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When I first looked at the cover of Linda Green any enthusiasm I had to watch the series quickly waned. The tagline said it all; “a sassy thirtysomething woman having the time of her life.” My thoughts immediately flashed to visions of a desperate old woman who thinks she’s the best thing since sliced bread living her life being picky with whom she really dates when she should actually be counting her lucky stars anyone would want to jump in bed with her in the first place. Then there’s the all-too-familiar storylines where men just end up being portrayed as big, stupid, pieces of meat in a kind of reverse sexism which never gets tackled because it’s the guys on the receiving end rather than the girls.

After viewing the series there are some of these similarities but what threatened to be a dull, stereotypical series about a desperate woman ended up being far better than I had anticipated.

Linda Green: The Complete First Series

Linda Green is, as I mentioned, a pretty lonely thirty year-old woman who doesn’t have much luck with the guys. She’s not that bad looking (in fact, she’s probably got the largest set of breasts I’ve ever seen, but I digress) yet the men she seems to attract aren’t exactly right for her. Linda spends her days trying to sell cars, usually to people who can’t afford them, while at night she sings at a hybridised compromise between a pub, a nightclub and a poor excuse for a karaoke bar. It seems those in charge of the series went for an actress before a singer, because our Linda isn’t exactly the greatest lyricist the world has ever seen, which probably explains her choice of venue.

Despite her shortcomings and current plight with the opposite sex, Linda is surrounded by a small group of friends (three, actually) who constantly keep her in check and make sure her spirits are high. Together they get up to some mischief, have those deep, meaningful, eloquent conversations we only ever see on TV and film, and generally lark about most of the time.

Throughout the series we get to see Linda’s experiences in the wide world of dating. She mixes it with her ex-boyfriend’s identical twin brother who ends up being far too sensitive for his own good (you can’t have it both ways, girls), dabbles in a spot of lesbianism, gets burgled, attends the funeral of an old school mate she didn’t even like, enlists the help of a toy-boy and experiments with internet chat rooms.

Linda Green: The Complete First Series

A lot of this might sound pretty exciting but as far as these scenarios go it’s all quite low-key. Most of the time it’s just talking in between scenes of Linda singing in the bar (usually with a song relevant to the current storyline). Nevertheless, somehow we do care about Linda and her buddies which helps to keep the audience interest throughout the ten episodes. Again, there’s little to push this above some of the more witty, eventful or dramatic series coming out of the BBC but for light viewing Linda Green isn’t the worst way to spend a few hours. There’s enough variety to keep you interested but don’t expect anything groundbreaking.

Thankfully the men portrayed in the series aren’t all just big, dumb stereotypes and Linda isn’t just a horny thirty-something looking for some action (at least not all the time), so don’t let the tagline fool you into thinking this series follows the mandatory path.

It’s pretty much your stock-standard television transfer on this disc, though the visuals are presented in the better looking 1.78:1 rather than your stock standard 4:3. The colour looks quite good, bringing out the best of a particularly vibrant palette. The print is clean but probably softer than your average fare, not that it matters much because the rest of the transfer looks fine even by today’s standards.

The Dolby 2.0 track does the job, keeping dialogue clear throughout and pumping out a reasonable range during the sing-song sequences. The channel usage is minimal in terms of shifting the sound around the front speakers, though it’s not really necessarily anyway because of the dialogue-driven nature of the material. In all, a serviceable soundtrack.

Linda Green: The Complete First Series

BBC series’ aren’t usually endowed with extras, and this one’s no exception. All we get here is Linda’s World, a text-based extra which is really just a bunch of character profiles. Apart from that you’ve just got the episodes themselves.

A surprising series, though it definitely won’t knock your socks off. While Linda tries to get her socks off as much as she can and we don’t mind watching her try, the talkative nature of the episodes may well prove to be the series’ downfall. Still, there’s enough value in it to recommend you take a look, even though there aren’t any supplemental features to add anything to the release.