Monday was a day of comedy in Liverpool at the BBC Showcase 2013. Every year there are several comedy gems that will, ultimately, make their way to the States on public television. From the early 90’s with the first screenings of Keeping Up Appearances to the subsequent years where we were treated to pilot episodes of Vicar of Dibley, Chef, Couplingand last year’s Hebburn and Lead Balloon, you can always count on the BBC to have some pretty stellar comedy ready to make the trek across the pond.
This year is no exception with several comedies that feature a number of familiar names and faces.
The parent-eat-parent world of Gates
Starring Tom Ellis (Miranda), Sue Johnston (The Royle Family) and Joanna Page (Gavin & Stacey), Gates casts a satirical eye on the unforgiving, socially exposed minefield that is ‘the school gates’. Helen (Joanna Page) turns over her ‘drop-off duties’ to husband, Mark (Tom Ellis), with one rule and one rule only….Don’t get sucked in. Unfortunately, for Mark, and nine-year old daughter, Chloe, Tom doesn’t heed Helen’s advice and gets sucked in to the world of PTA meetings, coffee mornings, fundraisers and holidays with their new-found ‘friends’.
The Job Lot…Teamwork is Dreamwork
From the producers of Rev and Friday Night Dinner comes this comedy set in a job centre where the staff in varying degrees of enthusiasm and effort, help people find work. There’s neurotic Trish, reluctant Karl, less-than-helful Angela and two ‘security’ guards who pass the time daily employed at the Brownhall Job Centre dealing with customers who don’t always appreciate their ‘efforts’, such as they are. The series, which stars Sarah Hadland (Miranda), Russell Tovey (Being Human, Him & Her) and Sophie McShera (Downton Abbey), is very much in the style of The Office).
More to come tomorrow as we review Mr. Stink, starring Hugh Bonneville, Spy and the new Yes Prime Minister. Tonights the big night at BBC Showcase with the 50th anniversary Doctor Who dinner and concert. On your behalf, I will definitely let my eyes be like cameras.