The Cup. Image shows from L to R: Terry McConnell (Steve Edge), Sandra Farrell (Tanya Franks), Janice McConnell (Jennifer Hennessy). Image credit: Hartswood Films Ltd.

The Cup

Sitcom about the selfish and obsessive behaviour of the parents of an under-11 football team, filmed in a documentary style

2008  (BBC Two)
6 (1 series)
Steve Edge, Jennifer Hennessy, Tanya Franks, Dominic Coleman, Samantha Power, Billy Geraghty, Pal Aron, Emmanuel Leconte, George Weaver, Craig Cunningham, Ceallach Spellman & more
Moray Hunter, Jack Docherty
Hartswood Films Ltd

The Cup is based on the selfish and obsessive behaviour of the parents of an under-11 football team. It shows parents trying to live their dreams through their kids.

Shot in a mockumentary style, the comedy follows Bolton-based Ashburn United Football Club and their quest to win the North and Midlands Under 11s Cup in Birmingham. It rapidly becomes apparent that the real story is the appalling behaviour of the kids' parents as they try to live their own dreams through their children.

Our Review: This programme, whilst an enjoyable enough way to spend half-an-hour, passed by without much fanfare. To be honest, it did little more than raise the odd smile.

The premise was good, but there was a big problem - the production team decided to film the show in a mockumentary style. For starters, the script didn't exactly lend itself to the 'realism' that a fake documentary requires (e.g. no matter how daft Terry was, he would never have poisoned Ranjit with TV cameras around).

To make matters worse though, the show ignored many of the conventions fly-on-the-wall formats must adhere to. This completely undermined the concept. For example, the camera crew would not have been able to get some of the camera angles they did, and the sound would not have been so crystal clear throughout. If you're not going to follow all the mockumentary rules, you might as well just film it as a conventional single-camera sitcom.