Known as 'the kinky boy of comedy', Julian Clary first made regular appearances on television in the '80's on 'Friday Night Live'. In 1992, he decided to move into the world of sitcom and, with the help of John Henderson and Paul Merton, set about writing 'Terry & Julian' ( the title quite obviously spoofing 'Terry & June' ), in which he played himself as an out of work actor sharing a flat with a heterosexual man named Terry, who is in an uneasy relationship with his fascistic policewoman girlfriend Rene. Despite the input of a strong production team, the whole thing seemed forced and sparsely seemed to amount to anything.
The whole thing was played out in front of a studio audience in what was patently a garish looking studio set. Each week, Julian would land himself in scrapes and would then pick out a member of the studio audience to come up on set and help him out of the predicament he has gotten himself into. Audience participation to me just does not work for a sitcom and made the whole thing come across like a badly acted pantomime.
Lee Simpson, who plays Terry, is boring and unfunny and Kate Longeran is equally irritating as his harsh girlfriend Rene. Julian Clary was way too flamboyant for my liking as well, coming across as an amateur panto dame. June Whitfield ( perhaps not surprisingly ) made a guest appearance in one episode, though one can only wonder why she even thought it was worth her time.
Another negative aspect is the audience reaction. Every time Julian appears on set he is greeted with loud, over-the-top whooping, whistling and applause. It is so intrusive that it feels at times like you are watching an American sitcom from the '60's.
Perhaps the only decent thing about the show is the opening titles which has Lee and Julian in the form of Ken & Barbie style dolls going about their daily business backed up by a catchy theme tune that perhaps would not sound out of place on the sitcom that it happened to be spoofing.
I maybe would not go as far to say that I hated 'Terry & Julian', more a case of I can take it or leave it, though I think I would more lean towards leaving it.
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