Thursday, 10 January 2008

Lager and Live please Bar Steward

Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps is a show it’s pretty hard to love, but for all its faults it gets a far harder time than it deserves at the hands of pundits and snobby comedy fans alike. It’s really not all that bad, and there’s generally a handful of genuine laughs in every episode.

That said, I’m not sure how wise bringing it back is, even with the added gimmick of that American TV-staple the live show.

Granted this could actually be a lot of fun, it’s almost certainly going to be the best episode of the new series and it does actually achieve the impossible: It makes 2 Pints… event television for the first time ever. There’s not many as can claim they saw that one coming. When Will and Grace attempted the Live show it was a hoot, which isn’t an adjective I use widely. I'm not 100% it's even an adjective,

It’s certainly hard to think if another current British Sitcom that could make use of the live format. Possibly The IT Crowd could pull it off. For it’s faults 2 Pints does have a sense of barely held together anarchy.

That said it’s hard to see how it deserves yet another series, Live or not. Despite the likeable cast and aforementioned couple of strong laughs per episode, 2 Pints is patchy as hell. Half the things attempted don’t work, and every conceivable format twist has been thrown at it already. What’s more the stuff brought in to make it more interesting has all been nicked from other sitcoms. There’s been a musical episode (Scrubs), they killed the entire cast in the last episode (The Young Ones), now the live episode (Will and Grace). There’s nothing left to try. They can’t take these characters anywhere else, something that someone has clearly acknowledged: Ralf Little (whose sensibly jumped ship)’s character Johny has been written out by going on a ‘Shark Jumping Holiday’. That’s probably the best gag of the series right there.

Still. That cast is very likeable, even if you can’t ever remember that they’re characters aren’t called Jambo, Carol and Are’Antnee. At least it keeps Susan Nickson from writing another series of Grownups, which was shudderingly bad. Personally I won’t be happy till Sheridan Smith is put in Doctor Who properly though, and this just takes up her time until that day.

The first episode of the new 2POLAAPOC (as it shall now be called) is on this Sunday (Jan 14th)at 9.00p.

Here’s the trailer.

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