The Abbey, ITV1

by | Feb 14, 2007 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

A cracking cast (Morwenna Banks, Omid Djalili, Liz Smith, Reece Shearsmith, Miranda Hart and, er, Russell Brand and Marti Pellow) couldn’t disguise the fact that there were very few laughs to be had in this sit-com set in a celebrity detox centre. (The Abbey= The Priory. Geddit?) Taking lazy potshots at easy targets, we were reminded of that dreadful Harry Enfield sitcom Celeb. We expected better from Banks and the Baby Cow production team.

What was good about it?

• Morwenna Banks as faded rock star Marianne (An amalgam of Stevie Nicks and Courtney Love) is always worth watching, but her own script gave very little likeability to the character.

• The running (revolting) gag about Rasmus Hardiker’s character’s impetigo, and how his soiled facial dressings kept ending up in various drinks and meals.

• Russell Brand was far less painful than we thought he’d be, and apart from a lame bit of slapstick with a cream pie, was almost understated.

• Liz Smith’s nymphomaniac OAP raised a few smiles – and turned a few stomachs – with her antics.

What was bad about it?

• We love Reece Shearsmith, but his vet masquerading as a psychologist just seemed like a left over character that hadn’t made the cut for The League of Gentlemen.

• The cast really seemed to be wading through treacle with the script. Even the normally reliable Omid Djalili and Miranda Hart couldn’t inspire proceedings. We watched it a second time, and reckoned we didn’t laugh once, and only smiled a handful of times. We’re all for giving programmes time to develop, but will be amazed if this is commissioned for a series.

• Marti Pellow. Apparently a shit-eating grin constitutes acting. Here’s a heads-up for you Marti – it doesn’t.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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