Based on the 2018 BAFTA-winning short film by producer and comic actress Sharon Horgan Morgana Robinson’s Summerthis comedy steps into familiar Horgan territory and focuses on a slightly dysfunctional family of four sisters.
But unlike the siblings in Horgan’s celebrated bad sisters, dreamland‘s Trish (Doctor Who is Freema Agyeman), Clare (Gabby Best, also a writer on the series) and Leila (Aimee-Ffion Edwards) are no longer particularly close with fourth sister Mel (Lily Allen in her TV debut).
Mel’s black sheep status is confirmed in the opening scene as she steps off a bus in her hometown of Margate, all with dark hair, tattoos and a scowl, amid a sea of summer day trippers and tipsy bachelorette parties descending on the famous seaside town’s nightlife . Mel was away working as a model in Paris. It’s not immediately clear how long she’s been gone, but when she shows up unannounced at eldest sister Trish’s house, the clatter of her sisters, her mother Cheryl (Frances Barber) and the girls’ grandmother (Sheila Reid) says it all.
Trish, pregnant for the third time with her partner Spence (Kiell Smith-Bynoe), throws an all-pink “mani festival” in hopes of “manifesting” a girl after already having two boys. Everything is pink right down to the meat dishes; the exact antithesis of Mel. And of all the family members, Trish seems the least happy to see Mel, for reasons that are slowly coming to light.
The dynamics of the three generations of women play out against their working-class background. Margate, like many of Britain’s seaside towns, has evolved from a once popular holiday destination to faded grandeur and has been revived as a gentrified hotspot attracting ‘out-of-towners’ who come for the radical lifestyle and cheap real estate . But for Cheryl and her daughters, gentrification has only made it harder to move forward; Trish and Spence compete for a rundown old house with London hipsters looking to renovate and add a “wet room.”
Much like the titular garish amusement park (a real location), everyone looks almost relentlessly cheeky, even the girls’ Nan (known just as Nan throughout), a sort of local legend who’s been awarded a Hero of Margate award for collecting waste.
But life is not just dreamy. Cheryl has a secret affair with a woman and is both afraid of being seen with her in public and intimidated by her educated, middle-class life; Clare writes short stories for a local newspaper but aspires to be a writer, while Trish deals with everyday casual racism. Then there’s Mel, the family’s chaos agent.
https://www.smh.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/yes-lily-allen-can-act-pop-star-creates-chaos-in-this-zany-british-comedy-20230403-p5cxqn.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Pop star wreaks havoc in Dreamland, a wacky British comedy on Binge