Full English - In The Press

I have tried to like Full English, I really have. I love animated comedy - The Simpsons and South Park are two of my all-time favourite TV shows - and appreciate all the time, effort and expertise that goes into making them. But three episodes into Full English's run and I think I've seen enough.

The show is set in the south of England suburban home of Edgar and Wendy Johnson - voiced by Richard Ayoade and Rosie Cavaliero - and their three teenage children. Ostensibly your quintessentially dull, middle-class family, their lives are touched by the bizarre, surreal and frequently sexual.

Full English does have its funny moments, particularly the throwaway visual gags, but the script largely comprises sledgehammer satire, sniggering scatology and obvious pops at pop culture. All of which aren't bad in themselves if they were tempered by a little charm, but the show has none.

True, the priapic grandfather is accompanied everywhere by a giant green invisible friend, but this device feels like it has been bolted onto the show to inject quirkiness, rather than coming naturally out of the set-up.

To deliver one more kick to Full English's CGI groin, I find the show visually disappointing. The animation is flat and uninteresting, while the characters' faces are ugly and unappealing. I blame the way they've drawn the eyes.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 4th December 2012

There appears to be an unwritten rule when it comes to animation in the UK that unless it's by Aardman, it'll be rubbish. Full English seems to obey this rule, which may explain why Channel 4 is airing it at 22.50.

The other reason of course being the crudeness of the humour. It's been described as the British Family Guy by some critics, which brings us to another unwritten rule on animation: if a British comedy's marketed as the British version of a successful American comedy, the British comedy will be rubbish in comparison. Again, Full English conforms.

The series centres on a "typical""British suburban family; put-upon father Edgar (Richard Ayoade), emo daughter Eve (Daisy Haggard), and horrid superrich father-in-law Ken (Oliver Maltman) who has an imaginary, gigantic, green friend called Squidge.

Full English doesn't seem to have one big problem but lots of little ones. The animation by Alex Scarfe (son of Gerald Scarfe) is very poor in terms of quality. The characters seem one dimensional (as opposed to their 2D visual portrayals).

But for me the worst is its attempts at satire. The plot of the first episode sees Eve go on Britain's Got Talent with her band, failing, but getting back on by pretending her parents are dead. How original. It's all the same, with Simon Cowell being a vicious git, contestants doing freakishly horrid acts, and others playing the sympathy vote. It's all been done before.

I'll concede there were some moments of laughter, mainly the more violent cartoonish sequences - like Squidge's attempts to hang himself, or the eldest son of the family hiding under the car, only to get badly hurt because he's so fat he gets terrible friction off the road as the car moves. But other than that I think that Full English hasn't got much going for it.

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 19th November 2012

If you swallowed the hype, Channel 4 has finally created an animated sitcom about a British family that would rival its American counterparts. Sadly, after sitting through the opening episode of said sitcom I must say it's rather apt that they've called it Full English. Because Family Guy and American Dad would have it for breakfast.

Ian Hyland, The Daily Mail, 17th November 2012

It just seemed a bit of a damp squib, if I'm perfectly honest.

UK TV Reviewer, 16th November 2012

Full English featured a host of largely unoriginal characters that were lifted straight from American adult humour cartoons.

Written by Sarah Deen. Metro, 13th November 2012

Fundamentally, Full English is a poor imitation of Monkey Dust for an audience too young to stay up long enough to watch it, and too old to be conned into persevering with something this mediocre.

Written by Nick Arthur. On the Box, 12th November 2012

Full English (Channel 4), a new family-based animation, lacks the warmth of The Simpsons and the smartness of Family Guy. It's baser, more British, more about arses, and blow jobs, and shagging the Queen, wey hey. If you're puerile, a 13-year-old boy at heart, it may amuse you. I think it's hilarious. It's already series-linked.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 12th November 2012

This new animated sitcom looks like it's trying to be Britain's answer to American cartoons such as Family Guy. The Johnsons are the central family, made up of Edgar (voiced by IT Crowd star Richard Ayoade), Wendy and their three children. While the animations have charm, the show relies heavily on puerile humour, and lacks the incisiveness about modern life that makes the American shows so amusing. In tonight's episode Eve decides to enter her band, Bloodmonkey, for Britain's Got Talent.

