With his facial expression permanently set to “wry”, Giles Coren led another family on another trip through memory lane, this time focusing on leisure activities rather than the daily diet. But was it as much fun?
In a nutshell
If you didn’t see it, Back In Time For Dinner was an unexpectedly entertaining show which followed an ordinary family as they were made to live off the typical foods of various decades, while living in houses modelled on the 40s, 50s, 60s and so on. In short, it was just another gimmicky nostalgia fest, but it was rendered brilliant by the family themselves, who reacted to everything with rib-tickling incredulity, and whose casual one-liners of woe made it a must-watch.
The snag with this new version is the family themselves just aren’t as quirkily interesting, but never mind. It’s still a hugely watchable experiment, with the emphasis this time on everyday amusements in times gone by. We’re using the word “amusements” loosely, because they didn’t seem to exist in the 1950s. Women, we learnt, spent around 11 hours a day on chores – which was very bad news for modern mum Steph, who had to go from being an IT consultant to a household mangle-worker. Her daughter wasn’t too thrilled at the 50s either, although unsurprisingly the menfolk had it much, much easier.
What's the verdict?
It wasn’t ALL hard grey drudgery for the family – Angela Rippon turned up to show off her ballroom dancing skills, in a surreal twist. Still, they’ll be looking forward to head straight into the Swinging Sixties, where rather merrier revelations await…
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