June 22, 2024

Peepshow’s back! Is it as good as it was?

*Spoiler Alert – Episode one, season 8 *

When a sitcom comes back for series 8 you know that you are dealing with a national treasure. All the previous series are available to watch on 4oD, so the potential audience wishing this series to be up there with the best of the previous offerings is huge. Does it succeed in meeting expectations?

Like everyone, we have only seen episode One so far, but Mitchell and Webb are still excellent in the roles of Jeremy and Mark. Mitchell in particular stands out for the way he apologetically voices Mark’s thoughts . Super Hans is back – with a suit and a job. With a suit and a job?! Yes, and that changes the dynamic of the group. Olivia Colman is nowhere to be seen.

Unfortunately episode one didn’t reach the peaks that Peepshow has so often set before. There was an amusing patch when Mark realised he had stopped Dobby from seeing Gerard just before he died, but the premise was too far-fetched to feel quite right. Gerrard would have to have been built up as particularly sensitive for the idea of him dying a day after he was just in bed looking a bit unwell to work at all. The idea of a third interview for a job being arranged within half an hour of the last was also pushing the limits of credulity. Johnson suddenly popping up to give an unpleasant speech was out of place whilst Jeremy’s rant in the therapist’s office was over-egged and not comedic – which is a problem in a comedy. Dobby’s character was not utilised to its full potential.

So is the writing weakening? After seven series it must be hard to keep finding authentic plot lines. There were some sparks of the old brilliance, the curry scene especially. But this is only the first episode, there is plenty of time for things to develop. Maybe this was just a scene setter and future episodes will sparkle.But if Colman is not going to feature they will have their work cut out.

 

Rating: Too early in the series to say.

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