Monday night saw the return of the BAFTA nominated Two Doors Down, a no nonsense domestic sitcom, and a welcome return it was too. Now in its 5th series, the basic premise remains, neighbours barging in uninvited to Beth and Alex’s house disrupting their everyday life.
The formula hasn’t changed because it doesn’t need to: writers Simon Carlyle and Gregor Sharp continue to produce sharp scripts (no pun intended) delivering plenty of laughs. In Monday night’s episode Beth (Arabella Weir) and Eric (Alex Norton) are set for a quiet family gathering to celebrate the two-year anniversary of their son, Ian’s (Jamie Quinn), relationship with his vegan boyfriend, Gordon (Kieran Hodgson).
Beth was busy making a vegan curry when another neighbour, Christine (BAFTA winner Elaine C Smith), arrived to accuse Beth of being responsible for giving her a severe upset stomach via a suspect ham sandwich some days before. Christine’s discomfort and its inevitable consequences ran through the episode.
When intrusive neighbours Colin (Jonathan Watson) and Cathy (Doon MacKichan) invite themselves along for the meal they take over the evening, as they are wont to do, spoiling the anniversary dinner for all.
Two Doors Down is as much a soap as a sitcom. Relatable characters whom we have gotten to know well, relatable situations and a brilliant ensemble cast. The laughter stems from the pin-sharp portrayal of the character’s everyday lives.
For every, edgy, expletive laden new sitcom, as good as they are, we need the counterbalance of sitcoms that uses moderate everyday language in relatable situations. A sitcom where the laughs come from acute observation, well drawn, consistent, believable characters and a well-honed script.
Two Doors Down delivers in spades.