Amy's enthusiasm made me want to vote for this..but having rewatched it I just can't.
My main reasoning being how badly it stands up next to Dennis Potters British Tv version. It has all the edges smoothed over. Particularly In Hoskins performance...who is actually able to make that character both appalling and so incredibly empathetic.
But the biggest reason is the setting. Maybe this is something that only makes sense to a UK citizen. But the story takes place in the rural A road towns of the UK. The epitome of middle England, so far removed from the big city. It makes the juxtaposition in his musical fantasies so much more heartbreaking. Potters use of American music as his way of showing the aching heart stuck in a tightly wound British man is something he used brilliantly in so many of his shows...but none better than here. It just doesn't work as effectively when transposed to Chicago.
From a short bald, tubby englishman stuck in the arse end of nowhere...who just feels the burning need for something, and the only way to give that form is through the mythical world his song sheets come from...to a very Handsome man in the beautiful sprawl of Chicago...it might seem purely aesthetic but it dulls what makes this such a devastating piece of TV to me.