The Complete Guide to Parenting, ITV1

by | Sep 11, 2006 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

It was acceptable – a rare thing on ITV1 these days.

What was good about it?

• Josie Lawrence as posh, precise Phoebe, forced to attend church and dig up an old newspaper clipping featuring her Irish curling-playing grandfather in order to win a place in a decent Catholic school for son Jamie, against the better judgement of her husband George, instead of the state school (“Have you SEEN the league tables?)

• It was never hilarious but was sprinkled with mild humour – such as Phoebe not knowing when to sit or stand in church, Kiwi au pair Korey knocking the bathroom door of its hinges to get to malingering Jamie, and the stony silence that greeted George’s talk to kids in his son’s class (previous speakers had been an Arsenal coach and a fireman)

• George’s desperate attempt to ease racial tensions in the primary school classroom. “Ambient aromas from living above a tandoori house are quite different from personal hygiene.”

• George’s PA Karen shouting “wardens!” to clear a coffee shop of all the young mothers cluttering up the place.

What was bad about it?

• The casting of Peter Davison as George seemed lazy. Rather than his usual dithering role, he was self-important in this sitcom – but failed to pull it off convincingly.

• Jamie’s act of devastation when left home alone wasn’t credible, especially with him dressing up in drag.

• The stupid slapstick climax to George’s interference at the school (an angry father dangled him off the roof)

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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