fri 23/02/2018

sitcom

Mum, BBC Two, series 2 review - Lesley Manville is a discreet delight

This week brings a tale of two comedies. Both half-hour sitcoms are about widowed mothers with grown-up sons still at home. Each woman has an unattached admirer. Both shows star fine comic actresses who learned much of their craft in the films of...

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Hold the Sunset, BBC One, review - this is an ex-sitcom

You need to be of a certain vintage to have any memory of the traditional suburban family sitcom. Like the Raleigh Chopper and the Betamax video, like amateur athletics and glamrock and key parties, it is an extinct cultural artefact. What did for...

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Derry Girls, Channel 4 review – bring on series two!

When first announced, Derry Girls seemed a strange prospect. Derry during The Troubles wasn’t an obvious choice for a sitcom; neither was writer Lisa McGee, whose only previous comedy outing London Irish was slammed for negative...

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John Mahoney: 'I wanted to be like everybody else'

In 11 seasons of Frasier, John Mahoney played Marty Crane, a cussed blue-collar ex-cop who couldn’t quite understand how his loins came to produce two prissily cultured psychiatrists. His ally in straight-talking was his physiotherapist Daphne,...

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Motherland / Detectorists review - comedy classics go at their own pace

As Motherland settles down into its first series proper after last year’s pilot, it still seems to be going at a fair gallop. For those of you who haven’t seen it, the sitcom, written by Graham Linehan and Sharon Horgan along with Helen Linehan and...

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W1A, Series 3 Finale, BBC Two review - the satire gets to the end of its joke

Repetition can help clarity. It emphasises significance, and shines a light more directly onto something hidden. It can guide us gently into an area we might have otherwise circumvented, and urge us to stare at something for long enough to see...

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Bad Move, ITV review - Jack Dee resettles in the middle of the road

That the countryside is a dump where all good things come to a dead end is hardly a new punchline. There are plenty of novels and memoirs, and indeed newspaper columns, about trading the toxic metropolis for the green and unpleasant pastures of the...

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Henry IX, UK Gold, review - 'return of sitcom classics'

It has been a long, long time since Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais wrote a new sitcom; in their heyday they created The Likely Lads and its sequel, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?, Porridge and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, all of which have become...

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Catastrophe, Series 3, review - 'the end of the road?'

In the beginning it was about good catastrophes. A shotgun pregnancy after a hot hook-up. A dysfunctional transatlantic romance in which opposites attract. The boredom of looking after babies. The boredom of being a wage slave. Catastrophe was...

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The Great Indoors, ITV2

The main attraction of this new US sitcom for a UK audience is that two British actors - Stephen Fry and Susannah Fielding – appear in it. The basic premise is that Jack Gordon, a famed reporter, has led a thrilling outdoorsman life, writing about...

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Divorce, Sky Atlantic

Divorce opened on Sarah Jessica Parker inspecting the work of time in the mirror. Goodbye Carrie, hello Frances, upstate New Yorker, mother of two and wife to a man who demands equal time in the bathroom. “I was forced to take a shit in this coffee...

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The wisdom and wit of Carla Lane

Carla Lane, who has died at the age of 87, was the first from Liverpool. Before Alan Bleasdale and Willy Russell, long before Jimmy McGovern, hers was the loudest Liverpudlian voice on television portraying ordinary working people's lives. From The...

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