DVD: Grandma's House (15)

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The Independent Culture

Simon Amstell's neurotic family gatherings turn out to be a rich source of laughs in this six-part sitcom, starring Amstell as "Simon Amstell", in which he and co-writer Dan Swimer conjure a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style sitcom for E4 types.

Thankfully, it wasn't buried on BBC3 (or E4) as it might have been, but given a prime-time slot on the more grown-up BBC2. If you begin unconvinced, then Amstell's curmudgeonly dead-panning ought to grow on you. And if it doesn't, the performances of his supporting cast are wonderful enough to keep you watching. Rebecca Front, in particular, is excellent as Simon's clingy mother, distressed by her son's decision to eschew insulting celebrities on telly in favour of something more serious and fulfilling. The best moments, however, are Simon's passive-aggressive clashes with his mother's awful boyfriend, Clive, played to perfection by James Smith of The Thick Of It.

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