Laugh and squirm to one of best sitcoms for 10 years
If you are a parent who has ever felt that having kids who are at school is a bit like being back at school yourself, I cannot recommend BBC2’S highly enough.
Even if you are not a parent, you should still give this sitcom a go. It’s one of the best TV comedies I’ve seen in the past 10 years.
That should not be a massive surprise given it was created by Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe, Divorce, Pulling) and Graham Linehan (Father Ted, The IT Crowd, Black Books) alongside Linehan’s wife Helen and rising comedy star Holly Walsh. As Horgan has already proved with Catastrophe, the school gates provide huge opportunities for laughs and biting social comment.
Motherland also adds a layer of knuckle-chewing awkwardness which you have to suspect comes from the Linehan side of the table.
The bravest thing about it, however, is the left-field casting – and it works a treat. Actors who have mainly been known for gritty roles in the past such as Anna Maxwell Martin (Poppy Shakespeare, Bleak House, Reg) and Paul Ready (Utopia, Cuffs) slot in seamlessly alongside the likes of Diane Morgan (David Brent: Life On The Road, Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe), who injects just enough – but never too much – Philomena Cunk into the role of Liz.
For me, Liz is easily Motherland’s best character. Her approach to a parents’ fundraiser last night was to spike the punch and sabotage the live auction.
I think most parents would agree every school fundraising night needs someone like Liz.