This soap-opera style take on footballing giant Bobby Moore and his wife, early WAG Tina, offers little in terms of real depth. f you fancy an hour of superfluous Sunday lunches and some hits of the sixties then give TINA AND BOBBY a go.
Where to start with this one? I’d like to state from the off that I know I’m probably going to be in the minority with my feelings for this show (my Gran loved it for a start!). I’m not into football – I had to google which Bobby the title referred to; I’m not a big fan of Miss Keegan and anything that starts with a couple marrying within two minutes of meeting is gonna put my teeth on edge.
Still, let’s press on, shall we. I suppose if you’re looking for a simple, steady, slip of a drama then this is it. There’s no rip-roaring action, there’s no real tension driven life or death decisions to be made. In fact, we can encapsulate this couple’s ‘drama’ in a few words – love, marriage, babies.
It’s as close to a good-natured hour of television as you’re likely to get. There’s no blood and gore, nor scenes of a sexually explicit nature. It really is as straightforward as young pretty girl meets footballer outside a club and they get married. Perhaps that’s why people like it. Maybe the viewing public is bored of overly complex plots and convoluted storylines.
There’s no mystery here or shadowy shots of the West Ham football grounds. The music is bright and uplifting, the outfits look good and Michelle Keegan, as Tina Moore, is suitably tiny with perfectly coiffed hair. The issue is Keegan doesn’t seem entirely sure where Tina came from; North or South, not sure? Well, blend in a bit of both just for luck.
The credits told me to look out for Patsy Kensit; but her role was a bit ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-her’, which is a shame because I usually enjoy her take on things. She’s a glamour puss with that down to earth edge often seen in gangster flicks. Here she’s reduced to filling us in on Tina’s background, a grammar school kid who was pushed into extra classes because mum obviously had big aims for this little girl. Not sure marrying a footballer was what she dreamt of but Tina seemed content and secure in the knowledge her England captain husband would take care of her.
As Lauren Klee’s script is based on Tina Moore’s autobiography you’d expect the focus to be on her and, as a result, Lorne MacFadyen (Bobby Moore) doesn’t have much of a personality. I’m not sure if that’s because Keegan’s star status overpowers MacFadyen’s performance or because Moore just wasn’t that interesting in real life.
I suppose the moment of ‘dramatic tension’ comes in the shape of a ball, but perhaps not the one you’re thinking of. Bobby’s diagnosis of testicular cancer at such a young age was upsetting, with extra added poignancy as the footballer did indeed die from the illness age 51. Yet there’s a bit too much of a soap-opera handling of all this for me for it to truly leave a mark.
You can guess the new money is going to reduce Tina to a clothes-horse who loses contact with her childhood friends. You can predict that Bobby will be off drinking with his team mates and the wife won’t be best pleased. But, maybe I’m being picky. I mean, it’s Friday night, maybe all the viewers want is something sweet and nice to look at after a week at work. And this is suitably sweet and pretty nice to look at, so I guess in that respect it does its job. Forgettable for me. A Friday night filler for others.
- Aired on ITV1, January 13 2017 at 21:00.