Trying Again, TV review: Jo Joyner impresses, but countryside romcom is no breath of fresh air
Ellen E Jones
Ellen is The Independent's TV critic. She writes a daily review of Last Night's TV and a weekly 'Inside TV' column for the i paper, as well as a column on general topics for the main paper most Wednesdays. Ellen is a former Hollywood correspondent and a contributing editor to Little White Lies, she's written on TV, film, lifestyle, travel and politics for publications including the Guardian, The Times, The Sunday Times, Esquire and Total Film.
Thursday 24 April 2014
For Jo Joyner, formerly Tanya in EastEnders, Sky Living's Trying Again is definitely a step up. In the new series, which started last night, she gets to flex her comedic muscles and play the unfaithful partner for a change.
Her character Meg is a warm, witty instantly likable woman who cheated on her long-term boyfriend Matt, but now wants to make another go of it. For Chris Addison, who plays Matt, Trying Again offers only a slightly less interesting variation on the role he’s most famous for. Ollie Reader from The Thick of It was a wimp, but an intriguingly snarky one. Matt is just a bit of a wimp.
Addison only has himself to blame, since he co-wrote the script with his old Thick of It colleague Simon Blackwell. It’s not short of well-honed gags (the pay-off at the end of this episode was particularly satisfying), but the subject matter of boring jobs and unhappy relationships came off as unintentionally depressing. Meg and Matt’s life in the Cumbrian town of Kendal is picturesque but poky. The only job available to unemployed Meg is at the same doctor’s surgery where she had her affair, while the local couples counsellor is so rubbish she can’t even say the word “affair”.
Trying Again does deserve points for effort. Every show that takes a fresh look at the much-debased, once-great romcom genre is a welcome addition to the TV schedules. Still, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that what these characters really need is a move to the nearest big city, a career development loan and an online dating subscription. Unfortunately, such a no-nonsense solution doesn’t lend itself to an eight-part series.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
'Offensive' Banksy immigration mural in Clacton is scrubbed from wall by council
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
- < Previous
- Next >