This Way Up (TV series)

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This Way Up
This Way Up (TV series) card.png
Publicity image
Black comedy
Written byAisling Bea
Directed byAlex Winckler
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series1
No. of episodes6
Original networkChannel 4
Picture format1080i
Audio formatStereo
Original release8 August 2019 (2019-08-08) –
External links

This Way Up is a 2019 British comedy-drama television series which is broadcast on Channel 4.[1] It was written by and stars Aisling Bea. She and Sharon Horgan executive produced the series. The series premiered in the US on Hulu.[2]

On 20 November 2020 the series was renewed for a second season.[3]


The series is set in London and is about a young single Irish Catholic woman, Áine (/ˈɔːnjə/; Bea), who has had a nervous breakdown. She teaches English as a second language. Horgan plays Áine's protective elder sister, Shona.[4]






No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date [5]U.K viewers
1"Episode 1"Alex WinklerAisling Bea8 August 2019 (2019-08-08)N/A
Áine leaves a rehabilitation centre in Archway, London, where she is met by her sister Shona. The sisters are disappointed with the centre due to its lack of facilities and most of the residents having substance use disorders in comparison to the nervous breakdown that Áine had. Four months later, Áine has returned to teaching a class of adult English-language learners. She tells Shona that she will join her at a party. However, after Shona leaves, Áine stays at her flat, where she invites Tom, who had been in rehabilitation with her and whom she is sexually attracted to. She tries to initiate sex with him, which he rejects. He misses the last train home and shares her bed, annoying her with his snoring.
2"Episode 2"Alex WinklerAisling Bea15 August 2019 (2019-08-15)N/A
Áine's manager James assigns her to tutor a 12-year-old French boy, Étienne, at his house. Étienne needs to learn English after having moved from France to England to live with his father Richard (whom he had not previously known) a month ago because Étienne's mother died. James asks Áine to visit him at his house to introduce herself before their first lesson at 5pm the following day, which she does. One of Áine's students, a young Bulgarian man called Victor, arrives to her class with a moderate cut on his head. After wrongly assuming it to have been caused by a xenophobic attack, Áine takes him to the hospital. Whilst there, she talks to a Bulgarian nurse who translates what Victor says, which is that his injury was caused by a falling brick from the building site which he was working on. Áine's trip to the hospital causes her to be late for her lesson with Étienne, which he and Richard are disappointed by. She arranges with Richard for the lesson to take place there at 5pm the following day.
3"Episode 3"Alex WinklerAisling Bea22 August 2019 (2019-08-22)N/A
Áine briefly visits Richard and Étienne, arranging the next lesson for Monday. She then goes to Shona's flat, where Vish becomes annoyed at the sisters' conversation as they sit on either side of him on the sofa. Áine tells Shona that there are rats in her flat and stays at Shona's whilst they are killed and removed. Áine goes to a psychic medium. Shona tells Áine that they are going to meet a male cousin of theirs to please their mother. She also tells Áine that she is going to set Áine up on a blind date, despite Áine's reluctance. Shona tells Áine to meet her and Charlotte in the pub. She arrives and sees that they are accompanied by a young man, David, whom Áine assumes to be her date. Shona and Charlotte go to Shona's, leaving Áine and David in the pub. He takes Áine to the café which is below his flat. She finds him boring, but kisses him before telling him that she does not want to see him again. Whilst walking home, she sees her drunken elderly neighbour, Pat, and brings him back to Shona's. Shona is angry with her for doing so. Áine is horrified when she finds out from Shona that David is their cousin rather than her date.
4"Episode 4"Alex WinklerAisling Bea29 August 2019 (2019-08-29)N/A
Áine and Shona's mother – who lives in Ireland – visits them. The women join Vish and his family to celebrate his father's birthday. Shona is annoyed by the conversation including pressure being put on her to have children (mostly by her mother); Shona tells everyone there that she has never wanted to become a mother.
5"Episode 5"Alex WinklerAisling Bea5 September 2019 (2019-09-05)N/A
Áine's ex-boyfriend Freddie texts her and they meet in a bar. She goes home, where she talks to her flatmate Bradley, his sister and a friend of his. The group go to a nightclub, where Áine sees Tom; she is disappointed that he is drinking again. An argument breaks out between all of them, and Áine leaves alone in a taxi and goes to Freddie's flat. After waking up with him in his bed, she goes to Richard and Étienne's house.
6"Episode 6"Alex WinklerAisling Bea12 September 2019 (2019-09-12)N/A
Áine makes a cake for Richard and gives it to him on his 46th birthday. She is disappointed, soon after she arrives, to see he has a female acquaintance, Barbara, with him. Áine has sex with Freddie and he tells her that he is attached. Afterwards, he asks her if she was in rehab a few months ago, saying that Charlotte told him. Vish proposes to Shona, which she rejects. Áine is flashed by a stranger as she walks to Shona's. She tells Shona that she is angry with her for telling Charlotte about her rehab stay and for not telling her that Freddie is no longer single. Shona is angry with Áine for not telling her that Vish was intending to propose to her, for having sex with Freddie and for trying to kill herself months ago. Shona publicly accepts the proposal, then in private kisses Charlotte. Richard tells Áine that Barbara is a social worker. Áine visits her counsellor.


On Rotten Tomatoes, series 1 has an approval rating of 90% based on reviews from 20 critics. The site's consensus describes the show as "Devastating, hilarious, and surprisingly light, This Way Up captures the complexities of mental health with an empathetic – if at times wandering – eye."[6] Bustle compared it positively with Fleabag.[7] It also gained comparisons with Back to Life and Catastrophe.[8] The Daily Telegraph called This Way Up "one of the best new shows of the year", awarding it five stars.[9] In The Hollywood Reporter, Daniel Fienberg was less positive, but called it a "solid and familiar blend of comic and melancholic".[10] The Atlantic praised the show, calling it "small in scope, infinitely charming, and intermittently devastating".[2]


In May 2020, while appearing on Richard Herring's podcast, Bea confirmed that there will be a second season of the show.[11] On 20 November 2020 the series was officially renewed for a second season.[3]


  1. ^ Cumming, Ed. "This Way Up, review: Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan team up in this brilliant, sharp-tongued show". The Independent. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b Gilbert, Sophie (22 August 2019). "This Way Up Is a Bountiful Binge Watch". The Atlantic.
  3. ^ a b "Aisling Bea's Award-Winning Comedy "This Way Up" Returns to Channel 4 for Second Series". The Futon Critic. 20 November 2020.
  4. ^ Carr, Flora (20 August 2019). "When is This Way Up on TV? Who is in the cast and what's it about?". Radio Times. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  5. ^ "This Way Up – Listings". Next Episode. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  6. ^ "This Way Up: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  7. ^ Patton, Rebecca (21 August 2019). "This New Hulu Show Is Perfect For Fans Missing 'Fleabag'". Bustle.
  8. ^ Mangan, Lucy (8 August 2019). "This Way Up review – the worse things get, the better the jokes become". The Guardian.
  9. ^ Tate, Gabriel (12 September 2019). "This Way Up, episode 6 review: Aisling Bea's comedy ended as one of the best new shows of the year". The Daily Telegraph.
  10. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (20 August 2019). "'This Way Up': TV Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
  11. ^ Bennett, Steve (20 May 2020). "Aisling Bea confirms series 2 of This Way Up : News 2020 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". Chortle. Retrieved 18 October 2020.

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