If you are a fan of Mitchell and Webb (and who isn’t) then you will find them at their best in this sitcom but don’t expect the Peep Show. Although there are some recognisable similarities, Back is a darkly funny series with undertones of a psychological thriller.
If you didn’t watch the first series of Back (2017) then you should watch it on All 4 now before you watch the new series. In case you don’t have the time, the basic plot of the first series was Stephen (David Mitchell) returns to the family pub, the John Barleycorn, after the death of his domineering father. He has grand plans for the pub but those are thwarted when long-lost foster brother Andrew (Robert Webb) turns up at the funeral and ingratiates himself into the family. Andrew, who only spent five months in their foster care, seems an affable, adventurous character who claims to have done more in a few short years than most people do in a whole lifetime. But is he all he claims to be? Stephen thinks not. The rest of the family however, become ‘infatuated’ with Andrew and push Stephen aside, driving him to the brink of mental collapse.
Without giving too much away, the second series sees Stephen returning from his enforced stay at a wellness centre to find Andrew firmly ensconced behind the bar at the John Barleycorn. Much has happened to the family in the meantime. Ellen (Penny Downie), Stephen’s mother has taken her new found religious enthusiasm to new levels; his sister Cass (Louise Brealey) is as neurotic as ever and Uncle Geoff (Geoffrey McGivern) is still questioning and flouting health and safety rules.
It doesn’t take long for the obsequious Andrew to once again get Stephen’s back up. And so the battle of wills between the two ‘brothers’ is re-ignited.
The show created by Simon Blackwell is performed superbly by the entire cast. The script is well crafted, particularly the dialogue between the two combative brothers which is hilarious. Mitchell and Webb at their very best. Don’t miss it.