Lara Prendergast, The Daily Telegraph, 12th November 2012

From its chirpy Madness-style theme tune to a nicely judged opening Skins pastiche, this new animated sitcom centred around emo Eve and her family looks promising. However, as with so many full Englishes, looks can be deceiving and leave a rather bad taste. Here, bad taste is to the fore with jokes about anal sex, blowjobs and porking the Queen, and skits in which Simon Cowell says things like 'find me a ventriloquist with full-blown Aids or a stroke victim who does magic tricks'. It's a parallel universe in which Ant & Dec are gay, Welsh sheep have muddy handprints on their rears, and grandad has a hidden Nazi past. It's all a bit lame and puerile: if you're 14 you might like it, though nowhere near as much as Family Guy or The Simpsons. That Welsh sheep is pretty funny though.

Yolanda Zappaterra, Time Out, 12th November 2012

This new cartoon series is Britain's answer to ]Family Guy.But if it looks slickly American that's because, although it was created by brothers Jack and Harry Williams and Alex Scarfe - son of cartoonist Gerald Scarfe and Jane Asher - the animation was done in LA at the studio responsible for Futurama, and The Simpsons Movie.

Be warned that Full English isn't for kids. It features animated sex plus some stuff about Nazis and disabled people that is offensive in ways I haven't even worked out yet. And one character's pursuit of The Queen could well spark another royal scandal. Simon Cowell probably won't be a fan either.

The voice work is by Richard Ayoade as dad Edgar, Rosie Cavaliero as wife Wendy and Fonejacker's Kayvan Novak as both of their sons.

The standout tonight is daughter Eve (voiced by Daisy Haggard), who auditions for Britain's Got Talent with hilariously predictable results. I'm not sure about the father-in-law and his imaginary friend, though. Is Britain ready for a large green balloon?

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 12th November 2012

From The Simpsons to Family Guy, America has got it nailed when it comes to satirical animations - so how does this home-grown British effort stack up? It's rough around the edges but it does have the requisite dysfunctional family at its filthy heart: Edgar and Wendy Johnson, their three children plus Wendy's dad, Ken. The humour is wilfully offensive, with Britain's Got Talent getting it in its chubby neck, and dad Edgar is voiced by The IT Crowd's Richard Ayoade.

Metro, 12th November 2012

Full English is an animated sitcom, a UK answer to the likes of Family Guy, and this first episode is a genuinely hilarious Britain's Got Talent spoof. ... Oh, and it's not for the easily offended, by the way - nor for anyone who has a problem with shamelessly puerile but seriously funny gags.

Mike Ward, The Daily Star, 12th November 2012

Comparisons to Family Guy will be inevitable with Full English, a new cartoon comedy series designed by Alex Scarfe (son of political cartoonist Gerald) and animated by Rough Draft, the California studio behind Seth MacFarlane's Emmy-winning hit. It even apes the signature cutaway gags. There's a decent voice cast, including Richard Ayoade and Kayvan Novak, but precious few laughs. The cultural references in this opener - the family's emo daughter Eve decides to enter Britain's Got Talent - are leaden, so if these are the big guns to draw people in, God help it.

Ben Arnold, The Guardian, 12th November 2012

New sitcom Full English takes on the US animation heavyweights.

Written by Gerard Gilbert. The Independent, 7th November 2012

The son of the renowned political caricaturist is part of the creative team behind a new Channel 4 cartoon series.

Written by Vanessa Thorpe. The Guardian, 27th October 2012

Channel 4 has commissioned a standalone, web game to launch and extend the upcoming animated comedy Full English.

Channel 4 Press, 18th October 2012