A situation comedy is an amusing television drama series about a set of characters. The abbreviation sitcom is also used.
It’s important to remember that definition because episode one, like so many of the current crop, is amusing but not funny (see article Are Laugh Out Loud Sitcoms Extinct) The show is a clever idea, very well written by Pascoe and has excellent production values. However if your expectation is that it will make you laugh out loud, other than at the toilet humour, you need to lower your expectations.
The main character is Sara Pascoe herself: a singleton of some 15 years since being dumped by her then fiancé. She resents that her peers, friends and her family are enjoying relationships and somewhat selflishly attempts to disrupt their lives and turn the spotlight onto herself. She is desperately, and sadly, in need of love and affection.
Her sister Lucy (Fiona Button), has a child and is planning her wedding although it’s not clear if it’s to the the child’s father or not. Sara’s best friend, Scoopy (Cariad Lloyd), is in the late stages of pregnancy with her first child, causing Sara to complain that “the bump is pushing her further away”. Sara’s mother Carol (Juliet Stevenson) has belatedly decided to regain her ‘lost’ past after her husband left her 30 years previously with a young Sara and Lucy.
Fleabag, Miranda and Mrs Brown’s Boys, for example, break the fourth wall (speak directly to the viewer), Pascoe absolutely demolishes the fourth wall to explain scenarios and to display scientific biological graphs of the chemical reactions in the human condition. The show is a kind of illustrated stand-up routine, however her acting skills are yet to match Pascoe’s excellent on stage performances.
One episode may be too little upon which to judge the programme. I have been wrong with slow burners before. I hope I’m wrong again.
Out of Her Mind Tuesdays 10pm BBC Two