Review: Avoidance Romesh Ranganathan

avingagiraffe.com rating
4/5

Leaving aside his stand-up, Avoidance is the best scripted production that Romesh Ranganathan has done.

Avoidance, created by him and Benjamin Green, Ranganathan who plays, Jonathan, a non-confrontational inadequate manchild, has you wincing at his inability to accept that his relationship with partner Claire (Jessica Knappett) is over yet feeling somewhat sorry for him having been cast adrift to fend for himself in the big wide world.

“It’s over”, Claire tells him firmly but the lack of acceptance and understanding in Jonathan’s eyes signals that he doesn’t get it. “It. Is. Over”, she emphasises. He feigns acceptance and they agree to tell their young son Spencer, that evening. Convincing himself that he is protecting his son from imagined emotional damage but really to avoid the discussion he ‘absconds’ with the boy while his wife is at work and moves in with his sister Danielle (Mandeep Dhillon) and her wife, Courtney (Lisa McGrillis) Much of the memorable early humour stems from Courtney’s undisguised loathing of Jonathan and his imposition in her life.

One thing you cannot avoid noticing is that neither family appear to have had any problem climbing the property ladder.

Having watched the first three episodes (all episodes are on BBC iPlayer) we are partly in familiar sitcom land with Jonathan being the architect of minor disasters as he tries to protect his son from imaginary horrors seeded by his own childhood and propagated in his fertile imagination. And partly in a gentle sweet play as the three women in Jonathan’s life try to help and encourage him to come to terms with his life whilst gently nurturing and protecting young Spencer.

The cast is faultless and we’ll no doubt be seeing a lot more of Kieran Logendra who plays Spencer.

BBC1 Fridays 9.30. All episodes available on iPlayer

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