Pulling - In The Press

Back to 2006 for the first episode of Sharon Horgan and Dennis Kelly's sitcom about three filthy wastrels from Penge. Donna (Horgan), drifting towards marriage with rancid manchild Karl (Cavan Clerkin), realises on her hen night that she's got a lot of aimless partying still to do with her pals (Tanya Franks and Rebekah Staton). The extent to which female characters get all the funny lines by revealing their rotten souls would still feel groundbreaking today. And this opener is flab-free: one killer scene after another.

Jack Seale, The Guardian, 22nd May 2015

Fans of Sharon Horgan's Channel 4 comedy should seek out her wince-inducingly brilliant BBC Three sitcom.

Written by Claire Webb. Radio Times, 23rd February 2015

Decent ratings. A BAFTA nomination. A British Comedy Award. A brilliant cast. Great writing. So what do you go and do after two superb series of this BBC Three sitcom? You axe it. Damn you BBC Three. Damn you. It did get a special episode to wrap things up, but that wasn't enough for us. It wasn't enough!

Alex Fletcher, Digital Spy, 8th February 2013

ABC has bought Pulling, a single-camera comedy based on the praised 2006 British series.

Written by Nellie Andreeva. Deadline, 17th September 2012

Sharon Horgan chats to Metro about meeting a woman who makes smoothies from placentas, why she's tired of talking about axed sitcom Pulling and her new shows The Borrowers and Life Story.

Written by Andrew Williams. Metro, 14th December 2011

With the Pulling Special nominated for three British Comedy Awards including Best Television Comedy Drama, we asked star and co-writer Sharon Horgan to tell us what it was like to get the gang back together one last time.

Written by Sharon Horgan. BBC Comedy Blog, 10th December 2009

Yes, it's incredibly rude, but Pulling is also beautifully observed, warm and human.

Written by Sam Wollaston. The Guardian, 7th August 2009

Farewell to Pulling which has been, well, pulled. I can only assume that Pulling's cynical and acerbic tone did not chime with the brave, new, sunny sitcom world ushered in by the incorrigibly romantic Gavin & Stacey. Pulling went out with a funny, outrageous, inspired and frequently shocking one-hour special that made a total mockery of the decision to axe it.

"You don't have to live with a man who makes you unhappy," Donna advises Louise, "unless you have a child. Or a mortgage."

The show finished on something of an emotional cliffhanger, which allows for the possibility of a change of heart from BBC3 Comedy. Which - given that these are the same people who have commissioned a second series of the rancid Coming of Age - seems unlikely.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 1st June 2009

BBC3's amazing comedy Pulling tied up all its loose ends with an hour-long special. With a schedule littered with Two Pints of Lager and Freaky Eaters, the Sharon Horgan sitcom was one of the best things to come from BBC3 since its launch.

The great thing about Pulling is that its never afraid to push boundaries. It reminds me of the great early days of Shameless where you were never sure where it was going but the ride was always fun. Among the twists, this final episode featured a man jumping out of hot air balloon and ending up in a coma, a man tied to a chair with tampons stuffed in each ear, and Donna posing as an escort to get into a swanky London club.

I've loved Pulling since the start and had high hopes for this bittersweet finale. It lived up to them and I'll even admit screaming with laughter in places. I guess if It has to end there was no better way. I loved it but I can't help think what a shame it is that something so genuinely funny and relevant should be axed when we find it so difficult to produce decent comedies.

BBC3 execs are so desperate to stick to their demographic of young adults and I guess Pulling didn't fit perfectly into that brief but this was one of the best hours of television I've watched in a while. Even though the conclusion was left open, I'm grateful Sharon and Co were given the chance to give the series the end it deserved.

The Custard TV, 22nd May 2009

Sharon Horgan talks to Tim Lovejoy about the cancelling of Pulling. She explains that the BBC said to her that they weren't cancelling the show, but "continuing it in another form... by cancelling it."

Channel Bee, 21st May 2009

It's rather tragic that BBC3 get themselves an award-winning sitcom that feels ready to explode into the public consciousness, only to axe it amidst claims it doesn't fit their target demographic. Straight to the point: this was the funniest thing I've seen all year. Beautifully observed, brilliantly acted and deliciously coarse.

Written by Dan Owen. Dan's Media Digest, 18th May 2009

The simple fact is that we've all lost one of the best comedy shows ever aired and that's a depressing thought. This final episode didn't exactly go out with a bang, but it did show BBC Three some much needed class. A great show that faded to black...

Written by mofgimmers. TV Scoop, 18th May 2009

Not a few people were puzzled that Pulling should have been shown the door while lesser comedies thrived, but BBC3 obviously felt bad enough about it to give Sharon Horgan's comedy a farewell special. It was funny and - for fans wishing to clutch at straws - ended with a scene that screamed To Be Continued.

Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent, 18th May 2009

Last night's Pulling was a special, hour-long episode to bring to an end a sitcom that, for two series, has been the anti-Friends: single men and women in their thirties who are not cuddly and chummy and cute, but washed-up and bitchy and sour as vinegar.

