The BBC currently seems unwilling to countenance comedy with any sharp edges – this returning domestic sitcom is fine as far as it goes, but remains very much in the tradition of gentle family shows like ‘Gavin and Stacey’. The series opens at Betty’s funeral – it’s a convenient way of bringing the wider family together in one place so that scenes can be set and minor beefs amplified.
Kimberley Nixon’s Sarah is pregnant and stressed, Pauline (Gina McKee) is somewhat put-upon and Joe (Jim ‘Vic Reeves’ Moir) is still recovering slowly from his stroke. The performances are very likeable and Jason Cook’s writing occasionally hints at some turbulence beneath the surface. But generally, this is affirmative and big-hearted, but also predictable and passive to a fault.