, Sooz knew that she and him would never be a couple. After Rob finds out Sasha was cheating on him, Rob starts a new relationship with Nicky. In the last episode, they went separate ways, with Nicky having to decide between him and a trip around the world. He receives a few letters Nicky had sent way before leaving, and he realizes she went to Spain. He finds her and she asks him to tell her he went there for her and he says he did.

Recurring characters[edit]

Louise (Jaki Walker): a friend of Nikki and, later, the whole gang, although they all found her annoying and try to avoid her most of the time. Nikki hung out with her every time Sasha neglected her for Rob. Louise was always looking for a lost cause to fight for, and the gang made fun of her for it.

Chris (Freddie Annobil-Dodoo): Sasha's boyfriend in between Rob, who was with her just for sex. Alex once told the group Chris was gay because he saw him hugging another man in a bathroom, but it was a misunderstanding. Nikki later tried a move on Chris, just to be used for sex and dumped afterwards.

Gaby (Anna Wilson-Jones): a married woman who Jamie met on the internet. She was mother to a little boy (Jackson). Gaby and Jamie spent a night together and Gaby broke up with him the next day. After a while, Jamie thought Gaby was carrying his baby, but it was really Philip's (Gaby's husband).

Dan Parker (Adam Sinclair): a gay cop Alex met in a club and lied to about his age. When Dan learnt the truth, he broke up with Alex, although they eventually got to be friends. Dan always worried about Alex and his well-being.

Gary (Gerard Monaco): Louise's boyfriend who cheated on her with Nikki. It is not known if Louise ever knew about this or they just broke up, as Gary just stopped appearing in the show, but Louise seemed to stay friends with Nikki and the gang.

Anna (Georgina Raylance): a woman Jamie meets in a club.

Riggs (Ray Fearon): a musical producer who Nikki was interested in, but he hit on Sasha instead, which caused Nikki to get jealous and have constant arguments with Sasha. Sasha first rejected Riggs, although he invited her to work with him. Finally, she cheated on Rob with him. After that, Sasha and Rob broke up for good. The relationship didn't work.

Mark Wilde (Callum Blue): Alex's bisexual boyfriend. Alex learned Mark was previously married, and broke up with him for lying about his bisexuality; they later got back together just to break up again. After that, Mark went into a relationship with Nikki.

Christian (Matthew Chambers): an estate agent Nikki dates to get a flat for her and Sasha. While Nikki thought she was using Christian to her advantage, the truth is he was using her as well.

Tyler (O.T. Fagbenle): an Art student with whom Sooz cheated on Jamie.

Amber (Angel Coulby): Rob's fiancee. They didn't get married because Rob broke up with her before the wedding.

Allen Rissbrook (James Kristian): also known as "Little Al", Allen is a gay student that approached Alex and threatened him into a relationship. Later, Alex set things clear and became friends with Allen, trying to introduce him to the gay world. When Alex finally realised his feelings towards Allen and tried to be with him, Allen rejected him.

Katie (Jemima Abey): a student friend of Allen who fell in love with Jamie. She was the one who told Jamie about Sooz cheating on him with Tyler.

Darna (Jessica Gerger): Sasha's co-worker at a fashion boutique.

Paul Sutton (Jesse Birdsall): Nikki's father who went to prison for tax evasion.

Soundtrack[edit]

Apart from its well known theme music, As If also used many popular songs in its 76 episodes. Trip hop music was used quite extensively, especially music by Massive Attack (and specifically songs from the album Mezzanine) and Archive.

"Soundtrack to the Series"

Track listing[edit]

International broadcasts[edit]

Country TV Network(s) Date of Premiere
 Argentina I.Sat 2007–?
 Australia Fox 8 2002–?
 Finland 2002–?
 France France 2
MCM
2001–?
 Germany VIVA 2006–?
 Israel HOT3
 Lithuania TV6 2009
 Mexico Sony Entertainment 2002–2005
 Portugal 2003–?
 Sweden TV3 (Sweden)
ZTV
2002–?
  Switzerland VIVA Schweiz 2006–?
 Ukraine 1+1 2003–2004
 Ukraine Novyi Kanal 2008

Release[edit]

Despite the popularity of As If it has never been released for digital or stock release for home markets. This is because, given so much commercial music was used in the series, it was thought that the cost of music rights would be too expensive to make it a viable option.[3]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ BBC.co.uk: "In the HotSeat - McFly", (link)
  2. ^ BBC.co.uk "TV teen drama actress joins Navy (link)
  3. ^ Digital Spy "As If - Anyone remember it??" (link)

External links[edit]