The episode was a rush of couplings and un-couplings. Donna (Sharon Horgan), the harpy at Pulling's shrivelled heart, rowed with her boyfriend, made a play for her ex, proposed to her boyfriend, went back to her ex... By the credits their fate still wasn't resolved. Well, Pulling was never likely to give us a happy ending.

The most crass lines were sometimes the weakest: "I'm a lot deeper than I thought," bragged Donna. Comedy pause. "Does this dress make my nipples stick out enough?" The best lines tended to be the lighter, sillier ones, such as when the drippy Greg (Tom Brooke) simpered, "What's your favourite kind of puppy? I like brown. They're more loyal."

It's a pity Pulling's gone. Supposedly the commissioners scrapped it because it looked out of place on BBC Three. Pulling was funny, smart and generally well-written. So yes, the commissioners were right.

Michael Deacon, The Telegraph, 18th May 2009

When some well-paid person at the BBC came up with the idea of pulling the BAFTA-nominated comedy Pulling, it was the worst decision since Leslie Ash signed up for a lip job. This priceless one-off, then, will be a (small) consolation prize for fans of the show, as we catch up with miserable Donna, dippy Louise and man-eating drunk Karen.

What's On TV, 17th May 2009

The BBC didn't appreciate that Pulling was the best comedy on TV - but the final episode on Sunday confirms its utter brilliance.

Written by Gareth McLean. The Guardian, 15th May 2009

We don't like to knock the Beeb as an organisation. But seriously, you axe Pulling and keep up with Horne and Corden? There's got to be some serious IDIOTS there. This one-off final episode is BRILLIANT. It exudes quality from start to finish. It's well-written, well acted and sharp. WATCH IT. And write to Points of View.

TVbite, 15th May 2009

The fools at BBC Three cancelled this acerbic, Bafta-nominated comedy about three single 30-somethings after just two series, so if you could all please turn and blow raspberries in the direction of Broadcasting House that would be splendid.

Written by Kat Brown. The London Paper, 15th May 2009

Shame on BBC3 for axing its best sitcom by far. The only consolation for Pulling's few but devoted fans is a one-hour special to wind up the chaotic stories of our three flatmates and their shoddy boyfriends. As we rejoin them, Donna (co-writer Sharon Horgan) is in an uneven relationship with a yuppie who pretends she's an escort, while Karen (Tanya Franks) is in an even worse set-up, baking pies for a selfish, classically male monster. It's so bad she's stopped wearing make-up. From there, a disastrous plot unfolds. Billy (Paul Kaye) reappears in all his raddled glory and sweet-talks Karen ("You, me, alcohol, narcotics - the old team?") while Karl's return from Italy rocks Donna. The mutual bafflement of the sexes is as richly hilarious as ever. Say goodbye to the blackest, filthiest unromantic comedy you could hope for.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 12th May 2009

BBC Three is scrapping Sharon Horgan's critically lauded sitcom Pulling, but America, it seems, wants more of her.

Written by Kevin Maher. The Times, 4th May 2009

Pulling is the Withnail And I of the Noughties. It's a life shot through drink and bad drugs, a life that didn't quite live up to expectation, regardless of continual rhetoric. In Donna, Karen and Louise, we have the most realistic likeness to the hung-up inhabitants of the post-millenium ever aired.

TV Scoop, 12th January 2009

Sharon Horgan's cult comedy ran for two series, but has been denied a third. It seems it doesn't matter how well received Pulling was, BBC3 is now so narrowly focused on its young audience that there's no place for a show about 30-somethings, even if they are slatternly, emotionally retarded drunks.

It's an intermittently hilarious parade of cartoonish characters and crude, often cruel set pieces, with Tanya Franks particularly salty as an alcoholic primary school teacher. Pulling wasn't a classic, but it deserved more time.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 10th January 2009

In deeply dispiriting but strangely not surprising news, BBC3 has axed Pulling, a decision that will persuade no one that Danny 'Phoo Action' Cohen isn't a moron. I suppose that without Pulling around, Coming Of Age won't look quite as atrocious but is that really reason enough to axe one of the finest comedies on TV? I suppose if there ever was a third series of Gavin and Stacey, Cohen would pass on that too because "every recommission means one less space for a new project". You can only hope that one of Janice Hadlow's first decisions as controller of BBC2 would be to offer a home to Sharon Horgan and Dennis Kelly's marvellous comedy. Good knows it doesn't have anything remotely funny of its own at the moment. Unless you count Jonathan Harvey's Beautiful People. Which I don't.

Gareth McLean, The Guardian, 7th October 2008

The decision not to bring back Pulling is certainly a poor one. It may not have reached the ratings heights of Gavin and Stacey or Little Britain, but it was a funny, smart and topical show that spoke to its loyal audience.

Written by Leigh Holmwood. The Guardian, 2nd October 2008

Someone at the BBC needs slapping senseless... that's if there's any sense there in the first place. Why? Well, in light of the fact that Auntie is currently showing some of the worst shows I've ever seen (The Cup, the woeful Coming of Age), they've decided to nix one of the best shows I've seen in ages.

Written by mofgimmers. TV Scoop, 2nd October 2008

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