After 8 weeks of loyal viewing, Monday night just wasn’t the same without settling into Broadchurch at 9pm. ITV tried to keep the momentum going by showing two new sitcoms, Vicious and The Job Lot, in the ‘prime time’ Monday night slot.
Neither were brilliant, but they weren’t terrible either. Vicious was broad, camp and live studio based, the only ground being broken here is that the leads were a gay couple. The jokes were sharp enough, and sometimes, for example Not Going Out, that’s all a half an hour sitcom needs. Unfortunately there were not enough jokes to fill an entire half hour or perhaps, the writers mistook repeated gags for running gags. Using the same lines twice, regardless of the usage being either side of an ad break is not good writing. An abundance on jokes about a mother-in-law felt tired as well, only saved by Ian McKellen’s camp Gandalf delivery.
The Job Lot went for a single camera, dull grey approach, which at least was a refreshing change in tone from the deep reds of Vicious studio set. Based in a job centre and focusing on the hapless employees working there, the sitcom irked out a few laughs. The comedy was mainly based in the idiosyncrasies of bureaucracy, highlighted in the jobs-worth procedure obsessed Angela, who’s running gag was eating crisps and was a dangerously close the US Office’s Angela at times, and Sarah Hadland’s flimsy, desperate, but upbeat manager. Russell Tovey was also there being Russell Tovey and someone who used to be in Hollyoaks was very pretty in it.
The Job Lot doesn’t have enough about itself to make it past the first series, but Vicious is probably just the right side of Mrs Brown’s Boys to warrant a a second.
Other Stray Notes
- Call me sad, but why was Coronation Street’s Paul getting the train to Leeds from Victoria station? That journey is at least half an hour longer than it would be from Piccadilly, because the Victoria-Leeds train goes via Bradford and stops at every station across the Pennines.
- Also Paul said he swapped at the first chance he could, Huddersfield, and I’m fairly sure the first stop out of Victoria is Stalybridge, if he really cared about Eileen, he probably could have got back to the station while she was still shouting at the ticket guy.
- So Eli is a bit of a loose cannon in Revenge isn’t he? I’m fairly sure he had at least three double crossing betrayal scenes in last nights episode. One of which was completely superfluous to the rest of the story, other than to maybe say, look at this guy he’s not trustworthy (and black, if we’re using our racism meter).
- University Challenge finished last night, I got four questions right and didn’t score a single point on the drunk writers round, for shame.