Outgrowing Outnumbered: Can it carry off adolescent angst now its child stars are so big?
The Brockman family are back with another chaotic Christmas special. But now that ‘children’ Jake, Ben and Karen have all reached double figures, will the show be as funny?
Karen, the youngest of the troublesome trio, now ten, has lost the blonde ringlets of childhood innocence and stands only a head shorter than her mother Sue (Claire Skinner). Her hilariously candid comments stole the semi-scripted show in the first series, but she now looks into the camera with a knowing eye and all the hallmarks of self-awareness.
Middle child Ben, aged 12, is at that awkward brink between childhood and teenager. He will no doubt be just as mischievous as he is left in charge of the Christmas party games, but with the gangling presence of a boy trapped in an adolescent body.
Seventeen-year-old Jake, who is legally old enough to have sex, worries his parents this Christmas by falling in with the wrong crowd. Older adolescent behaviour can be funny, but Outnumbered is no Inbetweeners. We will wait to see how the show carries off family-friendly 17-year-old antics.
The Christmas special stars a host of adult neighbours invited to the Brockman’s party, including Sanjeev Bhasker and Mark Heap. You can’t help but think the producers have got in two well-known comedians to make up for a few laughs lost elsewhere.
The show’s genius originally lay in the naïve improvised lines of the three children, aged five, seven and eleven when Outnumbered first started. Five years on, who’ll be having the last laugh?
Outnumbered - The Christmas Special, Monday 24 December, 9.35pm BBC One
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Catwoman comes out as bisexual
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Justin Kelly interview: On James Franco playing a gay man who renounces his homosexuality
Grace Dent on TV: Mary Portas: Secret Shopper delves into a grim cornucopia of retail wrongness
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts