Home Time - In The Press

Hello. It's my last chance to write one of these, so I'm really going to give it some.

Written by Emmer Fryer. BBC Comedy Blog, 22nd October 2009

The BBC sitcom about a local girl returning to her home town after 12 years is a brilliant, sophisticated, low-key show.

Written by Rebecca Nicholson. The Guardian, 22nd October 2009

Home Time reaches its conclusion after six delightfully droll weeks, which means the end of Gaynor's silence on what exactly drove her back to Cov. But first the gang end up at their school reunion, where rumours about what she's been up to spread around the library to the sound of Paul's band playing Kula Shaker covers. It's too dry and understated to have been an attention-grabber for BBC2, but the lack of showiness has been to its credit, and tonight's episode is a fine end to a taut and thoroughly original comedy.

The Guardian, 22nd October 2009

Hello again. In Home Time episode five, The Girls finally hear the tick of the Growing Up Clock, as Kelly turns 30.

Written by Neil Edmond. BBC Comedy Blog, 15th October 2009

Shifted from its usual Monday-night slot, the penultimate episode of Home Time brings the sadness that's been bubbling under the silliness right to the surface. It's Kelly's 30th birthday and the gang host a budget spa day in celebration (which means dropping a soluble aspirin in the bath). But a night out in Cov reminds them that life is moving forwards, whether they like it or not. And they really, really don't.

The Guardian, 15th October 2009

Hello. We've decided to take this in turns. This week, Emma's 'doing up her hall'. I must again emphasise that this is not a euphemism. Not as far as I know. Either way, you're stuck with me.

Written by Neil Edmond. BBC Comedy Blog, 5th October 2009

Home Time's Emma Fryer writes... Hello. I've never written a blog before. I'm not really sure what to talk about but here goes.

Written by David Thair. BBC Comedy Blog, 28th September 2009

By studying what made Gavin & Stacey such a success, this sadcom offers an antidote to its predecessor's optimism and happy-go-lucky charm. Featuring emotionally distant parents and bitter schoolchums as opposed to tight-knit families and strong schooldays pals, it's no shock that prodigal daughter Gaynor - who's returned home at the age of 29 - ends up in a massive ruck with her mum. Still, her buddies help by tracking down Gaynor's old flame Paul Walsh, the one that got away...

What's On TV, 28th September 2009

Taking her UCAS form round to Becky's last week failed to sort Gaynor out with the job of her dreams, so perhaps she'll have more luck with the man part of her checklist, especially now that Liam-Gallagher-lookalike Paul Walsh is back in town. The premise is simple - grown-up women acting like teenage girls - but it's still very funny, especially when Gaynor calls her mum a "life-sapping dickhead". She's not wrong.

The Guardian, 28th September 2009

Home Time could almost be seen as a companion piece to Off the Hook, showing what happens when youthful aspirations turn sour.

Emma Fryer stars as 29-year-old Gaynor, reluctantly returning to her home town of Coventry, after 12 years trying to live the big city dream in London. The school friends she abandoned are slow to welcome her back, offer sympathy or forgive what they see as a terrible betrayal.

Fryer, the series' co-writer, generously provides her co-stars with all the best lines and is content to quietly wander through proceedings in a state of bemused distress. But don't be put off by Home Time's bitter-sweet premise. It is a delight - consistently funny, frequently inspired and very moving.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 21st September 2009

Perhaps due to its lack of laugh track, we didn't really get the first episode of Home Time. It seemed a bit Pulling-lite. On reflection, we were a bit harsh. The second ep confirms that it is actually really quality. Gaynor's fake Irish ('wonderful sense of community they have') mum (Marian McLoughlin) steals every scene but Gaynor's downbeat presence on her return to Coventry is a good centre to the show and her mates (particularly Coventry business woman Becky, author of 'The Sexual Workolution') rotate amusingly around her. Tonight they attempt to get her a boyfriend and a chance at a job at Coventry's premier cladding firm CovConClad, so long as she can impress the big-wigs at a dinner party.

tvBite, 21st September 2009

Co-writer Neil Edmond: "There's no dedicated film studio in Coventry, so our elegant and hardworking production manager Lyndsay White found us a Territorial Army base, just off the central ring road. The TA were very accommodating, especially considering that they could have shot us or tank-rammed us at will."

