Full disclosure upfront. I have only seen two episodes from the first (and only) season of the BBC situation comedy, Whites, starring Alan Davies as an executive chef at a country house hotel that has “past his sell-by date”. That said, I feel qualified to comment on the current Bring Back Whites campaign as this is a show that I have been tracking since it went in to production. Partly due to the fact that it was to star Alan Davies (QI, Jonathan Creek) and partly because it was like getting back to old-school situation comedy where the lead character could just as easily wind up on the most-despised list as well as the most-liked list (i.e. Basil Fawlty, Edmund Blackadder).
Also of interest was to read about the prep (sorry) that Davies, co-star Darren Boyd and much of the cast which included the great Katherine Parkinson (Doc Martin, Old Guys, IT Crowd) went through in preparing for the series at Fifteen, Jamie Oliver’s London restaurant. Co-writer Matt King based much of the script on his early restaurant days which, if we learned anything from the recent PBS broadcast of Behind the Britcom, the successful ones are written by writers that have personal experience with what they are writing about. What’s not to like here, BBC?
After all this, it was a great surprise for all involved in the production along with loyal viewers to learn that the series was not commissioned for a second season even though audience figures were good (better, in many cases, than series that were renewed).
To quote Yogi Berra, it’s not over until it’s over. Enter the Bring Back Whites campaign which started out as a simple petition to compile signatures of loyal fans to send to the BBC commissioners to perhaps change their minds. Since then, it’s been tweeted, facebooked, written about and, now, there’s a Bring Back Whites website who’s sole purpose is to generate support for the series and get it back on air with another series. No matter what side of the pond you’re on, go to the site and register a vote for Whites, the little comedy that could.