Coming Of Age. Image shows from L to R: Jas (Hannah Job), Ollie (Ceri Phillips), DK (Joe Tracini), Matt (Tony Bignell), Chloe (Anabel Barnston). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.

Coming Of Age

A bawdy, loud teen sitcom from writer Tim Dawson about a group of frends at college together in Abingdon

Genre:
Sitcom
Broadcast:
2007 - 2011  (BBC Three)
Episodes:
23 (pilot + 3 series)
Starring:
Anabel Barnston, Tony Bignell, Hannah Job, Ceri Phillips, Joe Tracini, Ellen Thomas, Matthew Earley, Minnie Crowe
Writers:
Tim Dawson
Production:
British Broadcasting Corporation

Coming Of Age is a teen sitcom about college life and the quirky friendship groups that develop there.

Jas, Ollie, Matt, Chloe and DK live in Abingdon. Their lives revolve around college, their bedrooms and, because they are always getting thrown out of the local pub, Ollie's garden shed.

In the 2nd series, the gang were still trying to navigate their way through their bumbling college days and burgeoning sex lives.

In Series 3 there is a new addition to the gang, Robyn Crisp (Minnie Crowe), who is a bit of an odd ball. Jas and Ollie are still separated, but it won't be for long if Ollie has anything to do with it. There are tensions growing between Matt and Chloe as she begins to question just how manly her Mattington really is, and there is a surprise in store for DK when his estranged dad, Jim, turns up.

Our Review: The 2007 pilot of this sitcom wasn't particularly well received - "juvenile, puerile and full of swearing just for the sake of it" was the general consensus on our message board.

The first series (2008) was no major shift; in fact, many considered it to be even worse. Knob-gags and ridiculously vulgar situations aplenty, it proved to be very much in line with BBC Three's established sitcom staple, Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps.

The second series saw a slight shift in the programme's tone, with a move to HD, greater attention to detail by the production team, stronger plots and characters starting to come into their own as individually defined beings, some better comedy references and a improved visual appearance. The bawdy, crude style of humour was also toned down slightly, whilst staying true to its roots and the fans the first series had picked up.

Series 3 continues that trend; the characters' relationships and individual characterisation becomes another step more realistic, and the humour - whilst not becoming super-realistic in its style and still basically an unashamedly loud teen-oriented studio sitcom - is noticeably matured and less concerned with the most shocking, crude end of the spectrum (well, compared to previously).

However, much like the many aspects of mature writing and relationship study in Two Pints, the show's changes are sadly unlikely to win over many. Ultimately, for the exact same reasons that its fans love it, an equal number loathe the show, absolutely loath it (including one of the Editors of this website) - there really is no middle ground. In the view of its detractors, Coming Of Age is a sitcom that relies on the most basic of plots padded out with puerile sex jokes. For its fans, it's a heightened reflection of their own experience of teenage years, with absurd exchanges and some wonderfully inventive uses of the crude and the vulgar to match.

If you've not seen the show before and are not sure which camp you fall in, watch one of the preview clips in this guide - you'll either be seeking out the DVDs or putting a foot through your monitor.

Despite some of the strongest ratings, iPlayer views and viewer responses in Series 3, Coming Of Age won't be returning for a fourth outing.