The new Ackley Bridge series arrived on TV yesterday and left viewers divided with its new characters and format change.
The Channel 4 drama, which centres on the lives of the students and staff at Ackley Bridge academy school in Yorkshire, returned for its fourth season on Monday (April 19).
New series of Ackley Bridge
In the first episode, Kayla (Robyn Cara) and Fizza (Yasmin Al-Khudhairi) ruffled feathers when they forged a friendship with a new boy who enrolled in their class.
Martin (Downton Abbey‘s Rob James-Collier), meanwhile, found himself in the deep end as Ackley Bridge’s new acting head.
And Kayla was the target of a cruel prank that ended up going viral.
What did Channel 4 viewers say?
Some of those tuning in slammed the new series, branding it “cringe” and “painful to watch”.
One said: “Did anyone else cringe all the way through last night’s episode? The cast were brilliant but the whole episode was very cringe.”
A second tweeted: “Ugh, I love you Ackley but it’s just not the same, feels so cringe #AckleyBridge.”
A third put: “I watched the latest offering and I’m hoping it’s the last series. Absolute garbage! #AckleyBridge.”
“The first episode of series four was painful to watch,” said a fourth. “New writers? Wokely Bridge or #AckleyBridge?”
Did anyone else cringe all the way through last night’s episode. I think the writers were on something when the wrote it. The cast were brilliant but the whole episode was very cringe. Hope next weeks isn’t as strange. #AckleyBridge pic.twitter.com/JeSqepPRhR
— Emma (@Emmad1523) April 20, 2021
ugh i love u Ackley but it’s just not the same, feels so cringe 🥺🥺🥺#AckleyBridge
— 𝓂𝑜𝓁𝓁𝓎 ❥ (@mollyyanne_) April 19, 2021
I watched the latest offering and I’m hoping it’s the last series. Absolute garbage! #AckleyBridge
— Bobby (@BobbyWilde2) April 20, 2021
the first episode of series 4 was painful to watch. New writers? Wokely Bridge or #AckleyBridge ??
— CameronG (@GX_cam) April 19, 2021
Issues with new format
Others took issue with the new format. The new Ackley Bridge episodes are only half the length of the old ones, taking up half-hour slots on TV.
And they’re also on earlier, now airing at 6pm.
Someone felt the new format didn’t work at all.
It’s too rushed and you hardly get to understand the characters. Big mistake.
“@Channel4 think I preferred the #AckleyBridge old format of one-hour episodes played later in the day,” said one fan. “More to get your teeth into.”
Someone else said: “We’ve decided to leave #AckleyBridge where it now belongs… in the archives. Just doesn’t work as a 30-minute format at 6pm. It’s become more of a teen drama. Sad because we’ve seen all the series and loved them.”
Another tweeted: “Not a fan of the new #AckleyBridge format at all. Why move it to an earlier slot and 30 mins? It’s too rushed and you hardly get to understand the characters. Big mistake @C4Press @Channel4.”
— Nazzle #COYG (@Mrs_AhmedZaman) April 19, 2021
Fans rush to binge on All4
However, not everyone felt that way. Some loved the new series, the entirety of which is available to stream on All4.
One viewer said on Twitter: “I’ve just finished watching the fourth series of Ackley Bridge. A show that’s given me and probably many others an escape from reality. I have to say that I’ve absolutely loved every second of the new series and I hope that we get many more episodes in the future.”
“Loved the first episode!” gushed another. “Just wanna watch the rest now #AckleyBridge.”
“Time for @All4 for @AckleyBridgeTV absolutely loved episode one of #AckleyBridge,” someone else said. “‘Love who you are’. Loved seeing @dollyjoyner queen return on the screen. Now time binge watch.”
I’ve just finished watching the fourth series of Ackley Bridge. A show that’s given me and probably many others an escape from reality. I have to say that I’ve absolutely loved every second of the new series and I hope that we get many more episodes in the future ❤️#AckleyBridge
— Jake (@PreserveTheKing) April 20, 2021
Loved the first episode! Just wanna watch the rest now #AckleyBridge
— Rhiannon (@rhiannonefc18) April 19, 2021
— Abby Harrison (@abbyboharrison) April 19, 2021
— Finley Chung (@finleythfc10) April 19, 2021
-Ackley Bridge continues weekdays at 6pm on Channel 4
What did you think of the new Ackley Bridge series? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know.