5 July 2017 | Jellybeansucker
Mild comedy without the confidence of a decent production
A good original subject for a sitcom with a great title, they gathered a good cast too but did not get the budget, being commissioned in the middle of drastic cutbacks at the BBC. I cannot remember a watching a cheaper looking sitcom production ever. All the 'action' took place in the one building, two room set - a wooden village hall with a kitchen. From the first episode it looked like a slap in the face from the BBC, commissioning a 3 episode series that cost less than the comedy executives' lunches.
Hynes led the ensemble valiantly but after the first few dozen lines it was clear she didn't write the script with as much conviction. It was woolly, too mild and too focused on gentle character nuances rather than subject related comedy punch lines as befits a proper sitcom. It had the trad sitcom look, a good historical story behind it and could even have been a female Dad's Army had it the ambition to, but it didn't seem to have an ounce of it. It had the semblance of quirky characters needed but even the strongest of them had little that was that funny to say.
It ended up looking more like a period parody of (spoof mini sitcom) Acorn Antiques but no where near as funny. It was pleasant enough to watch with some eccentric mumbling characters but without having enough conflict from without or within to drive a decent episode story. So although its pleasantness gained it a second series, this went nowhere quickly, limited by its tiny budget, script and ambition. In hindsight it may have been better to end it on the relative medium high of just one short series. Could have been, in another year, maybe with another creator, a very good sitcom, but that would have been a totally different one to this.