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Series / Ackley Bridge

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Ackley Bridge College is the swish new academy school set to end the segregation of the titular Yorkshire valley town’s White and Muslim populations, or so everyone hopes. Lifelong besties Missy and Nas find themselves attending the same school for the first time, but they as well as the other students and staff soon find that bringing the communities together will be far from easy.

Provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Kevin Wilson.
  • Arranged Marriage: Kaneez was pulled out of school at sixteen to marry Iqbal and emigrated to England with him soon after, so she’s determined that Nas will get the education and opportunities that she missed out on. When she realises that Iqbal is trying to get Nas to agree to a marriage into a rich family in Pakistan, she hits the roof, accusing him of trying to sell his own daughter, the unstated implication being that they'll bail Iqbal out of his financial problems if the marriage goes ahead. Nas also shoots the idea down right out the gate. Iqbal insists that he would never force Nas to do anything she didn’t want to do, but instead of just letting the issue drop, he keeps trying to sell Nas on the idea. He wears her down enough that she yields and agrees in a vulnerable moment after Lila breaks up with her to at least consider it. Kaneez isn’t happy but tries to be supportive until Nas breaks down and admits that she can’t go through with it because she’s gay.
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  • Break the Haughty: Happens to Alya after her father goes bankrupt.
  • Bumbling Dad: Iqbal is a well-meaning but inept businessman who’s been absent for much of his kids’ day-to-day lives, leaving Kaneez to pick up the slack.
  • Gayborhood: Kaneez actually goes to Hebden Bridge to find out more about lesbians after Nas comes out to her.
  • The Good Old British Comp: Ackley Bridge is this, only it is an academy and not a proper comprehensive.
  • Held Back in School: Missy is repeating her GCSE year as a result of turmoil at home caused by her mother Simone’s heroin addiction.
  • Glasgow: Lila accidentally outed herself to her dad after he caught her kissing her girlfriend outside King Tut’s.
  • Imagine Spot: Missy briefly imagines Nana Booth appearing in class with her and Hayley to chat about food after her death.
    • Nas stops in front of an Asian bridal shop window and tries to picture herself getting married to the guy her dad’s pushing on her only to freak out when the groom turns out to be Lila.
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  • Inner City School: Inverted. Ackley Bridge is a former mill town in a valley somewhere in the vicinity of Leeds and Bradford, but the rural landscape at the edges of the town is pretty much the only differentiating factor from any given inner-city neighbourhood, and the school has to contend with many of the same issues you might expect to see in a deprived urban area such as racial tensions and students dealing with abuse and/or addiction in their home lives.
  • Intimate Hair Brushing: Kaneez has her hair restyled and talks about how she and her sisters would comb each other's hair back in Pakistan. Her daughter then brushes her hair for her.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Jordan might be a self-confessed racist and all-round inflammatory dipshit, but he makes a good point about how successful integration is unlikely to alleviate the real reason the town is going down the drain:
    ”We all know Ackley Bridge is nothing but a left-for-dead town with foodbanks, smackheads and pramfaces. It doesn’t matter if you’re White or Asian. There’s no jobs for us. We’re all going nowhere.”
  • Killed Off for Real: Mr Qureshi and Missy Booth
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • My Local: Much like Teachers, the school observes the custom of staff and pupils going to separate pubs, something Chloe only realises when Hayley and Raz dupe her into going to the teachers’ pub, The Two Moons.
  • Never My Fault: Sadiq’s response to his infidelity being made public, an attitude that absolutely infuriates both his children.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Kacey "Spud" Gartside.
  • Out of Focus: Chloe Voyle, Razia Paracha and Hayley Booth have all received less focus since Series 1.
  • Parental Substitute: Missy and Hayley’s nana moved in with them after Simone lost custody. Owing to her poor physical health, she isn’t able to do much actual parenting, but instead acts as a buffer between the girls and Social Services so that Missy can continue to look after Hayley. As the series goes on, it becomes clearer that Emma and Kaneez are the people Missy turns to when she needs help.
  • Pop-Up Texting
  • Racist Grandma: Sue Carp fills this role in the teaching faculty.
  • Secret Other Family: Iqbal is discovered to have another partner and two children in Bradford. He visits them under the guise of "working in Pakistan".
  • Teen Pregnancy: Candice Murgatroyd had one of these.
  • Two-Teacher School: The faculty seems absurdly small for a secondary school that is a merger of two other schools.

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