In a similar vein to the fantastic Stella, a new Comedy-Drama Starlings aired tonight for the first time on Sky1.
Regular readers of the blog will recall that I first spoke about Starlings back in January when I discussed Sky's recent move into Comedy.
Starlings follows a rather large working class family from Derbyshire living in what feels like a very crammed house. The Starling family consists of mum & dad Terry & Jan, played by Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey) and Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey). They have three children, 16 year-old football mad tomboy daughter Charlie (Finn Atkins), their amusing reptile enthusiast son Gravy (John Dagleish) who certainly likes a drink or two and then there's eldest daughter Bell (Rebecca Night).
Starlings is produced by Baby Cow Productions and the brilliant Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge, The Trip) and written by Steve Edge (Star Stories, The Cup) and Matt King (Peep Show) who also star in the series as Fergie and Loz (see image right), long lost son of Granddad Starling played by Alan Williams who also lives with the family.
The first episode begins with Bell giving birth to a baby boy Zac whose father Reuben is played by Ukweli Roach, however Bell and Reuben are no longer together despite Reuben spending a lot of time at the house. As if their house wasn't cramped enough, Fergie turns up looking for a place to stay and Jan puts him up in a caravan in the garden.
Starlings is a perfect warm comedy for Sunday nights in a similar vein to Stella, introducing us to a family that we want to follow week in week out and go on a journey with. It may have only been one episode, but we have a clear sense of the tone of the series and we have been introduced to some great characters that will hopefully grow the more the series goes on.
All in all, this looks like another great comedy series for Sky and the first of many to come as Sky Living has recently commissioned their own original comedy and I can't wait to tune in next week!