How Not To Live Your Life - In The Press

We put your questions about How Not To Live Your Life to Dan Clark and here are his answers...

BBC Three Blog, 6th December 2010

We're fully behind Dan Clark's BBC Three sitcom here; it's funny. The trails might not convince you, but it really is very good. Make sure your comedy snob hat's not on and you'll be all right (just remember to put it back on by the time Peep Show's on tonight so you can pretend like it's not getting a bit rubbish now...)

tvBite, 3rd December 2010

Is Dan Clark really like Don Danbury in real life? Does he secretly love wearing that pink, granny's dressing gown? If you've got a burning question for Dan Clark, then now's your chance...

Written by Dana Stevens. BBC Three Blog, 30th November 2010

The third series of Dan Clark's sitcom continues. Tonight's plotline has the reliably offensive Don partake in a double date with Jason and two "posh birds", Harriet and Felicity, and wind up at Felicity's parents' country manor, where her dad takes an instant dislike to Don. Things aren't helped by some bedroom hi jinx. Typical BBC3 fare; whether that's a good thing or not depends on your tastes.

Ali Catterall, The Guardian, 15th November 2010

The last few weeks of the shoot for How Not To Live Your Life were in the studio. Don's house is a brilliant crafted set built in a less-than-desirable studio in the town of Dumbarton, just outside Glasgow.

Written by Dan Clark. BBC Three Blog, 10th November 2010

There is no justice in the world, clearly. Otherwise, why would the dreadful sitcom How Not to Live Your Life be allowed to survive into its third series? More to the point why does its charmless star/writer/producer, Dan Clark, have almost total creative control, like he's Woody Allen or something?

He plays a feckless, gaffe-prone berk who constantly finds himself in sticky predicaments, usually in an effort to impress his attractive female housemate. This premise could probably provoke a few laughs in the hands of a more talented comedian, but Clark is terminally uninspired. The latest episode even featured a cameo from Noel Fielding, just to seal the comedy vacuum.

Lazy and obvious, the only fun it provides is in seeing how often you can predict each punchline.

Paul Whitelaw, The Scotsman, 9th November 2010

There was an eye-rubbing, no-it-can't-be-him moment in the monstrously lame How Not To Live Your Life. Could that really be Noel Fielding of The Mighty Boosh fame, reduced to a dodgy cameo in which he has to stare at a bloke's manhood in a lav and make jokes about 'that's a really good tip'?

I didn't want to believe it, I waited for the credits hoping for a monstrous piece of mistaken identity and that he hadn't been involved in this parlous state of affairs. But yes, Fielding it was.

Inexplicably, this sitcom, built around zero-charisma writer/'star' Dan Clark as Don Danbury, has reached a third series. Don is one of those characters you're supposed to love to loathe as he loafs his way through life, a kindred spirit to Neil Stuke's agoraphobic in Game On. But he's just pure loathe.

Keith Watson, Metro, 9th November 2010

It shouldn't be funny. It's on BBC3, the intelligent critics hate it and it has a cameo from 'Happy Shopper Russell Brand', Noel Fielding. Still, tvBite can't help but laugh at it.

Star and writer Dan Clark has clearly tried to widen his writing for the third series: there's a dodgy subplot involving his attractive flatmate Laura Haddock, but if you ignore that (and it's easy to do) there's plenty of actually funny jokes, including a brilliant slo-mo montage set to Dire Straits and a good line about a roundhouse punch. It's not perfect, but there's talent - and a sense that everyone involved is really enjoying themselves.

tvBite, 8th November 2010

BBC3's commissioning team throw up some pretty variable results. On the one hand, you get the sporadically deep and wonderful Him & Her. On the other, you get the rather more hit-and-miss likes of How Not To Live Your Life, now entering its third season. To recap: Don is a new lad (remember them?), who lives in a house with a lively cast of characters, while he must endure a series of misfortunes. Tonight, mild merriment ensues when he gets a job by mistake - who on some level can't empathise with that? The Mighty Boosh's Noel Fielding guests.

The Guardian, 8th November 2010

'I used to say, "Dan, you're so funny at a party, you've got to try to get that into your comedy"'

Written by Hugh Montgomery. The Independent on Sunday, 7th November 2010

""One time a guy in a wheelchair started shouting abuse and an entire crew of 30 people were too scared to do anything. That's how scary this guy was - a guy in a wheelchair..."

Written by Paul English. Daily Record, 6th November 2010

Starting a new series with a double bill is never a positive sign.

Written by Cameron K McEwan. Last Broadcast, 3rd November 2010

Week four of filming How Not To Live Your Life was the musical episode. I don't want to give away too much information about this episode but Don joins the local theatre club that Eddie belongs to and they put on a musical.

Written by Dan Clark. BBC Three Blog, 29th October 2010

Scene complete. It's about 3 minutes of screen time. Only took 5 days to do!

Written by Dan Clark. BBC Three Blog, 20th October 2010

Firstly here's a treat for you, your chance to be the first to see some photos from the new series...

