The Bad Mother’s Handbook, ITV1

by | Feb 19, 2007 | All, Reviews

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

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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