Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Friday 9:30 PM Sep 24, 1999 on Channel 4

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
109 votes
  • Although not a true pilot, it is the first episode, hence titled 'Beginning'.

    As a first espisode this is very successful. In my opinion the whole point of a first episode is to maintain viewers and attract more viewers usually by word of mouth. This first episode does this in spades by delivering a tight episode.

    Immediately we are introduced to the characters and their situation, one that has happened to almost everyone... flat hunting and heart-break. There is an immediate on-screen chemistry between the two main characters, and their stories pull us in. There is a strong sense that this is kind of rom-comish as the montage in the coffee shop show their relationship progressing and them becoming closer and closer to each other, including the very cliche wiping the other's face after eating. Nevertheless, it's done in a non-cheesy way and we are almost hoping to see the development of their possible romance.

    Other than strong lead characters, the way it was filmed seems to be quite original. That is perhaps the strongest part of the series, or what separates it from the other shows. There are many references to other media including films, TV shows, music, comics, etc., and although a great deal is within the fantasy/sci-fi genres, there is a wide range (from The King and I to The Dukes of Hazzard to The Shining) to appeal to a broad spectrum of viewers. These references are sometimes only verbal, such as the Terminator 2 reference in the first scene, while others are taken more directly from the source, as can be seen later in the series.

    Other than referencing other works, the style of filming is very distict and very edgy, such as the scene where the three are listening to the argument upstairs, camera looking down on the table... as the person storms down the stairs so too does the camera pan down. This is but one of many possible examples of how the camera is used to make the entire sense of the show as something new.

    Finally, the plot of them having to act as a couple and rehersing for the interview/viewing of the apartment is a clever way for the characters' backgrounds, as well as other characters, to be introduced. By the end of this episode we are not only fully aware of the backgrounds of the characters, but also the main premise is introduced, including the ever popular romantic thread, making this all in all a nearly perfect opening episode.