Series one, episode one
Maybe it’s too easy to knock Ben Elton these days but God, this is diabolical. Making ‘The Thin Blue Line’ and ‘Blessed’ look like comic masterpieces by comparison, Elton’s latest foray into sitcom stars David Haig (doing his level best against impossible odds) as Baselricky council’s health-and-safety manager, Gerald Wright. Default mode: exasperation. Bugbears: women in bathrooms, poor dishwasher etiquette, faulty faucets. Catchphrase: ‘don’t get me started’. You know the type.
Fortunately, there’s a clap-happy studio audience to disguise the absence of a single good joke – wordplay around ‘erection’ and ‘knob’ is about as creative as it gets. And, in case you think all that sounds hopelessly out of step with the modern world, the girlfriend of Gerald’s lesbian daughter drops a couple of references to hashtags and ‘YouTube moments’. Never have ‘Blackadder’ and ‘The Young Ones’ seemed so long ago. Wrong, wrong, wrong.