Hung Out. Image shows from L to R: James (James Shakeshaft), Maya (Catherine Shepherd). Image credit: Channel K.

Hung Out

Comedy Lab pilot. A sitcom about a group of five friends in their twenties. The show is written by, and stars, a real group of friends

Channel 4's 2010 Comedy Lab Pilots
Documates (Working Title)
2010  (Channel 4)
David L E Davis, James Shakeshaft, Alex McGettigan, Lucy McCall, Catherine Shepherd, Emily Bevan, Alexandra Hodges, Terry Budin-Jones
Maya Abrahams, Samuel Abrahams, David L E Davis, Lucy McCall, Alex McGettigan, James Shakeshaft
Channel K

Hung Out is a comedy about the etiquette of friendship and focuses on a group of close mates in their twenties living in London.

Dave and James, who live on one side of the street, decide to make a spreadsheet detailing everything they owe each other.

Meanwhile Lucy and Alex, who live opposite, fall out over what to do on Saturday night - a dinner party or going ice skating are the two choices.

Meanwhile a new lodger called Maya moves into Lucy and Alex's flat. She is soon questioning what she has walked into - the light in the bathroom never works, and Lucy keeps managing to inconvenience her life by being an assertive control freak.

Our Review: Hung Out is notable in that it was written by a group of six friends who based the material on their real-life experiences. Most of the writers played themselves in the sitcom, whilst a couple produced and directed behind the camera.

After watching it you have to question whether the writers are still talking to each other now, as they haven't been particularly kind to each other in the script - the characters all have flaws.

As it happens, we understand Alex, David, James, Lucy, Maya and Samuel are still good friends. This goes to show they must be more than just superficial acquaintances - and this does come across in the script towards the end.

Hung Out is a very low-key sitcom so don't expect belly laughs, and be prepared that some concentration is required to get some of the more subtle humour. There are smiles to be had from some neat dialogue, and there's also a couple of particularly good awkward embarrassing silences involving Catherine Shepherd's character.

It wouldn't be a Comedy Lab programme without a problem though, and in this case we think the weakness is a clash between the filming style and the scripted words. You see, Hung Out is quite a 'natural' and realistic looking sitcom with plot details that are clearly quite real too, but at times the dialogue comes across as a bit staged (or maybe it's the delivery of the lines that's at fault, in terms of the timing?). Either way, the scripted dialogue does, on occasions, jar with the otherwise very 'real' feel and remind you it's just an acted TV show. It's probably most noticeable in the banter between Dave and James.

Overall though, Hung Out feels like it has the potential to go to series if this pilot episode can indeed hook enough viewers into caring about the lives of these characters (or real people, as they sort of are)... although the late time-slot probably hasn't helped its chances of finding an audience.