Growing Up Observed: Michael Apted's 'Up' Series

What You Should Have Read, Oct. 12, 2007

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Growing Up Observed: The irresistible appeal and pathos of Michael Apted's Up series
Slate examines Michael Apted's Up series -- the seventh installment of which, "49 Up," was shown on PBS this week. Ann Hulbert notes that Apted's series, which follows the same group of children from 1964 when they were seven, and checks in with them every seven years, is especially fraught this time around as reality TV has become the norm. In an exhibitionistic, celebrity-obsessed era when crowds compete to be on "Survivor" or "The Bachelor," this installment focuses on its own voyeurism, and the participants struggle to navigate the demands of publicity and privacy as they pursue a challenge Apted and they stumbled onto: the challenge of discovering a sense of integrity and of intimacy amid the flux of time and in the face of unbidden intrusions that bring fame and confusion.
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