All About George, ITV1

by | Sep 29, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

With the successes of Cold Feet and Life Begins under his belt, writer Mike Bullen focuses on the funny foibles of family life

What to say if you disliked it

Bullen fails, by a mile, to complete a hat-trick of engaging, touching, funny dramas. This failed on all three counts.

What was good about it?

• We hated the overall premise – it doesn’t rain but it pours – mixed with a bit of light relief – oh well, never mind – because so many of the situations were clichéd and clunky. But a couple of scenes rang true: the way the teenager Amy tormented her brother Russell with taunts of “you’re so gay” just so she could watch something other than the wrestling on TV; and George’s discomfit when his father talked about his sex life with his mother. “She’s always had a horror of choking.”

• The gorgeous Christopher Simpson is in it, as the new father/boozy junior doctor (“Saturday nights are always the same. Meet with our mates, get beered up, take a few pills. Now what have I got to look forward to: You’ve Been Framed?”. And Sian Brooke, who plays his partner Laura also provides a bit of eye candy.

• Edna Dore as George’s grandmother Lili although there was no grit or humour in her sub-plot – getting thrown out of her old people’s home.

What was bad about it?

• Rik Mayall is miscast as central character George. He can’t handle the poignant bits and couldn’t help slipping back into his old style of acting from time to time (notably when he shouted “Bad clubs” when he was rebuked for leaving his golf equipment in the hallway). And some of his amiable grins were borrowed from a horror movie child killer.

• “The family tree resembles spaghetti junction,” claimed George. It doesn’t, at all. It’s all fairly straightforward in this day and age.

• An overload of deja-vu gags and scenarios. Examples included: the camera set on a timer doesn’t go off and then does when everyone moves; the squabble over names for a new child; the queue for the bathroom; the baby locked in the car; marital misunderstandings; a John Lennon quotation; eavesdropper gets hold of the wrong end of the stick; “Daddy, what’s a whore?”; broken crockery; the overblown romantic gesture; the famous last words (“Nothing can thwart my plans now”).

• Some of the dialogue stank. Examples included: “Is this why you came to see me so you could have a good whine?” asked George’s shouty father when they met in a pub. “Well, you won’t get one here,” quipped George.

• George is a golf club member and a Guardian reader. That’s never going to happen.

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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