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Review: Friday Night Dinner, Channel 4
SITCOMS have generally concentrated on middle-class families of four and the “hilarious side” of the day-to-day problems they encounter in suburbia.
So it is the case here with this new attempt by Channel 4 to reel in the sort of person who graduated from The Good Life to Ever Decreasing Circles, then lost the will to watch TV when Vic Reeves/Johnny Vegas etc shook up the format a bit with the likes of Catterick and Benidorm.
Tamsin Greig takes the sensible mum role Wendy Craig or Felicity Kendal may once have been given, while Paul Ritter is the annoying short-tempered, hard of hearing dad. The sons, who have moved out of home but come round for dinner every Friday night (ah, that’s why . . . ) are played by Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal.
To be fair, after a slow start, it warms up and there’s a couple of promising characters in the annoying neighbour (Mark Heap) whose toilet has broken so he constantly pops round to use theirs and the chap who turns up to buy a sofa bed for his father but ends up leaving it behind after he dies. So, basically it’s the interruptions that work.
The deaf dad bit is fine, and the two brothers’ love-hate relationship reminds me very much of my brother and me without the love bit.
It’s all been done before though, and rather than offering anything new to the world of the sitcom, merely attempts to blend the old routine with some updated touches — a bit like Oasis did with the Beatles songbook.
Like a Friday night dinner then, nothing special, but palatable enough.