You, Me and Them: DVD Review

 

This little six episode series is one of those hilarious gems that you would have missed if you’re not an avid viewer of Foxtel’s BBC First channel. Airing in January this year, this comedy stars Anthony Head and Eve Myles as Ed and Lauren, a couple happily, wonderfully in love and with a 25-year age gap between them. The series opens when they’ve decided to take things to the next level and introduce Ed to her family.

Alright, confession time: I hate Gwen (Eve Myles’ character) in Torchwood (and yes, it’s entirely possible, I take my TV too seriously) and before watching You, Me and Them, I was just a little irritated to find her in Broadchurch’s second season. And yet here I found myself laughing until I cried in this comedy. Paired with Anthony Head, they make an unexpected, charming comedy couple that provide the solid foundation for this series.

Lauren’s family is gorgeously, wonderfully crazy – from her uptight parents (Emma and Clive) to her sister Debs, and her husband, Keith and their two kids Ellie and Charlie. Everyone has an opinion about their relationship, which Lauren and Ed endure with long-suffering and hilarious equanimity.

Ed’s family is not without its… characters: his brother Alan lives with them and Ed’s grandson, Tim, is never far from Ed’s wallet or Ellie, for that matter (no matter how hard Debs and Keith try to keep them apart), and Lydia, Ed’s ex-wife, moved in next door to be close to Ed for the inevitable end of his relationship with Lauren.

Are there jokes you’ve probably seen before? Perhaps, but this series and the cast is still a refreshing change from the usual sitcoms we have on TV right now. It’s a different take on a Modern Family perhaps, but it isn’t as glossy as that show is or as preachy as it tends to be. The humour is far more a natural part of the show, rather than relying on the physical comedy or the audience still finding the familiar characteristics of family members funny.

With a cast that includes Lindsay Duncan (Lydia); Susie Blake (Emma); Jeff Rawle (Clive); Daisy Beaumont (Debs); Marcus Garvey (Debs’ husband Keith); and Alice Felgate (Ellie) and Miller Henderson (Charlie), the series is just undeniably fun.

The series tracks the evolution of their relationship from meeting Lauren’s family through to deciding whether they are ready to have their own family (an answer that will come in season 2, I’m guessing). While Lauren and Ed are the core of this comedy, I was impressed at how well the show managed to flesh out and strengthen the secondary characters in their orbit, which is no mean feat in a 30-something minute episode.

My introduction to both Anthony Head and Eve Myles were both in sci-fi and fantasy series, more dramatic than anything else. I’m still somewhat surprised at how much I enjoyed them in this series – yes, they’re actors and it’s their job, but having known them in vastly different roles before this, it took me an episode or two to stop thinking: That’s Giles and Gwen! (And I sat through Legion, with Anthony Head’s American accent)

What mystifies me is how this is already two years old and we’re only just getting the series and the DVD sets NOW?

 

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