Leaving The House, So You Don’t Have To.

Mark Heap and Ruth Jones are superb in The Great Outdoors

Hello. Hello, hello hello. HELLO. This is a blog I have decided to start, because I think I am amazing. Surely that’s the point of all blogs, articles and columns? The person writing them must think that what they have to say is worth reading. So, I watch a lot of TV, and I think I know what is worth watching and what isn’t. For the love of God, VALIDATE ME.

Gavin and Stacey, The Thick of It, Lead Balloon. All started life on the proving grounds of the BBC’s digital channels, before critical success manoeuvred them into the big bucks terrestrial seats. So, may I please put forward another candidate? The Great Outdoors (9pm, Wednesday, BBC4), stars Mark Heap and Ruth Jones as polar opposites of a rambling group in The Chilterns. Sounds incredibly dull so far. But give it a chance and you will enjoy an excellent, cleverly written comedy with some superb performances.

Mark Heap is, in my opinion, one of the finest comedy actors of his generation. From Big Train to Green Wing via Spaced, he has been in some wonderful programmes and I am saddened at the lack of major roles that have come his way. In The Great Outdoors he plays Bob, a man clearly out of control in everyday life, whose weekly rambling meet gives him a chance to take charge and lead a group. That is, until Christine comes along. Played by Gavin and Stacey’s Ruth Jones, Christine arrives with a backpack full of gadgets and supplies, and an attitude completely out of sync with that of walk leader Bob.  The supporting cast aint bad either, with Katherine Parkinson (her off of The IT Crowd) getting an understated role as disenchanted wife of a freeloader, looking to let off steam in more ways than one.

The laughs come fairly thick and fast, and while there are a couple of misses, its bound to be one of the better comedies commissioned this year.

Listen, its only a 3-parter (2 already out of the way), and all the other reviews have been fairly bland. But give it a chance and see if you like it, while it’s still available. Because this deserves a bigger following, and it’d be a shame if this lost out to something as monumentally dire as Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show in the race to terrestrial TV.

Sadly, part one has already expired on the iPlayer. So I’ll cheat by putting up links to the Youtube clips:

And here’s the second episode in full on the iPlayer:


About jpgoss

I like TV. I like telling people whats good for them. Therefore I set up this blog. If I can be bothered to update it, you'll know what'll be good to catch on the box.

Posted on August 6, 2010, in Television. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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