As If (Channel 4, 2001-2004) As If was a comedy-drama series that centered around the lives of six London teenagers. It had a rather distinctive style, with every episode coming from a perspective of one of the characters who would directly address the camera about their feelings, and there also features like clever camerawork and creative use of music which was very innovative at the time and it came across as a show that looked like it was made in the 21st century. There were also episodes based around spoofs of films such as The Blair Witch Project and Moulin Rouge which were great and its theme song, Touch And Go’s 1998 hit “Would You..?” was a suitable choice for the show.
The boys were Jamie, Alex and Rob. Jamie could best be described as cheeky, he was a ladies’ man who went out with many women, and although it often doesn’t work out for him he remains optimistic. Probably because he’s got a PlayStation 2! Alex was a gay character and he has as much trouble finding the right man as the others did dealing with the opposite sex. Rob was someone who often had trouble with himself and ladies too.
The girls were Sooz, Nicki and Sasha. Sooz had a distinctive look and seemed tough and independent, but she was actually somewhat insecure. Nicki was spoilt and slept around a lot. Sasha was rather classy and a lot fussier about men.
The first time I remember watching As If was around the end of 2001 when there was a repeat run of the first series on newly-launched digital channel E4. It was a show that I really enjoyed, because I was about the same age as the cast at the time and also because the show was clearly innovative in the way it was made, and watching some of the first series episodes again 15 years on including one where Jamie dated an older woman he met online brought back a lot of memories.
As If eventually ran for four series, although unfortunately I didn’t see much of the later episodes, partly because it seemed to be only shown on Sunday Mornings as part of Channel 4’s teenage strand T4, and as the love lives of this sizzling sextet continued to become increasingly tangled, it did seem to some people the show wasn’t suitable for that slot, and it did fizzle out a little by the end, but they did eventually make 76 very entertaining half-hour episodes.
I remember that I watched As If regularly around the same I watched Hollyoaks for a while, but I do prefer As If. Although the show was also shown in lots of other countries and it gained a decent amount of viewers, there are no plans for a DVD release presumably because of the vast amount of music used which is disappointing, although a soundtrack of some songs used were released on CD.
I don’t recall seeing much of the cast on TV again after As If ended in 2004, but Jemima Rooper who played Nicki went on to appear in more dramas including Hex and Lost In Austen which earned herself a Radio Times cover too which was nice, and As If also inspired a chart-topping single, with McFly’s 2004 debut “Five Colours In Her Hair” being a tribute to the character and multicoloured dreadlocks of Sooz. You can’t say that about Hollyoaks now, can you.