1 5 mins 12 yrs

Moving On returns for a third series of five stand alone episodes by Jimmy McGovern. Episode one the Milkman does what Jimmy McGovern does best and shows us moral  snapshots of society in everyday settings that make the audience think about the meaning, at the same time as enjoying a well told story with characters that are identifiable.

Bugsy (Shaun Mason) is a happy, sweet guy if a little shy, who loves his job as a Milkman, but makes the mistake of letting 2 kids jump on the back of his Milk float for fun as part of his daily milk round., when one of the boys Dylan (Oliver Kane Rice) falls off and bangs his head. Although unharmed, Bugsy feels guilty so takes Dylan a bar of chocolate that leads to a confrontation with Dylan’s father Clive (Rob James-Collier), who punches him believing him to be a child molester. Dylan’s mother Ally furious at her ex’s mistake and temper takes Bugsy in to tend to his wound and there is an obvious attraction between the pair as they talk about their lives.

Ally (Alicya Eyo) a single mother separated from her ex husband Clive and her only wish is to be able to stay in her rented house she is happy with her kids, in the area she grew up. With the rent due to be increased which she can’t afford on her benefits and poorly paid job with two kids, she is faced with a decision of having to take her ex back for financial help even though she no longer loves, or even likes him, or taking her mother’s advice of suing Bugsy and the dairy he works for pretending Dylan is getting headaches, in the hope if she wins she can get rid of Clive and still remain in the house; saying “Its the way of the world”.

As you would expect with a Jimmy McGovern show, there are plenty of references to the state of society, from the plight of the dairy against the big supermarkets; homes now being assets; the state of the social housing; and the plight of single parents. All are which are displayed in little ways but enough to notice. Then there’s the name calling, of the dairy staff, Bugsy’s name which he said was after Bugsy Malone, but the kids called it him after bugs bunny cos of his hairlip. Add to that the dilemma of if Dylan had ADHD and should he be labelled, or as was shown at the hearing, was a stable loving home enough to calm his behaviour.

Most of this episode relies heavily on the performances of Bugsy and Ally, who do a wonderful job of engaging the audience, in their relationship and individual stories. I especially liked the scene in Bugsy’s flat where she pours out her situation and the reason for the scam, and he is prepared to sacrifice his job to make it better for her, saying he’s a “bit deaf” to encourage her to continue with the case. It’s both sad, sweet and humourous.

Ally’s character could easily have been painted as heartless or selfish, but it’s very obvious she is none of these things, and is instead someone who like most people in the current financial hard times, forced to make decisions that she wouldn’t have chosen but is required to if she wants to give her kids happy stable surroundings. It’s just a real shame that life couldn’t be built with Bugsy.

The final scene between the pair, was well scripted. even though they didn’t end up together, it still left a feeling of happiness and they both seemed content for now, their future may be chats on the doorstep but its enough without being together and the joke to the neighbour when he and Ally kiss on the doorstep as she looks on agog; “You don’t get that service at Waitrose” I think sums up this episode well. Basically I thought it was great!

One thought on “Moving On Series 3 Episode 1: The Milkman

  1. Loved this…..lovely warm heartening story with brilliant Liverpudlian actors and lovely old Liverpool streets where I grew up. Up to date but also nostalgic.

Comments are closed.