Don't Forget The Driver

Don't Forget The Driver. Image shows from L to R: Peter Green (Toby Jones), Squeaky Dave (Danny Kirrane), Joy (Marcia Warren), Kayla (Erin Kellyman), Bradley (Jo Eaton-Kent), Rita (Luwam Teklizgi), Kieran (Wills Whittington), Fran (Claire Rushbrook), Lech (Dino Kelly), Manju (Bharti Patel).

Don't Forget The Driver

Comedy about a coach driver and single father whose mundane life is challenged

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Wednesday 10th April 2019, 12:40am [Edited]
  • England
  • 1,604 posts

I once read a posting, either on BCG or elsewhere, in which somebody expressed the view that Toby Jones should be in every program on TV.

I'm not sure we should go quite that far but I do find him eminently watchable.

More recently, I read a post on BCG in which somebody expressed the view that watching "Fleabag" was essentially an experience completely devoid of laughs.

I thought of both posts while watching the first episode of "Don't Forget the Driver", BBC's new dark comedy starring the aforementioned Toby Jones.

To the person who complained about the lack of laughs in "Fleabag", I say have a look at "Don't Forget the Driver": as far as laughs go, there are so few it makes "Fleabag" look like f***ing "Airplane!".

Please don't misunderstand me: I'm not complaining, I'm just being accurate.

There are several people on BCG who have expressed the view that comedy is all about making people laugh. If they're right, "Don't Forget the Driver" must be considered an abject failure.

I, on the other hand, have always expressed the view that making people laugh is only part of the job of the comedy writer and the comedy performer. If I'm right, I think "Don't Forget the Driver" is going to please TV critics and viewers alike.

Recommended!

AvatarBCG Supporter

jsg

  • Wednesday 10th April 2019, 5:29am
  • Dorset, England
  • 172 posts

The reception will likely be mixed from both. As for the laugh count it's a comedy-drama so it's not fair to compare it to a sitcom.

I thought it was alright, didn't love it or anything and the more comic moments didn't seem to fit the mood of the rest of it, which was a shame.

Avatar

Sitcomfan64

  • Wednesday 10th April 2019, 11:21am
  • England
  • 460 posts

I can't say I really like it yet but there was enough in episode one to make me watch next week. Some nice gentle laughs, His co driver is a grade A arse, which obviously highlights how much of a pushover out main character is., interested to see where its all going.

Avatar

gb901

  • Wednesday 10th April 2019, 4:58pm
  • norwich, United Kingdom
  • 325 posts

One gets the impression this is being pushed as a follow up to the gem that was "detectorists", however it's nothing of the sort. Personally I found it drab, painfully devoid of humour and riddled with political barbs - which I suppose is now de rigour for the pc BBC? Thankfully detectorists was an exception to the rule!

AvatarBCG Supporter

Chappers

  • Wednesday 10th April 2019, 5:46pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 29,809 posts

I thought it was bland and boring.

Rood's quote about comedy not having to be funny seems to be a bit strange.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Wednesday 10th April 2019, 6:11pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 1,604 posts
Quote: Chappers @ 10th April 2019, 5:46 PM

Rood's quote about comedy not having to be funny seems to be a bit strange.

I don't think I've ever said comedy (as a global art form) doesn't have to be funny, although I've certainly said comedy isn't all about making people laugh.

That's the general intention of most comedy writers and comedians although some will make the audience laugh, cry, think, be afraid, be fascinated, recoil in horror, and respond in various other ways - with the proportion that each response contributes to their overall experience varying according to the writer/comedian or the material he/she is writing/performing.

For a great many comedy writers and comedians, being funny is only part of the job.

Applying labels accurately is not always easy and so it will always be a matter for individual readers and audience members to decide what is a comedy and what isn't.

Avatar

Teddy Paddalack

  • Thursday 11th April 2019, 8:57am [Edited]
  • Everton, England
  • 2,731 posts

This is more pathos than comedy with a less than hidden message.
Yes Toby is a great actor but he's the underdog , the petty bland person and while its not to my taste I can see the craft.
Let's remember when a writer sets out to write a script they are then faced with the realities of producers wanting to tweek and tweek and then tweek and you have to comply or die.
So I reckon this was a lot edgier at the start and by the time the producers and indeed the lawyers went over this the end result.
But to deny the craft of the actor or the skill of the writer is foolish the only question is the genre, for me it's drama not comedy but that doesn't dilute its quality.

Avatar

gb901

  • Thursday 11th April 2019, 1:15pm
  • norwich, United Kingdom
  • 325 posts
Quote: Teddy Paddalack @ 11th April 2019, 8:57 AM

This is more pathos than comedy with a less than hidden mesage.

