It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Sky's recent move into television comedy, however it doesn't mean to say I like them all (*cough* The Cafe) but Parents which started on Friday is one which I liked from the very get go.
I first became aware of Parents at the start of the year and I hoped it wouldn't disappoint, and the sitcom written by Lloyd Woolf & Joe Tucker and directed by Simon Delaney certainly lives up to the hype and does not disappoint.
This is also helped by a stellar cast that includes Sally Phillips (Smack The Pony, Miranda), Susie Blake (Coronation Street, Mrs Brown's Boys) and Tom Conti (Friends, Miranda).
With three generations under one roof what could possibly go wrong? The answer? A lot! First of all there's the small matter that Jenny (Sally Phillips) assaulted a colleague after arguing over a pen - yep a pen - which leads to her dismissal which leads to her house being repossessed which end with them moving in with Jenny's parents Len & Alma (Susie Blake & Tom Conti).
This is where the sitcom really begins and episode after episode we witness the inevitable which is Jenny looking for jobs and when she finds a job, it doesn't exactly go to plan. All she needs to do to get out of this situation is apologise to the colleague she assaulted, but this seems a stem too far and even when she plucks up the courage to something always goes wrong.
Showing episodes One & Two back to back was a great idea as it gave the audience a better sense of the characters and the different stories the series will cover.Often back to back episodes help to get rid of any worries you may have after episode One, although I'm sure, as I found, this wasn't needed for Parents as less than two minutes in I was already laughing and thought 'this is gonna be good'.
Darren Strange (see image left) is somewhat of an unknown actor yet does a great job in his role as Nick Pope, an 'entrepreneur' who in reality has very little going for him. A token 'silly' character Strange does it very well and has a great relationship with Len (see image right) who he adores yet the same cannot be said for Len. Len is constantly calling for him to 'get a proper job' even in the guise of Stelios from easyJet in a very funny and entertaining scene.
Despite not appearing a great deal in the first two episodes, the two kids, Becky (Jadie Rose Hobson) and Sam (Christian Lees) offer some great moments when the do speak such as when Jenny is proving to be a good mum to her own mother and Becky picks her mum up on her allergies to which Jenny responds with "I'm not a 'details' mum".
I have read a few articles, reffering to Parents as 'the new Outnumbered' - and if you're looking for this then I have a feeling that you'll be very disappointed. Yes both sitcoms have a family at its core but that's where the similarity ends. For one, Parents doesn't include the improvised scenes that you witness in Outnumbered, nor does it need to. I'm often wary of the phrase "the new..." but even more so when the comparison seems to make no sense at all. I love Outnumbered don't get me wrong, but I think there's room in the market for both and the comedy in Parents doesn't rely on kids improvising but rather a brilliant script delivered brilliantly.