Us 2020 is… called Us, but in the world of website SEO, too many titles with the same name doesn’t help, and it also is the same title as the 2019 film starring Lupita Nyong’o, hence the differentiation.
It’s a terrible title as well, and with the couple about to split up, Douglas (Tom Hollander) wants them all to go on one final holiday as a family for three weeks, across six countries and 12 cities… which would’ve made for a more unique title.
As it begins, Connie Petersen (Saskia Reeves) wakes up Douglas (Tom Hollander) in the middle of the night to tell him how she thinks their marriage is over and “Our work is done”, to which he replies that he never thought of it as ‘work’. Then, just as they finally drift off back to sleep on a Sunday morning… the doorbell goes, for an early supermarket home delivery.
She’s not happy about this rude awakening, to which he replies, “It’s very difficult to get a slot. If I’d known you were leaving me, I’d have pushed it to 9am(!)”
Despite all this, they have a trip booked, so she still wants one last summer holiday together as a family across 3 weeks, 6 countries, and 12 cities, and with son Albie (Tom Taylor). Douglas isn’t sure, but then if he didn’t go along with it, it would be a very short series.
Prior to setting off, Douglas writes out a list of rules for himself along the lines of being open to change, as if it’s going to have any effect; and along the way, we see the couple when they first met, 24 years ago, with Portishead playing in the background, which really makes me feel old.
However, I’ve only seen one episode, but that’s enough. Tom Hollander is just Tom Hollander, and the whole thing is fairly dull. There’s four episodes over four weeks, and I couldn’t care less whether or not they stay together at the end of it. Then again, maybe I’ll watch the others for the cities, as episode 2 features Amsterdam, judging from the ‘next time’ clip.
Again… that title. It’s so generic, you can’t even search for it on the iPlayer! I had to go to the Sunday schedule and look up the URL from there so I could link it from this review.
Us 2020 begins on Sunday September 20th on BBC1 at 9pm. The series is available to pre-order on DVD, ahead of its released on October 12th.
After the first episode is broadcast, you can also watch the entire series on the BBC iPlayer.
Episode 1 Score: 2/10
Director: Geoffrey Sax
Writer: David Nicholls
Music: Oli Julian
Douglas Petersen: Tom Hollander
Connie Petersen: Saskia Reeves
Albie Petersen: Tom Taylor
Younger Douglas: Ian De Caestecker
Younger Connie: Gina Bramhill
Kat: Thaddea Graham
French waitre: Franck Assi
Supermarket delivery man: Daniel Fearn
Karen Petersen: Charlotte Spencer
Jake: George Webster
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.