Lee Mack, Ellie White, Reviews, Tv & Radio

Lee Mack, Ellie White

Semi-Detached review: Chaotic Lee Mack comedy goes heavy on the immaturity and slapstick

Semi-Detached review: Chaotic Lee Mack comedy goes heavy on the immaturity and slapstick

8/7/2020 12:31:00 AM

Semi-Detached review: Chaotic Lee Mack comedy goes heavy on the immaturity and slapstick

In some respects, this BBC sitcom channels elements of the sadcom – but the moments aren’t frequent or long enough to actually make us care

) with their crying baby strapped to his chest when a fire alarm sounds. His father (Clive Russell) enters the smokey kitchen, towel-clad and face-masked. It’s the most peaceful moment in the episode – which ends with Stuart trapped inside a trailer, high on magic mushrooms and bottle-feeding cola to a diabetic neighbour.

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The six-episode series follows everyman Stuart, a wedding DJ (or “audio visuals event coordinator”), as he navigates life in English suburbia. Each episode chronicles another of his attempts to get from point A to B, attempts which are invariably derailed by something or another. Sometimes it’s a missing iPad or a nosy neighbour; often it’s a flare-up of his IBS – almost always, it’s a combination of all three and more. For Stuart, it is “one of those days” every day.

A homely hybrid of suburban mundanity and absurdist set-ups, the BBC Two series shares overtones with Channel 4’sFriday Night Dinnerbut goes heavier on the immaturity and slapstick: there are lobsters in the hot tub, impromptu kidnappings, cocaine mixed with ashes in an urn, a severed finger in a box of frozen waffles, and an inane amount of toilet humour. It is essentially a rapid-fire assault of jokes and shticks, some of which land and others of which don’t.

Download the new Independent Premium appSharing the full story, not just the headlinesDownload nowWriters Oliver Maltman and David Crow have thrown in a “real-time” gimmick for good measure, and surprisingly, it works. The absence of cutaways throughout the series does well to underscore its frenetic, stressful energy. Each 20-minute episode sees a well-meaning Stuart rushing about trying to put out fires (both literal and metaphorical) while only adding fuel to the flame. It makes for a viewing experience akin to playing a game of Jenga blindfolded in a speeding vehicle. And the car is on fire.

Mack is brilliant as Stuart, a hapless loser who dyes his beard in an effort to keep up with his much younger girlfriend. TheWould I Lie To You?comedian is the series’ moral compass, his needle thrown totally askew by an ensemble cast of eccentrics and jerks: a drug-taking father who has newly discovered Grindr; his hopeless white-collar criminal brother (

Peep Show’s Neil Fitzmaurice); and an ex-wife (Sex Education’s Samantha Spiro) who lives in the house opposite with their rebellious teenage daughter (Sarah Hoare) and new banker-bro husband (The Office’s Patrick Baladi), all of whom seem hell-bent on misunderstanding, disrupting, and overall distressing poor ol’ Stuart.

Read more: The Independent »

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Its the worst comedy I have ever seen its not funny one little bit What a load of shite! Crap writing, crap acting, crap casting - just total shite! That’s 30 minutes of my life I won’t get back! 😡 Dire Not his best work On balance, then, about 1000000% more enjoyable than the Mash Report. It was confusing. And confused.

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