Written by Neil Edmond. BBC Comedy Blog, 21st September 2009

The first episode of Home Time was excellent, so it's a relief to find that they didn't use all of the best lines in it. Gaynor is still shellshocked about her return to Coventry, so her overbearing friends and family take charge of her life. Business demon Becky, a fictional Ruth Badger with a raging libido, hosts a "dinner party-cum-skills showcase" at her one-room showhome, while Mel sorts out her love life by asking who she fancies. But it's Gaynor's fake Irish mum (Marian McLoughlin) who once again steals the show.

The Guardian, 21st September 2009

Our friends at Baby Cow may have another hit comedy on their hands with Home Time. The six-part series centres on lead character Gaynor Jacks (played by Emma Fryer), who returns home to her parents' house at the age of 29 after having run away 12 years earlier. Life hasn't changed much - her mother is still obsessively nosy, her father is narcoleptic and it's impossible to do anything without the rest of Coventry knowing about it.

We don't know why Gaynor ran away on the eve of her 18th birthday, or why she returned, but her crew of Sex And The City mates demand an explanation before taking her back. It's a charming comedy with some hilarious moments and taps into the trend of young adults returning home to live with their parents.

Christian Drobnyk, Broadcast, 17th September 2009

Home Time is another excellent Baby Cow comedy where the basis of the story is completely believable, and the narrative drags you in. It starts with a very obvious joke and, for a minute, you think that you are going to watch a BBC3 version of Sorry - but by the end you are completely drawn into this comic hell.

I am sure that if one of my best friends was a reincarnation of Badger from The Apprentice, I would have disappeared for 12 years, which is the premise for the series - what and where has Gaynor been since 1997 when she ran away on her 18th birthday?

Now 29, she's back, and I for one will be following her journey mainly because, like Gavin and Stacey, you completely care about the characters. It is written by, and stars, Emma Fryer, who plays Gaynor with a sensitivity and vulnerability that brings out the comedy brilliantly. First episodes are notoriously hard to do but the team behind Home Time have cracked it.

Clive Tulloh, Broadcast, 17th September 2009

"First off, I'm not Emma Fryer. What with her being leggy and funny and a talented oil painter, I wish I was. I dare say you'd prefer to read a blog by her, too, with its implicit waft of perfume and a hint of knickers. Sorry."

Written by Neil Edmond. BBC Comedy Blog, 16th September 2009

Hold on to your remote control units, Home Time is that dispiritingly rare thing in a new comedy: it's funny. Gaynor, beautifully played by co-writer Emma Fryer, is a mixed-up 29-year-old who left her native Coventry at 17 and hasn't been seen since, even by her parents. Her old friends, still furious with her for doing a runner and not having the decency to come back even when Diana died, have stayed, stagnating, in "Cov". It's slickly and engagingly done, as we might expect of Baby Cow, the production company that gave us Gavin & Stacey. Of course, expectations are routinely dashed by television. But these might just last the course.

Brian Viner, The Independent, 15th September 2009

With the exception of BBC4's Getting On, British comedy has been suffering from a lack of inspiration lately, with sub-par sketch shows sucking the life out of it. It's a pleasure, then, to come across Home Time, which is as smart and original as it is sad and funny. Ideal's Emma Fryer co wrote the series and stars as Gaynor, the 29-year-old Coventry native who suddenly returns to her home town after 12 years in London: "A lot's changed . . . We've got an Ikea now." It's perfectly observed and deserves to do well.

