Did we like it?
A safe, unfunny sitcom on a Friday night. Again. Talented actors trying to squeeze laughs from a puerile script. Again. Middle-class twats twatting around in kitchens. Again. We won’t be watching it. Again.
What was good about it?
• Bruce Mackinnon’s character Mark is the only one with any personality and Mackinnon’s performance was the only saving grace in this bore-com, adopting that wacky, who-me? persona that made Kris Marshall’s Nick the only saving grace in My Family.
• There were some Ritz Crackers in it – and we quite like them. Very morish.
• There was one good joke when Kim was introduced as Ingrid’s boss. Kim pro-tested: “I like to think of myself as a friend who’s higher up the pay scale.”
What was bad about it?
• BBC1 has failed to learn a single lesson after wasting the licence fee on the appalling Mad About Alice and Blessed. They must have known there’s no way this would ever become a hit.
• Peter Egan (as Graham, the curmudgeonly one) and Sinead Cusack (as Sheila, the too-busy one) were wasted as they ploughed through a lame script while tucked up in bed or squabbling in the kitchen. Egan was in Ever Decreasing Circles, one of the all-time Top 10 best sitcoms; now he’s got a place in the all-time Top 10 worst sitcoms, too.
• Samantha Janus once again fails to impress as an actress
• Even before the title sequence, we suffered Sitcom Cliché No 654, The Smarmy Estate Agent, and Sitcom Cliché No 24, The Bashed Head.
• Before long, we had loads of other sitcom clichés including brattish kids (“Why don’t you have children, auntie Ingrid? Are you sterile?”), the back injury, the kitchen covered in mess, the unexpected visit and, worst of all, those immortal lines: “A word! In the kitchen! Now!”
• Dialogue such as:
Mark – “This is a sample. We call it an on-spec.”
Graham – “I call it an on-my-kitchen-table.”
• Dialogue such as:
Mark – “It had a crapper in the lounge.”
Sheila – “Don’t use that language in this house. We call it a living room.”
• Jokes such as: “You’re up and down like a pig on a trampoline.”
• Inbetween Days by The Cure was used as the theme tune. We hope that Robert Smith hasn’t killed himself in protest.