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This is a chick flick/soap opera
on September 7, 2010
Unlike most war movies and series, "We'll Meet Again" focuses almost entirely on romance. World War 2 merely provides a perfect way for lots of American enlisted men and officers to meet British girls (when on leave from an airbase near the small, conservative town of Market Wetherby). The war also provides the engines that drive all the romances that take place in this soap opera. A young soldier gets a young girl (whose father is the British equivalent of Archie Bunker) pregnant. A nice young soldier marries a nice girl, then the day after his wedding bails out of a plane that's been shot down over Germany--to add to the suspense, the pilot who saw him bail couldn't see whether his parachute opened or not. Two young soldiers habitually vie for the attentions of a flirtatious young barmaid who plays them against each other. The middle-aged officers are also in the swing of things. One becomes a substitute husband and father to a family where the husband has been reported missing in action. And--the most important storyline--Major Kylie has an agonized romance with local Doctor Dereham, whose husband is a non-fatal war casualty. Whenever a romance needs a roadblock, the guy gets wounded, killed, or goes missing.
The acting is so-so, with the particular flaw that there is absolutely no chemistry between Michael Shannon, who plays Major Kylie and whose acting consists mostly of a tight-lipped smile, and Susannah York, who plays Doctor Dereham. The air scenes, such as they are, are blurry and not very convincing, merely consisting of a pilot (always the same actor) sitting in his seat, takeoffs, landings, and planes in V formation. There is one air scene that I am positive was used for two episodes (dialog and all), and others that at least looked very similar. The dialog runs from somewhat to totally cliched. I almost didn't make it through the first three episodes, where it's so cliched it's almost funny. The storylines tend to be predictable.
The costumes are good (although they run to the luxurious for the war years). There is one set piece, a swing dance where one couple, who do not otherwise appear in the storyline, does a long solo containing almost every dip, flip, and acrobatic I've ever seen. The variety of accents (which occasionally waver) brings home the fact that the war threw together men from many different backgrounds.
But by and large, this series is a guilty pleasure--I finished it because I'd started it. BBC doesn't seem to have felt the same way, as they ended it with a cliffhanger (everybody taking off for a huge air raid over Berlin), but never filmed a second season.