Not Going Out, BBC1

by | Oct 6, 2006 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

We nearly didn’t last five minutes, but after three episodes, we’re happy that we’ve stuck with the Lee Mack/Andrew Collins-scripted sitcom.

What’s good about it?

• If we said “the texture” would you think we’re being pretentious. It’s just that we enjoyed the contrasts between the corny, silly jokes and poignant, emotional moments – and the contrast between scenes which amounted to little more than a snappy one-liner to extended scenes which were allowed to breathe

• With just three regular characters, we get a chance to get to know them well – Lee Mack’s Lee, who cracks jokes to create diversions from his real feelings; Megan Dodds as Kate, an earnest American, who couldn’t crack a joke in a million years; and Tim Vine’s Tim, who cracks the odd joke when he’s not cracking up over his latest emotional crisis.

• The scenes outside the apartment really lift the show. Best bits in the opening three episodes were Kate at Clown Club (reversing the bucket of confetti joke and screwing up a trust exercise), Lee trying to amuse the icy psychiatrist, Lee’s awkward dinner date with the author whose bestseller details her childhood abuse, and Lee dressing as a maiden aunt at the funeral for Tim’s Nan.

• Many of the jokes were too obvious, with the punchline smacking you in the face after just a few words, but that didn’t stop us laughing.

• Julia Morris’s guest role as snooty Australian Ruth

• We Will Rock You accompanied by armpit squelching.

What’s bad about it?

• Lee Mack and Tim Vine sometimes struggle to convince as actors – it’s like we’re watching a TV comedy duo in the midst of a routine before introducing us to “the lovely Barbara Dickson”.

• The American influences – the loft apartment setting/the musical stings and aerial views between scenes – annoyed us.

• The audience laughter annoyed us. This is quite an adult sitcom and didn’t need the guffawing.

• Two Thora Hid jokes in three episodes.

Our favourite jokes from the first three episodes

• “She’s got letters after her name.” “So have I.” “No, you’ve got letters in your name.”

• “No man is an island.” “What about the Isle of Man?”

• “My Nan died. I thought she was going to live til she was 100.” “Were you close?” “Well, 94. I was only six years out.”

• “All hands on deck. As the pervert said at the Byker Grove convention.”

• “She self harms.” “What’s wrong with selling farms?”

• “I can’t just turn it on like a tap.” “Force it.” “I can’t just turn it on like a faucet.”

• “I’m a high flier. I say ‘Hi, do you want a flyer’.”

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles

06/10/2006

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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