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
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 3 WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
- 4 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 5 Germanwings plane crash: I have depression. That doesn't make me a psychopath
Cassetteboy joins forces with Russell Brand for Emperor's New Clothes film
Poldark, review: Demelza’s insouciance is almost as impressive as Ross’ pecs
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity, TV review: The affable Englishman routine is wearing a bit thin
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew