Monday Monday - In The Press
As the flat-footed comedy about PAs nears the end of its first series, Roger (Peter Wright) is surprised by a woman from his past just as his wife comes to visit. Sally (Morven Christie) tries to avoid Steven (Tom Ellis) on their first aid course and Christine (Fay Ripley) turns to medication to try to control her drinking.
Apparently Monday Monday has spent a couple of years gathering dust on ITV Drama's shelf prior to broadcast. It is difficult to understand why, as this eight-part comedy drama is nothing if not likeable.
Tonight's episode takes as its dramatic theme one of the corporate world's more abhorrent phenomena: the 360-degree appraisal. Christine (Fay Ripley) orders her staff to record their frankest thoughts about each others' "strengths and weaknesses", then while distracted by her attractive young PA commits, with a mouse's click, a managerial faux pas of pitiful daftness.
Despite every fibre of its being screaming "I am but a competent ITV comedy-drama", Monday Monday is pretty likable. In this second episode Fay Ripley's Christine is in AA and trying to take back control of her working life. That's all well and good, except that she has to deal with a sexual harassment claim against resident office hunk Steven, who also happens to be sleeping with scary chief operating officer Alyson. Awkward. It's so light as to be weightless, but with a great cast (featuring Jenny Agutter, Holly Aird and the charming Morven Christie) it's definitely watchable.
This is the perfect example of a good cast that are stuck with a terrible teenage script with nothing new or interesting to play with.
The Custard TV, 16th July 2009
I do love a comedy drama. The head office of a supermarket chain has moved from London to Leeds, which gives some of the characters the chance to leave messy lives behind and start again. We're talking the office environment as a source of comedy here. So the head of HR is a hopeless alcoholic. The boss is a bumbling fool. A new hotshot manager is parachuted in, complete with tarty bimbo secretary, whose job description includes sleeping with hotshot manager boss... No, you're the sexist, for thinking that she's a he, and he's a she. Unless you saw it, of course, in which case you're an idiot for not switching over to The Street. Because Monday Monday is hopeless - lame and laboured, tired and predictable, it's as if The Office never happened. It's my fault, I'm the idiot, for wanting respite from the misery.
ITV1's new recessionary comedy drama, Monday Monday, is set in the head office of a struggling supermarket chain, though it could be the head office of pretty much any struggling business, so generic is the writers' idea of a white-collar workplace. Departments like "marketing" and "human resources" are more or less interchangeable; the only visible staff members are the heads of said departments and their PAs; and the plot of the first episode was hung on such overfamiliar dramatic hooks as an office party and a hazily rationalised PowerPoint presentation.
Written by Tim Walker. The Independent, 14th July 2009
The ratings for this new series will not be great, let's face it - and that's only in part to having to compete with The Street. This comedy drama set in a supermarket head office's HR department wi... oh, sorry, I must have dozed off. Fay Ripley stars as the alcoholic department boss, apparently. Backed up by a cast including Holly Aird, Neil Stuke and Miranda Hart, I can only hope that the show is better than all the pre-publicity suggests.
I don't know. You wait years for a dismally unfunny, fatuous series about personal assistants, then two come along at once. Monday Monday joins the witless pantheon (alongside BBC3's Personal Affairs) and stars Fay Ripley as the inept, alcoholic head of human resources whose secretary does all the work. I think we are meant to find the whole idea of human resources intrinsically absolutely hilarious, but we've got to be given something to laugh at. Ripley's character sleeping off a hangover in her car is not, in itself, funny. The cast is good, but ill-served, particularly Holly Aird as a tough new boss who's having an affair with her empty bimbo of a male secretary. The dialogue is pitiful - any series that makes an off-colour gag based on the word "stuffing" deserves to go back to the 1970s where it belongs.
Alison Graham, The Radio Times, 13th July 2009
Fay Ripley plays a drunken, shambolic mess of a human being in this likeable if lightweight comedy-drama series.
Mike Ward, The Express, 13th July 2009
Fay Ripley (star of Cold Feet and Reggie Perrin) is the best thing about this new series set in the head office of supermarket chain Butterworth's.
If BBC Three's Personal Affairs hasn't put you off office-based comedies forever, try this slightly more pleasing effort from ITV. Set in the Leeds HQ of a failing supermarket group, it sees Fay Ripley lead the charge as the firm's incompetent alcoholic Human Resources manager, Christine, with Morven Christie as Sally - her put-upon PA whose love life is even worse than her work situation. While well-known faces such as Jenny Agutter and Miranda Hart are left largely on the sidelines in this first episode, it's a rare complaint for a sitcom to have too many classy actors, even if the script is fairly mediocre.
The actress tells The Telegraph about her surprising Soho fan club and Monday Monday, the new comedy drama she is starring in.
Written by Serena Davies. The Telegraph, 8th July 2009