TV Review: FX’s Sequel Series “The Full Monty” Delivers a Heartfelt 25-Year Reunion

It’s been a quarter of a century since a group of unemployed steel mill workers in Sheffield found a second act for themselves as a Chippendales-esque dance troupe that famously barred it all, giving the town The Full Monty. Released by Fox Searchlight in 1997, that film became a critical and cultural hit, earning a Best Picture nomination. And now, 25 years later, FX and Searchlight Television have teamed up to continue the story in an eight-part series. Somewhat confusingly, it’s also called The Full Monty, although all the men from that dance troupe have hung up their tear-away pants for good.



The original gang is back! Gaz (Robert Carlyle, Once Upon A Time), Dave (Mark Addy, A Knight’s Tale), Guy (Hugo Speer, Shadow and Bone), Horse (Paul Barber, Gloves Off), Lomper (Steve Huison, The Navigators), Nathan (Wim Snape, Gentleman Jack), and Gerald (Tom Wilkinson, Batman Begins) are still living in Sheffield. No longer getting paid to flash their assets, the Monty men are still trying to thrive in a working-class community that doesn’t have ample opportunity for growth. Still, they soldier on and persevere in the pursuit of happiness.

Carrying over the tone and pace of the 90-minute film, FX’s sequel series contains a slow-burn plot that carries through all eight episodes, although each hour is also crafted to be its own story. Most of the time, this results in a character receiving their own centric storyline. What it does so well is unify the themes in the finale, drawing out something that feels meaningful after what felt like seven independent shorts set in the same town.

The film took a comedic yet heartfelt look at a town that lost its major industry. In the same way, Academy Award-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) uses the series to examine the current state of England’s public healthcare, education, and employment sectors. Gaz is now a hospital porter, which allows for several healthcare-related plotlines throughout the series, and Horse has his disability status revoked, which makes his arc straddle the healthcare and employment themes. Sheffield Spires Academy becomes the setting for much of the education-based issues, with Dave working as the school’s caretaker underneath the leadership of his wife Jean (Lesley Sharp, Before We Die), who is now headmistress. Gaz’s youngest daughter Destiny (Talitha Wing, Wolfe) is a student there and is a chip off the old block, dragging down Cal (Dominic Sharkey), Dennis’ grandson.

The sequel series to The Full Monty takes its sweet time, which is good for diehard fans of the original film who want to linger with each character. There are certainly enough original characters to craft stories around, plus quite a few new characters to introduce and develop. However, the driving narrative that connects them all sometimes loses steam. Given the all-at-once release of the series direct to streaming, it doesn’t have the binge-ability of your typical FX streaming series. Still, despite a few lulls, The Full Monty is an emotionally satisfying reunion with a cast of loveable characters we all fell in love with a quarter of a century ago.

I give FX’s The Full Monty 4 out of 5 pigeons.

All eight episodes of The Full Monty premiere on Wednesday, June 14th, only on Hulu.

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Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).