What a pedigree Kate & Koji appeared to have. Co-stars in Brenda Blethyn and Jimmy Akingbola, written by Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton (Drop The Dead Donkey, Outnumbered), and a bonkers-but-might-work premise about an asylum-seeking African doctor setting up a temporary surgery in a seaside caff in exchange for square meals from the reactionary biddy of an owner.
My, it's grim, and what were you at all thinking, our sainted Auntie Vera? There are jokes about 70s TV detectives, oat milk, newfangled "podcasts". One running gag is that everyone looks to their phones after the microwave pings. It is amusing precisely once. At one stage Kate (Blethyn) reprimands Koji (Akingbola) for getting pedantic about apostrophes with "all right Doc, no need to go all Rees-Mogg on us!", as if one had to go to Eton (because it's posh, see!) in order to have an outside chance of grasping the basics of the English language: it's that kind of lowest-com-denom writing. Utterly unhelped - in fact, hog-tied at the knees - by a canned laughter track that gives it not just the content but the feel of something that could have surfaced a full 30 years ago. There's even a rival - snobby - interfering councillor in the shape of Barbara Flynn.
It's not unsalvageable. There's a (slight) warmth to be had in Kate's unthawing towards the 21st Century, her refreshing lack of the old prejudices. Some gags show spark, but you don't even get to enjoy the spark, already tensing at the collective awfulness of the wave of laughter that you know is bound to tsunami in.Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 22nd March 2020
Although from very different worlds, it's soon evident they share similar traits, including a dogged determination to never back down.The Herald, 14th March 2020
Pat and Cabbage are the type of bubbly suburban best friends you only see in sitcoms: they meet for morning jogs, midday pilates and afternoon coffee over the kitchen counter. They moan about their grown-up kids interfering in their lives and gossip about who they fancy and how big their bums are.
If you're of the same age or going through a similar experience - that is: newly retired, newly single and free to flirt with men you meet while dropping your grandchild off at nursery - you might find the pair's antics at least mildly diverting. Otherwise, it's hard to see the comedy in Pat (Barbara Flynn) and the inexplicably named Cabbage (Cherie Lunghi) making off with a neighbour's wheelie bin (apparently it was Pat's) or parking up outside the house of a love interest like a couple of schoolgirls-cum-stalkers.
By the end of the first episode of this new ITV sitcom, you might share the sentiment of Pat's daughter, who pointedly asks: 'Why can't you just go on a coach trip to see Phantom of the Opera like every other mother?'.Zena Alkayat, Time Out, 5th September 2013
Pat and Cabbage are 60-something friends. Pat (Barbara Flynn) is a bit staid, Cabbage (Cherie Lunghi) is devil-may-care. Pat's daughter thinks Cabbage is a bad influence on her mum. But Pat gets caught up in her friend's schemes. A painfully jaunty soundtrack accompanies every single telegraphed gag - Pat's daughter brings a hamster into the house, Pat is afraid of hamsters, you know what's going to happen next.
Pat and Cabbage is written by actresses Amy Shindler (Brenda Tucker in The Archers) and Beth Chalmers and is produced by the people who gave us Last Tango in Halifax. But Pat and Cabbage is no Last Tango in Halifax.Alison Graham, Radio Times, 5th September 2013
You've heard of the Grey Pound. Pat And Cabbage is what you might call a symptom of the Grey Remote: TV geared to older people, ie the ones who actually watch TV on a television set, not a handheld device. Inevitably, this seems amiable stuff, the vaguely interesting premise a cut above the likes of My Family. Pat (Barbara Flynn) and Cabbage (Cherie Lunghi) are cast as sixtysomething divorcees - in a time when 60 is considered youngish. What will their dependents make of their new alliance, and their new start?John Robinson, The Guardian, 5th September 2013
I love Alan Plater's works - the Beiderbecke Trilogy DVDs of the Yorkshire TV comedy dramas starring James Bolam and Barbara Flynn have a permanent spot next to my DVD player. His new comic radio play follows the opening night of a new Tyneside art gallery, which is thrown into jeopardy by the well-meaning but ill-trained staff, who have all been hired to tick a 'quota' box.Scott Matthewman, The Stage, 17th April 2009