New On Two 2020

Alma's Not Normal. Image shows from L to R: Jim (Nick Asbury), Alma Nuthall (Sophie Willan), Lin (Siobhan Finneran), Joan (Lorraine Ashbourne).

Alma's Not Normal

Comedy about a Boltonian woman Alma and her female-heavy family

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Sitcomfan64

  • Tuesday 7th April 2020, 10:31pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 671 posts
Quote: jsg @ 7th April 2020, 7:56 PM

Alma's Not Normal is on tonight.

I wish I could be more positive but I just didn't laugh. At all. Jayde Adams as usual was great but the script went on and on, I was waiting for a comic situation or payoff that never came. Obviously I'm missing something because people are raving on Twitter. Advertised as drama I could understand but made and advertised as a comedy?

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jsg

  • Wednesday 8th April 2020, 9:21am
  • United Kingdom
  • 298 posts

Where the narration wasn't superfluous it could've been dialogue, it's more than a little overbearing having a narrator that's trying to be funny. That said I did enjoy it, particularly the bits about her family.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Wednesday 8th April 2020, 10:32am [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,089 posts

Just watched it on iPlayer and my laptop's still in one piece, the best review I can give this sort of thing, it's not a prime time sitcom is it, if it gets a series, which I think it will. This was more a ramblelogue than a genuine structured sitcom to me. I was thinking mostly when watching it that she's a natural actress, so I'm sure she has a future on TV even if she doesn't write all the stuff. I would have assumed she was an actress and not the writer or a stand up comedian if I hadn't have known.

But she's taken on the hardest form of comedy as the sole writer and she'll need discipline and craft to get a decent series of six eps out of this sort of material. It was very piloty, like an intro to her world. The trouble with that sort of heavily biographical writing is a whole series could end up looking very samey unless she puts solid plotlines and stories together. Likeable woman, good performer, but I want a sitcom to be a sitcom, not another light soap.

Quote: Sitcomfan64 @ 7th April 2020, 10:31 PM

the script went on and on, I was waiting for a comic situation or payoff that never came.

To be fair I think they were just about there in the early scenes but the style didn't help them hit home, like large chunks of stand up monologue put into narrative comedy, with little for other characters to do.

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Paul Wimsett

  • Wednesday 8th April 2020, 10:37am
  • Folkestone, United Kingdom
  • 3,379 posts

Passive protagonist?

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Sitcomfan64

  • Wednesday 8th April 2020, 11:12am
  • England
  • 671 posts

Also I didn't have a lot of sympathy for her either, going on and on about not being able to pay rent then blowing all her money on that stupid disco thing and the trampoline. It felt like character flaw for the sake of it rather than expanding on who the character is.

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Rood Eye

  • Wednesday 8th April 2020, 11:23am [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,852 posts

It was clear by the end of the episode that Sophie is about to get involved in the world of escorting.

That activity used to be known by another name which, although entirely accurate, is no longer politically correct.

Although no longer politically correct, it remains entirely correct biographically.

By the end of the episode, I suspect almost every viewer was looking at Sophie and thinking she's a very naughty girl.

In stark contrast, I wasn't thinking she's a very naughty girl.

I was thinking she's the Messiah.

The late lamented Caroline Aherne gave us a very funny family (and their friends and neighbours) who were clearly fictional and, like most sitcom characters, were a significant exaggeration of the sort of funny folk we find around us in real life.

Sophie Willan, in stark contrast (again) has given us real people who, if you were unlucky enough, would be exactly the sort of people you are currently living among.

If you doubt that such people are entirely real and are populating significant areas of Britain and British life, you should count yourself very lucky indeed.

To my mind, the very best comedy is born of pain.

Victoria Wood suffered in certain ways during her formative years, and Sophie suffered in other ways during hers.

The result in both cases was a tremendous comedy talent.

In Victoria's case, I think most of us might agree it was talent of a type and on a scale we'd never seen before.

I have a feeling a great many comedy aficionados will be saying the same thing about Sophie before much longer.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Wednesday 8th April 2020, 11:57am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,089 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 8th April 2020, 11:23 AM

Victoria Wood suffered in certain ways during her formative years, and Sophie suffered in other ways during hers.

And now it's our turn.

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Rood Eye

  • Wednesday 8th April 2020, 12:03pm
  • England
  • 3,852 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 8th April 2020, 11:57 AM

And now it's our turn.

I have to admit, that's funny. Laughing out loud

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Rood Eye

  • Wednesday 8th April 2020, 3:08pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,852 posts

I think "Alma's Not Normal" is well worthy of a dedicated thread under its own name.

I'm not going to start one myself, obviously, but it might be an idea if somebody did.

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jsg

  • Wednesday 22nd April 2020, 10:25pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 298 posts

It'll be exciting to see how this develops as a series.

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Feeoree

  • Thursday 23rd April 2020, 6:53pm
  • Basildon, England
  • 596 posts
Quote: jsg @ 22nd April 2020, 10:25 PM

It'll be exciting to see how this develops as a series.

Yeah I ended the pilot wanting to see what happens next and how much better it gets as things go on and escalate - Same with the other recent pilot, Bumps, which I hope gets a series.