Home Time


Looking Up

Not sure if you’ve caught this fairly quietly introduced sitcom on BBC2 yet but, if not, I would strongly recommend heading over to the iPlayer to find Home Time. I would imagine that this kind of comedy is not everyone’s cup of tea but there is a growing tradition in the more successful recent of the genre of slow starts building up cult following. The Office and Gavin and Stacey being the examples that everyone is probably trying to emulate. Indeed, the director and producer of Home Time share credits on Gavin and Stacey and you can see some slight similarities, such as a subtly used regional location and having a broad, watchable and quirky ensemble cast whose lives, to a greater or letter degree, influence the main character(s).

Emma Fryer stars as Gaynor, who at the age of 17  left her home and her friends behind in Coventry to seek a better life in London. 12 years later she returns with her tail between her legs and an air of melancholy that is beautifully portrayed. Fryer has a co-writing credit to boot and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were some gongs on the horizon. The comedy gently sways between the understated (throw-away one-liners and wonderfully captured facial reactions) all the way to the extreme (usually delivered by the acerbic Kerry Godliman as one of Gaynor’s old school friends, Becky). I am enjoying the fact that the 12 year absence is being largely ignored although I am confident it will form an interesting backstory when, inevitably, it will be revealed. Having said that it is “inevitable”, I guess that there is always a chance it will be treated like Bryn’s fishing trip in Gavin and Stacey where the details are slowly teased out to amusing effect.

I can’t write a review without mentioning Gaynor’s Mum and Dad (played Marian McLoughlin and Philip Jackson). Again, their performances, while grounded in a reality where viewers can probably see elements of their own parents , also manage to become charicatures with extraordinary (and extraordinarily funny) quirks, like Brenda’s Irish accent which she has only recently adopted. It’s clearly going to be a slow burn but I am crossing everything hoping for some good and growing viewing figures as this is a programme that already, after only two shows,  deserves a second series.

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