Two Doors Down, BBC1 - TV review: cause for celebration with a riotous comedy that goes the whole hogmanay
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.
Wednesday 01 January 2014
If, for whatever reason, you're stuck at home at a time when everyone else is out on the razz, surely the last thing you'd want to watch on television would be footage of what you're missing? Obviously the bods at the BBC think otherwise, hence their extensive annual coverage of Glastonbury festival and New Year's Eve fireworks. Or perhaps this kind of programming is just a convenient excuse for a journalists' jolly?
Either way, the smart viewing choice last night was to ignore the hedonistic hijinks on Jules's Annual Hootenanny and turn instead to Two Doors Down on BBC1, a one-off drama about a disastrous hogmanay party, written by Benidorm's Simon Carlyle. It made you feel very smug indeed to be safe and warm at home, while others were out enduring the nightmare of social interaction.
Arabella Weir and Alex Norton starred as Beth and Eric, a middle-aged couple playing reluctant host to their street's annual New Year's Eve gathering. The guests included their son Ian and his new partner, Tony (a clean-shaven and almost unrecognisable Greg McHugh from Fresh Meat), Sophie the home-alone teenager from down the street (Sharon Rooney from My Mad Fat Diary) and their Norwegian neighbours Henning and pregnant wife, Nina. The guest of honour would be Beth and Eric's other son Angus, assuming he made it back from Iraq in one piece and on time.
A bit like a warmer, more Scottish take on the BBC's classic play for television, Abigail's Party, Two Doors Down traced the progress of party-goers from awkward chit-chat to drunken bad behavior. The worst behaviour of all came courtesy of Auntie Caroline (Daniela Nardini) who plied the strapping Henning with Scotch before molesting him in the upstairs bathroom.
Snotty neighbour Cathy (Toast of London's brilliant Doon Mackichan) was a close second, however. She never missed an opportunity to slight her host's more humble lifestyle and also delivered the programme's best line; an indignant summary of Beth and Eric's hospitality failures: "I was left on more than one occasion with my glass empty! If it hadn't been for the bottle in my bag, I'd have been up and down like a yo-yo."
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
- 3 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 4 Mafia's wall of silence broken: Victim of Cosa Nostra's extortion rackets in its Corleone heartland co-operates with authorities for the first time ever
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent answer to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Game of Thrones season 5: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as it’s not him
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Phil Tufnell, Heather Mills and co take to the slopes
New Ghostbusters movie lands all-female cast with Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones
Grumpy Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Louise Mensch says 'F**K YOU' in explosive tweets about David Cameron, Saudi Embassy and the Queen over King Abdullah tributes