Written by Dan Clark. BBC Three Blog, 15th October 2010

I ended my first day on the set of How Not To Live Your Life Series 3 tied up in S&M gear, running around outside, barefoot, freezing my breasticles off.

Written by Dan Clark. BBC Three Blog, 8th October 2010

An interview with How Not To Live Your Life star Dan Clark.

ChannelBee, 29th September 2009

Men don't emerge very well from How Not to Live Your Life either, though the specimens on show in BBC3's sitcom are too timid and childish to represent a threat to anybody but themselves. I have a faint memory that I gave a charitable review to Dan Clark's series on an earlier occasion, for which I can offer my apologies, because whatever virtues I detected in it then have entirely evaporated. The gimmick is an occasional break for an animated Letterman list gag - "Five Things You Shouldn't Do in the Theatre", for example - with the narrative action pausing as Clark acts out the alternatives. There are moments when the lips twitch fitfully during these sequences, but they're restored to default mode (frozen into a kind of appalled wince) by the startling charmlessness of the central character in all the other bits. Oddly, my technology continues to try and tell me things. The DVD player stalled at one point and flashed up a message: "There was an error reading from disc. It might be scratched or dirty". Dirty, I think, given that our hero had just extricated himself from an awkward relationship by pretending to be a gerontophile: "You don't need someone to wipe your bum after you've been to the toilet," he explained apologetically, "...and that's the kind of thing that gets me going." "Are you sure you want to quit?" the DVD software asked me as I finished watching and closed it down. There are days when it crosses my mind, I thought.

Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent, 23rd September 2009

An immature 20-something blunders through life, narrating his every impolite thought - remind you of anything? This is a Peep Show rip-off with a gimmick: our protagonist likes to stop the action and fantasise about different ways of misbehaving - as if he isn't rude enough in real life. Yes, it's puerile; but there's something fun about watching the irredeemable Don misinterpret the world around him. He began this series heartbroken after his beloved (understandably) fled the country and in this episode seduces an older woman...with a little too much success.

Claire Webb, The Radio Times, 22nd September 2009

I didn't see any of the first series of How Not To Live Your Life, but given that this is the second series, it doesn't have any of the confidence of Home Time. Watching it you can imagine the original pitch: it's The Young Ones meets Rising Damp, and Dan Clark's character is indeed a mixture of Rik and Neil from The Young Ones - sometimes good looking, often nerdy and constantly depressed. While there are good performances and some funny moments, it seems too unbelievable to be really funny - however low the rent, I can't imagine why a gorgeous single girl would move into this house.

Clive Tulloh, Broadcast, 17th September 2009

Meanwhile, How Not To Live Your Life is back for a second series. Dan Clark stars as 'pathetic character' Don. What I truly enjoyed about HNTLYL is Don's neurotic mix of colossal wanker and schoolboy charm. If you don't enjoy films such as The Hangover, Superbad or Knocked-Up, this is not for you. I love it. Don's ridiculous lists, dream sequences and narcissistic behaviour are hilarious, and despite being one of the world's biggest prats, he always gets the girl. Priceless.

Christian Drobnyk, Broadcast, 17th September 2009

Series two of writer/star Dan Clark's comedy project How Not To Live Your Life kicked off with half the cast from series one gone but the premise was the same. Last time, Don lusted after his housemate Abby, now he lusts after new housemate Samantha. And the 'gimmick' remains - at various points we're presented with several things Don shouldn't do in a situation, such as the opening scene of things not to do when eating alone in a restaurant. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but it's the only thing that separates this show from the glut of other dismal sitcoms around right now.

The only actual amusement in last night's series opener came when the characters were served by a Michael Jackson impersonator at a 1980s-themed restaurant. It was a case of spot the joins as the dialogue was hastily dubbed over with lines such as 'but you're dead!' - a bit slapdash but it provided a chuckle even if the script didn't.

The problems with this show are that it isn't funny and the lead character is immensely unlikeable. It's all very well having an anti-hero as the lead but repeating unfunny lines in that annoying 'ironic' Hoxton-t*** intonation so beloved of rubbish sitcoms doesn't make the material any funnier, just much more irritating.

Keith Watson, Metro, 16th September 2009

Poor old Auntie Beeb, she's for ever under fire. Still, credit where credit is due, HNTLYL is a decent comedy and they're giving it another series. It's the same as last series: the same dressing gown, the same Family Guy cutaways and the same awkward laughs. There is another lovely lady, the comedically named Laura Haddock, though, this time. Oh, and there's a cameo from Limahl, which will delight BBC3's target demographic.

tvBite, 15th September 2009

Not everyone has suffered since the economy hit the rocks - Dan Clark has thrived in How Not To Live Your Life...

Written by Stuart McGurk. The London Paper, 1st September 2009

How Not to Live Your Life leapt from YouTube to the BBC. The Times ask if its star, Dan Clark, is the new Rik Mayall.

Written by Caitlin Moran. The Times, 29th July 2009

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