Will Smith's Mid-life Crisis Management - In The Press
Will Smith's Mid-Life Crisis Management (Radio 4) began with a reasonably ticklish stand-up routine. Smith was explaining how he'd decided to evaluate his life at 35, comparing himself with what others had achieved by that age. Mozart, he noted, "died at 37, leaving a body of work unrivalled in western music". Christ had died and risen again by Smith's age. And then came the bathos. "Chris Tarrant," he added, "had already given us Tiswas."
Comedian Will Smith (not to be confused with the American rapper and film star) has co-written this new sitcom in which he stars as himself. Reaching the age of 35 has depressed him at how little he has achieved. After all, he says, Christ had died and risen again by the age of 33, an observation which gives you a notion of the size of Will's fragile ego. So he draws in to this scenario his fictional godfather Peter (played by superb Roger Allam) who each week will invite a special guest to advise him on some perplexing aspect of his life.
He's a man unaware of how out of kilter he is with the planet, but Will Smith has turned 35 and is concerned by his lack of achievement. Coming across like a more obsessive Adrian Mole, he's without savvy, disgruntled with his lot - and fearful at the thought of doing anything about it. Yet what can you expect from a person who never received birthday presents when he was growing up because his parents thought August was too close to Christmas?
David Brown, The Radio Times, 17th December 2008
Will Smith is one of those people who's always seemed middle-aged, despite being young. But now, he's turned 35 and begun to stress... Such is the setup for Smith's new sitcom, also starring Roger Allam as Will's godfather, Peter.