Kate and Koji is a brilliant pastiche of 70s sitcoms
Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin have pulled off a brilliant pastiche of 70s sitcoms with KATE AND KOJI, whether it was meant to be is another matter. The second episode of the second series aired last night on ITV 9pm.
The series, set in Joan’s Café, a run-down seaside café, stars Brenda Blethyn as cafe owner Kate (who took over from her mother Joan) and Okorie Chukwu as asylum-seeking doctor Koji. How the café stays in business is a miracle given that only four regulars ever eat there: Medium Dan (Blake Harrison) Kate’s nephew, who sometimes works for the local council. Why he is called Medium Dan was probably explained in the first series but passed me by; Mr Mullholland (Victor McGuire) who has eaten far too many of Kate’s fry-ups since his days in Goodnight Sweetheart; Kris (Nick Sadler) a muscular non-intellectual to put it politely and Iris (Rosalind Ayres) a batty spinster stereotype. It would help if ITV could stretch the budget a smidgeon to have one or two extras having a cup of tea, just to add a touch of atmosphere. Occasionally Kate’s nemesis, Councillor Lavinia Bone (Barbara Flynn) pops in to renew hostilities.
Last night’s episode saw Kate with her leg in a cast, allowing Koji to run her cafe while nephew Medium Dan wanted feedback on a fantasy novel he had penned. The jokes are somewhat corny and signposted miles in advance but nevertheless the show has a kind of nostalgic warmth that is kindled by the strength of Brenda Blethyn.
It’s a sitcom that has split opinion but, as always, no one is forced to tune in. “Doctor it hurts when I poke my eye with a stick”: don’t poke your eye then. There is room for all kinds of comedy, we can’t all like the same things, so if Kate and Koji is not your cup of tea, fine, don’t watch it. Vote with your channel changer. However over 5 million did watch the very first episode and 2.6 million returned to watch episode one of this series on the night – figures will no doubt increase on catch-up,