fri 23/08/2019

Miranda, BBC One | reviews, news & interviews

Miranda, BBC One

Miranda, BBC One

Miranda Hart bows out from her slapstick sitcom

All ended happily as Miranda Hart tied up the loose ends in the finale of 'Miranda'

And so, after starting life as Miranda Hart's Joke Shop on Radio 4 in 2008, then continuing for three series on the BBC from 2009, Miranda is no more. Its co-creator, co-writer and star, Miranda Hart, has decided to pull the plug on her eponymously named sitcom.

Hart follows in good company of writers who realise they have mined all the com they can from the sit and, in the best showbiz tradition, have stopped while leaving their audience wanting more – as did Connie Booth and John Cleese with Fawlty Towers, and Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant with The Office. And, it should be said, while TV executives would gladly have taken anything more she, or they, would have written, whatever its quality; Miranda has become a huge hit for the BBC - daft, old-fashioned comedy full of physical humour, telegraphed verbal gags, a cracking cast and a genuinely appealing star. It's good-natured family entertainment with just enough innuendo for the parents' pleasure (ooh er) and lots of broad comedy – with pratfalls and fart gags to the fore - to keep the youngsters happy.

And so to this two-part farewell. The first, shown on Christmas Day, picked up where the third series had left off with not one but two chaps proposing to Miranda; love of her life Gary (Tom Ellis) and nice guy Mike (Bo Poraj). Fans of the show always knew whom she would choose, of course, but this being Miranda, she and Gary were not about to walk gently into the sunset and the episode ended with them deciding to call off their engagement.

In the finale, Miranda's best friend Stevie (Sarah Hadland) moved in to share her flat - “There will be no sex,” Stevie quickly reassured Miranda (or was it the audience?) - Miranda told her domineering mother, Penny (the excellent Patricia Hodge, pictured above with Hart) to stop interfering in her life, and she sorted out friend Tilly's relationship with Charlie (Sally Phillips and Adrian Scarborough) for good measure.

Miranda was putting her life together without Gary – and my, how very unMiranda-like it all was. Not only did she forget to eat, but she also tidied away a stool that someone could have fallen over and dismissed a bouncy castle as “childish”. So unMiranda-like was this behaviour that Penny and friends called in a therapist (Mark Heap) to perform an intervention. This truly was comedy as therapy as Miranda (or maybe Hart) got to make everything shipshape, and set the world to rights while she was about it. There were even little homilies - including one about being accepted for who and what you are - to underline the point.

If this sounds as if there was little comedy in the last episode, that would be true. Most laughs were provided by flashbacks to previous episodes, and some nice callbacks to earlier storylines and characters. If there were tears, they were not of laughter but of the gloopy sort as Miranda finally got to tie the knot with Gary and all the guests galloped like ponies to the wedding – which I defy anyone to watch without at least a smile. And while Hart's “Dearest chums....” speech to camera at the end as she bade goodbye to the audience was self-indulgent and maudlin, I can guarantee it would have caused a few sobs among viewers.

Miranda has divided critics and viewers alike – some have loved its old-fashioned, often broad humour, while others have hated its cosiness and repetition of the same few gags. Whichever your view, it was inoffensive fun and, as Miranda said in the finale, “Life needs a little jollifying at times.”

There were even little homilies - including one about being accepted for who and what you are

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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