Ackley Bridge: Series 1

2 discs. 287+ min. Penny Woolcock & others, dist. by Acorn Media, acorn.tv. 2018. DVD UPC 054961266494. $39.99. SDH subtitles. F/TV
Before Ackley Bridge College opened, the town's white and Pakistani teens attended separate schools. The challenge for this new Yorkshire secondary school is to improve community relations by uniting the two student populations. Missy (Poppy Lee Friar) and Nasreen (Amy-Leigh Hickman), longtime best friends, overcame those cultural differences years ago. Yet for them and their fellow classmates, life is full of problems, not just because of racial tension but because of the panoply of modern social issues including homophobia and teen parenthood. Some of their teachers are involved with the students well beyond their academic responsibilities even though the teachers themselves aren't exactly role models—their lives are as messy as those of the individuals they teach, with problematic romantic relationships consuming a large part of everyone's energy.
VERDICT The multiple crises in this fast-paced drama may be a few too many for just six episodes. Suitable for public libraries where British drama is popular, although the Yorkshire accents may be a challenge for some viewers.
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