sun 22/09/2019

sitcom

Mum, Series 3 finale, BBC Two review - superb comedy bows out

Always leave them wanting more, a wise man once said, and there can’t be a single fan of Mum who doesn’t want its creator, Stefan Golaszewski, to change his mind about making the third series the last. But then, when you achieve perfection perhaps...

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Mum, BBC Two, series 3 review - welcome last hurrah for adult family sitcom

It is a cliché that never grows old. From Fawlty Towers via The Office all the way through to (so we are told) Fleabag, a great half-hour comedy that bows out after two series cements its place in the pantheon by ensuring posterity wants more....

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Back to Life, BBC Three review - Daisy Haggard finds laughs in prison release

Pre-publicity for Back to Life has been all about its stablemate. This new six-part comedy comes from the same producers who brought you Fleabag, and the hope is that the Midas touch is catching. It seems unlikely, on the face of it, to follow the...

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Fleabag, Series 2 finale, BBC Three review - Phoebe Waller-Bridge's miraculous situation tragedy

The problem with Fleabag (BBC Three/BBC One) is that it makes almost all television look pedestrian. It’s like the difference between Fleabag’s scummily inadequate boyfriends and the unattainable perfection embodied by the cool sweary priest. Earth...

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This Time with Alan Partridge, Series finale, BBC One review - back to his worst

Piers Morgan hated This Time with Alan Partridge (BBC One) and predicted it would be pulled before the end of the series. This may be taken as a kitemark of quality. And yet the prime target for Steve Coogan’s satire was no voice in the wilderness....

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Dead Pixels, E4, review - gamers for a laugh

The joke in Dead Pixels, a new sitcom on E4, is that there is a better life to be pursued in the fantasy world of videogames. In this alt. environment, outcomes can be controlled by consoles and keyboards, squeamishness about violence can be parked...

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After Life, Netflix, review - Ricky Gervais's grief emoji

The limitless goodwill generated by The Office earned Ricky Gervais the right to do and say as he pleased. Thus, hosting the Golden Globes, he was toweringly rude to Hollywood royalty. In Extras he gleefully portrayed celebrities as vain and ghastly...

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Derry Girls, Series Two, Channel 4 review - welcome back, gang

When Derry Girls premiered on Channel 4 in early 2018, there was little fanfare. But it’s been a whirlwind year for the four girls from Derry (and the wee English lad), capturing British hearts before conquering the US through Netflix...

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Fleabag, Series 2 review - a standing ovation

What a super-talented woman Phoebe Waller-Bridge is. Hot on the heels of the success of her adaptation of Killing Eve, she now spoils us with a second series of Fleabag (BBC Three, then BBC One) that opened with an episode so gobsmackingly good that...

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Catastrophe, Channel 4, series 4 finale review - sitcom saves the best till last

When the third series ended with a car crash, I did wonder whether Catastrophe (Channel 4) should maybe think about calling it a day. The previous half-dozen episodes had gone to a dark place in their exploration of alcoholism, but stealthily, as if...

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Camping, Sky Atlantic, review - Lena Dunham's tentative British export

When British sitcoms head west anything can happen. For every success – The Office had a happy second life with Steve Carell – there are half a dozen others that got lost in translation, including Coupling, Getting On, Gavin and Stacey, The It Crowd...

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Catastrophe, Series 4, Channel 4 review - final series starts strongly

Some may have thought that Catastrophe (Channel 4) had neared the end of the road with the third series, but I disagree. It was still managing, with some deftness, to pull off the difficult trick of mixing broad humour with serious themes of love,...

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