TV

The Full Monty Review: Forget Strippers, This TV Sequel Is Warm, Funny and Mad as Hell


Warning: contains no nudity! This TV sequel is a politically enraged portrait of a community fighting back under siege.

The Full Monty TV series poster cropped Disney+
Photo: Disney+/FX

1997 film The Full Monty is remembered for two things: being an unexpectedly massive hit, and its final shot of six naked bums frozen mid-sway to Tom Jones’ “You Can Leave Your Hat On”. Over time, its story about a group of unemployed Sheffield men making themselves a bit of cash and even more notoriety by stripping on stage for one night only has been boiled down to box-office and bare bottoms. So much so that when this 26-years-later sequel was first announced, there was a lot of the same reaction: wouldn’t that lot be in their sixties by now? Who’d want to see them in a thong? 

You don’t see anybody in a thong in The Full Monty TV series, which doesn’t even call back to that infamous sold-out night at the Millthorpe Working Men’s Club until episode six of eight. For want of a less troubling mental image, you’re shown the men inside the thongs – their relationships, jobs, kids, grandkids and the 2023 Britain in which they’re struggling to exist. It’s a funny and warm-hearted series, with a steady undercurrent of anger that a quarter of a century on, not only hasn’t this community’s situation improved, in many ways it’s worsened.

The original cast led by Robert Carlyle and Mark Addy, are back plus reinforcements played by Talitha Wang, Miles Jupp, Paul Clayton and Sophie Stanton. Characters Gaz, Dave, Lomper (Steve Huison), Horse (Paul Barber), Gerald (Tom Wilkinson) and Guy (Hugo Speer) are still in Sheffield and still mates. They’re older but – as the series tagline goes – none the wiser.  

Robert Carlyle’s Gaz in particular, the mastermind behind the film’s Chippendales-inspired money spinner, has a lot to learn. He’s now a grandparent, an estranged dad to talented but troubled teen Destiny (Talitha Wing), and a hospital porter whose impulsiveness gets him into trouble. Not least with best friend Dave (Addy), now a caretaker at the academy school headed up by his wife Jean (Lesley Sharp).

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