Whoever argued that the sitcom is dead hadn’t been talking to Jack Dee. Starring Dee as stand-up comedian Rick Spleen, Lead Balloon
is one of the funniest shows of its ilk to come along in some time, and this second series finds it on top form.
Series two of Lead Balloon finds Spleen continuing to delude himself into thinking his popularity is soaring, when in fact his star is still ticking along much lower down the fame ladder, and showing little sign of improving. Faced with his own paranoia, a collection of friends whose use varies, and the antics of his family, Spleen’s life is rarely dull. Plus the moment where he meets the children’s entertainer is surely one of the funniest things seen on television in recent times.
Clearly crafted around the characteristics of its star performer, Lead Balloon is a strong lesson in how to put a good situation comedy together. The writing is excellent, buffed and polished to a very high standard. And then the case of performers really do make the most of what they’re given. The result is a superb collection of eight episodes, that leave you genuinely thirsting for the third series of the show. Has Jack Dee, then, single-handedly dragged the sitcom back to life? Maybe, maybe not. But he has made an excellent one himself… --Jon Foster
Jack Dee returns as world-weary stand-up Rick Spleen in all 8 episodes from the second series of this critically acclaimed comedy.
Rick Spleen is back - and as he will tell you, he's on the way up, his career is going from strength to strength and he's never been so popular. In other words, he's still the same old self-deluded liar, making a reasonable living as a C-list celebrity, appearing on low-rent chat shows, performing stand-up at second-rate business bashes and generally hoping for the big break.
Luckily, when he's not handing out awards at the Furniture Manufacturers' Conference or being featured as the face of Bar Lizard Peanuts, there's plenty to preoccupy Rick - from the points on his driving licence to the shadowy hitman he is convinced is on his tail.
On the domestic front, Rick struggles to cope with a bedridden Mel, their daughter Sam and her boyfriend Ben constantly cadging money, and a resignation from the ever morose housekeeper Magda. He gets no help from his quick-talking American writing partner Marty or the local café owner Michael, whose grasp on reality seems to be getting ever looser.
All this and a run-in with a children's entertainer famous for his giant inflatable spanner...
"Clever, classy and expertly crafted"--Daily Mail "One of the funniest homegrown sitcoms of recent years"--Daily Express "Beautifully timed, morose comedy"--Sunday Times "A just about flawless half hour of delightfully miserablist comedy"--Daily Telegraph