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Oh, Dear God

From the Beeb :

Only Fools and Horses star Nicholas Lyndhurst will return to the BBC in a sitcom scripted by My Family creator Fred Barron.
In After You've Gone, Lyndhurst, 45, plays a divorced father who has to look after his children when his wife leaves the country to work in the third world.

His attempts to be a father are hindered by his mother-in-law, played by Acorn Antiques star Celia Imrie.

Now, I like Nicholas Lyndhurst. From Butterflies, though OFAH, through to the early series of Goodnight Sweetheart (hey, I liked it at the time, and as high-concept sitcom goes, you can't beat it). I also like Celia Imrie, who has a fantastic track record when working with people like Victoria Wood. But, come on. Does that not sound like the most ridiculously cliched and formulaic sitcom idea you've ever heard? Divorced father (presumably not used to looking after children), interfering mother-in-law, "hilarious consequences!" and so on. Even ignoring my natural bias against anything that includes the words "scripted by My Family creator Fred Barron"... is this really what we've come to?

Slightly better news further down, though :

A sketch show by British-Iranian comedian Omid Djalili has also been commissioned after the testing process.

Djalili is one of the great underrated, underexposed comedians of our time (all the way back to his appearance as "the bloke who does the drumming bit at the end of Eastenders" on The Friday Night Armistice), so it'd be nice to see him have a crack at the big time.

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It really is a case of how many of these crappy sitcoms we can take. It's gonna be just like the latest offerings of Green Green Grass and the recent one with Samantha Janus where it's about them *har har* moving back in with their *pissing myself just thinking about it* parents. As for 'high-concept' sitcoms, look at My Hero, which is somehow STILL going even though Ardal O' Hanlon told them to fuck off (which he should have done at least two series ago).

HOWEVER, even if it turns out crap, at least they're actually making something out of the 6 pilots they did earlier this year (one of which was Omid Djalili's sketch show, which should be good, although I hope it includes a little standup as well because he's so great at it).

There are a few BBC shows I'm looking forward to this autumn. Apart from the second series of Extras and The Royle Family special, there's also Lenny Henry's new sitcom (LONG overdue. 'Chef!' was great. I'm glad he's given up the crap sketch show.) and Jennifer Saunders' new one called 'Jam and Jerusalem'. Also, 'Magnolia', a painter and decorator comedy from Dave Spikey.

By performingmonkey
August 02, 2006 @ 6:02 pm

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It really is a case of how many of these crappy sitcoms we can take

Or perhaps accepting that not all sit-coms have to be aimed at our own particular age-group/demographic, and that other people might enjoy them even if we don't?

By Pook
August 05, 2006 @ 10:08 pm

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