2 May 2006 | vi6527
Danny Spencer has created a monster
"a seven-foot tall Plasticine kung-fu nurse bear"!
Please note: this review is based on Series One only as there is an episode from Series Two that I have not seen.
Happiness is the story of one man's journey into a mid-life crisis.
Series one opens on the day of the funeral of the wife of Danny Spencer (played by Paul Whitehouse), and we are quickly introduced to the main characters of the series, and their respective quirks.
Danny is a minor media celebrity through the popularity of his cartoon creation 'Dexter', but he feels that he deserves more recognition, and begins to resent the fact that the bear is more famous than him.
"I'm the voice of the bear! I created him!"
Even the guest celebrities who come to do voice-over parts for the show don't immediately recognise him.
The first series ends with Danny's fortieth birthday party - but he's gone and insulted all his closest friends and family in a (drunken) newspaper interview! In between we are treated to the gems of a pre-mid life crisis (plastic surgery; feelings of sexual inadequacy; regret over past relationships; etc.).
The supporting cast are of the highest calibre and include the cream of Britain's comic actors in the new millennium, and include: Fiona Allen; Mark Heap; Pearce Quigley; Clive Russell; Johnny Vegas.
With particular regard to Mr Vegas, I for one found his performance in this show to be a revelation.
For anyone interested in a deeper style of performance from Paul Whitehouse than we have previously seen in sketch shows like The Fast Show, I believe that Happiness places him amongst the best of British acting talent.