You don’t have to be a parent to empathise with this group of mummies and a daddy as they navigate through life in each episode. From the very first episode of series one to the current series the scripts have been spot on. Perm any 4 characters from 6 and we know them. We’ve met them at the school gates, at parent’s evenings and fundraisers. Well, to be honest, you’ve probably never met anyone quite so skittish and pathetic as Kevin (Paul Ready) but I’m sure he exists.
The cast is superb as are the beautifully observed and very funny scripts by Holly Walsh, Helen Serafinowicz and Barunka O’Shaughnessy. The laughs come from the situations not from contrived gags although there are some razor-sharp one-liners inimitably delivered by the peerless Diane Morgan. Nobody else could play Liz.
It is no spoiler to say that the opening episode has the group of parents having their children excluded from school whilst being sent home to deal with an outbreak of head lice of which the harassed, Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin), is accused of being the source. Ostracised by snooty Amanda (Lucy Punch) aided and abetted by the hapless Anne (Phillipa Dunne), Julia valiantly tries to atone for her apparent misdemeanour. The possibility of lice is the least of Meg’s (Tanya Moodie) problems.
If you didn’t catch series 1 & 2 it won’t detract from your enjoyment of series 3 but you’ve missed probably the best sitcom of the last two years (although it has to be said that Rose Matafeo’s Starstruck is pushing it hard).
Episode two sees the group facing that hardy perennial school catchment area dilemma with Julia going to heaven knows where in an attempt resolve the issue. Can’t wait for Joanna Lumley to make her appearance as Amanda’s mother.
Motherland Monday BBC2 9pm and available on iplayer