Did we like it?
It’s yet another comedy drama with not enough of either – and the added problem of Catherine Tate as an ee-bah-gum northerner. We expected her to bring out a sponsorship form in aid of some Geordie unfortunates at any minute.
What was good about it?
• Anne Reid as not-all-there Nan, especially when she was badmouthing France (she can’t understand the fuss about frogs legs and is disgusted by what Irene Seddon told her about their toilets)
• At the other end of the age scale, Holly Grainger (also to be seen in Waterloo Road) is carving out a good reputation as a sulky teenager
• The sentimentality was never sick-makingly sugary – and the story moved along at a good pace (all the way to a Albert Square-shaped ‘climax’)
What was bad about it?
• Catherine Tate was miscast as central character Karen, a woman for whom disappointment lurks round every corner.
• We don’t like to-camera narration. We don’t like it in Bonkers and we didn’t like it here.
• We don’t like pretend northern accents. We didn’t like it from Marc Warren in last week’s Life On Mars and we didn’t like it here.
• We don’t like League Of Gentlemen’s Steve Pemberton in mainstream shows. We don’t like him in Benidorm and we didn’t like him in this (apart from the line: “Why don’t you borrow my spare kagoul?”).
• We liked Oliver Lee as a Hollyoaks gay boy, but he didn’t convince as a straight boy here.
• Daniel the nerd was just too ridiculous, too Forrest Gumpy.
* Gold by Spandau Ballet, as welcome in a TV drama as I Predict A Riot