It inhabits a different planet from mainstream sitcoms. Something out of the ordinary - invigorating. Each episode is set, during the first half an hour when Val (Dawn French) and Roger (Alfred Molina) walk in through the front door. This is a six part series that relies utterly on microscopic behavioural comedy. Reminds me of Mike Leighs' work and Jim Cartwrights' play "Two"- You may well love this if you like either. It's naturalistic acting which gives this feel as if, we've placed a camera inside a real couples home. This honest and authentic British gem, is a much more subtle format then you might be traditionally used to. The Observational comedy, allows characters to go off on tangents in their dialogue, but that's what we do as humans.
Their harrowing dialogue flows from: Death and loss to who can put their coat on the fastest along with a war with the fish fingers! In the space of seconds, the atmosphere changes. It's an emotionally journey without going anywhere. The best sitcoms can make you sad and take you to dark places within the human soul-But suddenly we're laughing, and moving on and living life. Critics may slate that the balance is not equal between the drama and comedy but in life it's never is perfectly entwined. This isn't for everyone, you must have patience and let the story unfold.
Dawn French has tried something different as an actress alongside the charismatic performance of Alfred Molina. The writing is well-observed and refreshing. As "Roger and Val Have Just Got in" progresses, the central couple have their own demons to face when a tragedy from the couple's past re-emerges. One of their ways of coping with tragedy is by distraction. They mask their secret pain by cocooning themselves in their own little world and developing cunning avoidance strategies. This is comedy gold. They playfully act with each other, imagining what life would be like if they were another couple. A Strange, quirky and adorable comedy ensues, whose profundity distinguishes itself from any other Sitcom running.
I find myself engaged in their conversation and mannerisms. There's a direct sense of Identification with Val & Roger and am always telling my boyfriend "That's what you do!" So for all the hidden Roger and Val's out there, buy this, see yourself within these heartwarming characters.