DVD & Blu-ray: Outnumbered: Series 2 (12), Various directors (210 mins)

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The Independent Culture

This sitcom is a surprise gem. The set-up of mildly stressed out middle-class parents and their three exasperating children is well-worn territory and there are few driving dramatic incidents. Yet therein lies Outnumbered's charm – it takes very ordinary slice-of-life situations and renders them believable and very funny. Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin's script is well-observed, but the key to the show's success is the kids. Allowed to improvise, Daniel Roche, as anarchic monkey Ben, and scene-stealing Ramona Marquez, who plays Karen, come out with some brilliant unscripted lines that prompt snorts of laughter. It sometimes gets too realistic, so the children's shouting may have you reaching for the volume control.