It feels like ages since I updated my TV show suggestions and today seems like the right time. I wanted to concentrate on a couple of shows that are funny and entertaining as, let’s face it, some of us need cheering up a bit. My current favourite comedy programmes are short and simple, but brilliant and laugh-out-loud crazy.
Newark, Newark (UK Gold and NOW TV)
Sometimes my favourite discoveries come from podcast recommendations and my go-to podcast for TV show suggestions is Making The Cut which is jam-packed with reviews of anything from kitchen equipment to movies. Davina McCall and Michael Douglas got me into Ted Lasso and that was a great series which I am now hooked on.
I remember Morgana Robinson from her previous comedy show where she did amazing impressions of famous people. This new comedy series is a pilot made up of three half an hour episodes and originally showed up on UK Gold, a channel I would never normally watch. Luckily I was able to stream it using my NOW TV app, and after travelling through Newark the other day, my memory was jogged to check it out.
Maxine (Morgana) is a chip shop owner who split up with her weird husband Terry (Matthew Horne) and has a teenage son who is trying to come out to her and his friends. She is such a distracted, frantic person and seems to find ways to sidetrack her son’s dilemmas, while pushing her ex to one side. Starting with her 40th birthday party, the short series is full of nothing but witty dialogue and Northern charm.
Matthew Horne is brilliant in this quirky role, which is quite a departure from his lead role in Gavin and Stacey. Another funny character is Maxine’s mum who is plastered in make up and trying to dish out advice left, right and centre. Beverley Callard is perfect for this role, with her comic timing and cheeky expressions.
Bloods (Sky/ NOW TV)
I have spoken about how much I like Jane Horrocks as an actress. Having seen her in serious plays and on screen in comedies such as Absolutely Fabulous, I have been a fan for many years.
It was brilliant to see this paramedic spoof comedy return for a second series as it made me laugh the first time. Season two, in my opinion, is funnier still. It is as if the script writers have woken up a bit and dialled up the jokes.
Wendy (Jane) and Maleek (Samson Kayo) are a mismatched pair of paramedics who somehow ‘work’ as an accident-prone ambulance crew. Wendy now has a grown up son who irritates her a lot and Maleek is always trying to take shortcuts and show off his skills. The storylines are cheeky and have begun to follow the other ambulance crews more too.
Having worked in ambulances in the past, I can totally relate to some of these situations but of course they somehow turn tragedies into comedy sequences. I defy you not to at least crack a smile when watching each episode. Being just 23 minutes long, they are great remedies to a hard day’s work. I love popping them on and having a giggle to help me unwind.
One of the stars for me is also the ambulance station manager, Jo, played by Lucy Punch, who I recognised from the equally hilarious ‘Motherland’. Her character is obsessed with a blissfully unaware paramedic who is still getting over the death of his wife. Returning to dating, he has no idea that Jo holds a torch for him, despite her incredibly awkward attempts to show her interest.
So those are my two suggestions for comedy series to watch. Both have short episodes and are easy to get into. For other TV suggestions that I previously wrote about, check my TV Shows I Like article. If you enjoyed this post, please consider following my blog for similar future content.