Blatant propoganda more like!

Avatar

Old Lady Leg

  • Thursday 11th April 2019, 2:13pm [Edited]
  • Complete and utter Kent, United Kingdom
  • 261 posts

Everyone's out. Made a tidying up list for the day. Then read this thread and thought...don't mind if I do. I've watched Toby Jones in a lot of things. The thing about him is I can watch him in anything and believe he's the person he's playing. He has such a distinctive look about him, but I still believe he's all these different people. I even saw him in Wayward Pines, in which he played a right weirdo and baddy person. What a coincidence. I was in the Ashford Retail Centre yesterday looking for school shoes and bits and other bits and bobs. Now thinking of a good way to put that into the lottery.

Watched the first three, then cleaned the kitchen floor. I have to say, I didn't feel desperate to come back to it, but I'm now watching episode four and feeling very committed to seeing it through to the end. I think a lot of us can relate to the mix of real life situations written into the series, although obviously not all of them. The amusing randomness of the coach trips helps to punctuate the seriousness of it all...and you kind of feel like you're with Peter all the way as he struggles to get his day job done, whilst also trying to make sense of, and cope with, everything else that's happening around him.

It's a very easy watch. There's nothing confusing about it. I mean...you can either spend each episode looking for reasons not to like it, or just settle down with a cuppa and enjoy the ride. I'm enjoying the gentle intrusion into my Thursday. HANG ON A MINUTE! THAT CO-DRIVER! Really? No fkn way.

Now watched all six episodes. It didn't end the way I expected it to...and I'm very grateful for that. It makes it seem more of a journey we take with Peter, rather than a story that tries too hard to neatly tie up all the loose ends for us. Not sure I'd refer to it as a dark comedy. For me, it felt more like a drama with a dash of humour to help it along.

AvatarBCG Supporter

Chappers

  • Thursday 11th April 2019, 9:47pm
  • Surreyish., England
  • 29,809 posts

So it's another one that is available in its entirety on catch-up before being aired normally.

Avatar

Old Lady Leg

  • Thursday 11th April 2019, 10:00pm
  • Complete and utter Kent, United Kingdom
  • 261 posts
Quote: Chappers @ 11th April 2019, 9:47 PM

So it's another one that is available in its entirety on catch-up before being aired normally.

Yeah...not really catch-up, is it. Not complaining. I'm impatient. Works for me.

Avatar

TheBlueNun

  • Saturday 13th April 2019, 9:49pm
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 2,536 posts
Quote: Chappers @ 10th April 2019, 5:46 PM

I thought it was bland and boring.

Rood's quote about comedy not having to be funny seems to be a bit strange.

I agree with Chappers, it was previewed in the Radio Times a couple of months ago and I had a feeling that it wouldn't be a complete guffaw fest and was proved right. I agree with the sentiment that Toby Jones is a pretty distinctive actor with a hangdog expression that Hancock would be proud of. My issue was that, with the exception of the central character, the majority of the supporting cast seemed to be playing quite unpleasant and selfish characters and I tend to give up on a show when that's the case.

Avatar

jhmagic1

  • Sunday 14th April 2019, 5:31pm
  • Wales
  • 329 posts

Hats off to the sound/ foley department. They captured the ambient noise of a coach so well I felt travel sick during the first episode.

Avatar

Old Lady Leg

  • Monday 15th April 2019, 1:24pm
  • Complete and utter Kent, United Kingdom
  • 261 posts
Quote: jhmagic1 @ 14th April 2019, 5:31 PM

Hats off to the sound/ foley department. They captured the ambient noise of a coach so well I felt travel sick during the first episode.

I agree...re Foley effects. I watched this series by myself (no friends) in a quiet room...and was committed to giving each episode my full attention. For some watching with distractions, I can imagine the intimacy between storyteller and audience being somewhat diluted. Although each episode might well have felt like a general plodding along of Peter's life to its less impressed viewers, I felt a strong connection with the mood of each scene. His mother's house, the whizzing of the traffic next to the burger van, the seagulls and whistling wind at the beach...all of it. From the stop/start rhythms of the out-and-about sounds, right down to relevance of the tap dripping against the silence in Peter's home. Every single one adding to the story and telling us even more about the characters and their priorities/predicaments.

Don't get me wrong...I love being surprised by unexpected laugh-out-loud moments...and comedies that give me that are great. But, sometimes, I appreciate a series like Don't Forget the Driver. Sometimes, I'm happy enough just to be touched (don't be filthy).

Avatar

gb901

  • Tuesday 16th April 2019, 11:09pm
  • norwich, United Kingdom
  • 325 posts

Second episode didn't pick up: seems more like a dreary message laden drama than comedy!