Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
on 2 November 2009
It is very difficult to believe that people see this dreadful series as 'subtle' or 'winning' or, most of all, funny in any way.
Ian, a handsome young London comic (played by the wonderful Dylan Moran), gives up his career and moves to a most godforsaken part of England with his nice, but misguided, wife Lisa (Charlotte Coleman) who wants 'to return to her roots'. Running as far away from them as possible would seem preferable. Lisa is sweet, but too blind to see that her husband is a fish out of water and will never fit into country life, or into a family that can't stand him. Ian is too much 'in love' to understand that he is miserable. The only thing 'winning' about the series, as far as I can see, are the two co-stars, but they cannot overcome dreary scripts and disagreeable stories. The only other decent character in the show is Lisa's sister (Emma Chambers).
The town is made up of inbred cretins, the most egregious being Lisa's brother and his pals. They consider bullying and humiliating each other (and everyone else) a fun evening, right along with beating someone up after getting stone drunk. Most disagreeable of all is Lisa's father. He hates Ian unremittingly and wants rid of him. First by buying him off and, failing that, attempting to kill the naive young man and make it look like an accident! Ian constantly, and infuriatingly, turns the other cheek -- coming across as a total wuss in the process. In a most welcome Freudian 'accident', Ian shoots the hateful old man. This is the stuff of which great comedy is made??
These are not situations that generally evoke mirth. Suffice it to say, there is little fun to be had as a result.
There is but one resolution to Lisa and Ian's situation: get as far away from such people as fast as possible. But the show goes on and on and on, dredging up intolerance and meanness week after week, in the name of comedy, with no learning or change in sight.