The Guardian, 14th September 2009

New BBC sitcom following a twenty something woman who moves back home with her parents. We all fly the coop with lofty ambitions - but what if you return home with your dreams in tatters? This new (virtually all-female) sitcom should reveal all, as 29-year-old Gaynor moves back with her folks and then struggles to reconnect with her snarky childhood pals... It's Home to Roost meets Pulling.

What's On TV, 14th September 2009

This promising new sitcom comes from Baby Cow - the same company that gave us Gavin & Stacey. And on the strength of this first episode it deserves the same kind of success.

Emma Fryer (who co-wrote it with her mate Neil Edmond) stars as 29-year-old Gaynor Jacks. Gaynor left her home in Coventry just days before her 18th birthday for the bright lights of London. Now, 12 years later, she's come back to her home town with her tail between her legs - to face the smothering, over-protective love of her mum and dad and the wrath of her three former best mates.

They're furious with her for leaving without a word and also resentful of the notion that London might possibly offer anything you can't get in Coventry. It's the sort of understated, subtle and very clever comedy that you really need to discover for yourself.

And, like Pulling and Getting On, it's a joy to see another sitcom about real women.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 14th September 2009

Everyone says new comedies should be allowed a few episodes to bed down, though I've never understood why - who has the time to stick with something just in case it gets better? Which brings us to Home Time, from the Baby Cow stable that brought you Gavin & Stacey. It's an odd one - strangely flat and with a very irritating central character: a woman who left Coventry for London aged 17 and returns 12 years later to live with her parents. Her room hasn't changed, the East 17 poster is still on the wall and Oasis are still in the CD player. And her parents still treat her as if she's a wayward teenager. Most of her friends have stayed trapped in a 1997 time warp. Despite its shortcomings, there's a germ of something in Home Time that could turn out to be quite good, if you do have time to stay with it. There are some funny lines and writers Emma Fryer and Neil Edmond have captured the horrors of going back to an old life. But it should have been tried out on BBC3 first.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 14th September 2009

Imagine leaving home as a wayward teen at 17, and then reluctantly returning to your parents' middle-class suburban hell 12 years later, having failed to make it - and still being treated like a kid as if nothing has changed. That's the idea behind this new comedy from Baby Cow (the people behind the excellent Gavin & Stacey) but it flounders thanks to a script and director bereft of nuance. Some old fashioned references will raise a smile but, on the evidence of this series opener, it's not exactly BBC2 prime-time material.

Sharon Lougher, Metro, 14th September 2009

This was a promising idea for a comedy series. Gaynor returns to her parents' home in Coventry after ten years in London. She left home on her 18th birthday to start a new life, burning her bridges and losing all contact with family and friends. Now she's back with her tail between her legs, feeling bruised and vulnerable and unsure about how everyone will react to her return. It was co-written by and stars the comedian Emma Fryer, who says: "I realised anyone can move away and re-invent themselves. But the people you grew up with know the truth. They've seen you doing a rap about recycling in school assembly." Unfortunately, it sounds better than it is. Comedy and drama can work together seamlessly, but it is unsettling when the two are jostling for pole position.

David Chater, The Times, 14th September 2009

With the exception of BBC4's Getting On, British comedy has been suffering from a lack of inspiration lately, with sub-par sketch shows sucking the life out of it. It's a pleasure, then, to come across Home Time, which is as smart and original as it is sad and funny. Ideal's Emma Fryer co wrote the series and stars as Gaynor, the 29-year-old Coventry native who suddenly returns to her home town after 12 years in London: "A lot's changed . . . We've got an Ikea now." It's perfectly observed and deserves to do well.

The Guardian, 14th September 2009

There's something wonderful struggling to emerge in this new comedy with Emma Fryer as Gaynor, a washed-up 30 year-old returning to the home town she fled with high ambitions when she was 18. It's a great premise and even if much of the humour feels more adolescent than adult there's still plenty to enjoy in it.

Gerard O'Donovan, Daily Telegraph, 12th September 2009

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