Is Robert Popper’s new vehicle heading for the scrapyard?
Robert Popper had to find a new vehicle after FND was cancelled following the untimely death of Paul Ritter. Unfortunately this vehicle, his new sitcom I HATE YOU (C4), has a broken starter motor.
Popper wrote BAFTA nominated Friday Night Dinner which on the whole was pretty good. FND had two competitive millennial brothers who delighted in pranking each other throughout every episode. I Hate You is completely different. It has two competitive female flat sharing Gen Z’s who take delight in pranking each other throughout every episode.
Male millennial pranksters vs Gen Z female pranksters. See, completely different.
Now whether a 54 year old man is best placed to write dialogue for females in their twenties, you can decide. But with brilliant female writers like Nida Manzoor (We Are Lady Parts), Lucy Beaumont, Caroline Moran and Anne Marie O’Connor (Hullraisers) , Sophie Willan (Alma’s Not Normal), Aisling Bea (This Way Up) Rose Matafeo (Starstruck) and several others, then women writing comedy for female leads is probably the best idea.
Nevertheless, I Hate You has its moments of amusing put-downs and repostes exchanged between the flatmates but why the need for surreal pantomime characters and fantasy situations.
The two stars, Tanya Reynolds and Melissa Saint, are excellent.
Charlie (Tanya Reynolds) works for Bob Oxygen, (shades of Toast of London/Hollywood), well when I say ‘works for’ I mean sits at the same desk as her boss doing nothing while he sleeps. A running gag which is just not funny.
Becca (Melissa Saint) works in a curtain shop called – wait for it – Curtains by A Plant – so the owner Mrs Ann Plant has to explain how to phonetically pronounce that she is not a plant. Again, too contrived, juvenile and not funny.
In the first two episodes the girls get competitive about dating gentlemen pensioners, Charlie deflects Becca from lusting after her own stepbrother and they visit a demented seller of an autograph with a predictable calamitous outcome.
There have been worse sitcoms on TV, not many but such is the demand for output that this poor effort could yet get a second series.
Comedy News; Review: I Hate You