It's not good news when a programme moves channels before it even airs but that's exactly what happened to sitcom Give Out Girls. Originally planned to be shown on Sky Living it was transferred to Comedy Central which, after watching episode one, was possibly a better fit. Set in the world of promotions Give Out Girls follows the fortunes of four ladies who work for the Hot Staff company. The only character that the sitcom really spends any time with is 29-year-old Marilyn (Kerry Howard); an unreliable schemer who tries her best to do as little work as possible. Thanks to the fantastic performance by the ever-reliable Howard, Marilyn was the only one of Give Out Girls' characters who didn't feel like a cliché. Marilyn's colleagues are the snide beautiful Kiwi Zoe (Mianda Hennessy), fun-loving Welsh girl Poppy (Cariad Lloyd) and the naive Gemma (former X-Factor contestant Diana Vickers). I'm not sure why Hatty Ashdown and Tony MacMurray thought the world of promotions was such a comic minefield because the scenes where the girls were out on the street didn't yield much laughter. In fact the majority of the jokes in Give Out Girls were incredibly tired and included a ridiculous sexual harassment charge as well as Marilyn mistaking a facial mole for an olive. As she proved in Him and Her, Kerry Howard is a fantastic comic actress and I felt she made a potential two-dimensional character into somebody vaguely realistic. Aside from Howard, only Tracey Ann-Oberman as the girls' powersuit wearing boss made an impression. Although Howard and Oberman tried their best, they couldn't save a sitcom that didn't make me laugh once. Based on the evidence in this episode, Kerry Howard deserves much better and I'm hoping her next project is a programme worthy of her considerable comic talent.The Custard TV, 20th October 2014
Kerry Howard is best known as a brilliantly vile bridezilla in BBC Three's superlative black comedy Him & Her. (Trivia alert: she also happens to be the sister of comedian Russell Howard.) Here, her character Marilyn works in promotions, which involves donning tangerine tights and pushing a lurid orange drink called Nectarino ("the taste of sunshine in a bottle!") on resistant shoppers. Ex-EastEnder Tracy-Ann Oberman plays her delightfully un-PC boss, and look out for X Factor finalist Diana Vickers as another of the tangerine mannequins.
Bravo to Comedy Central for putting so many funny women in one sitcom. Sadly, though, the jokes in this first episode are often as weak as Marilyn's work ethic.Claire Webb, Radio Times, 14th October 2014
Comedian Hatty Ashdown plumbed her years as a promotions girl for the basis of this new sitcom. Him & Her's Kerry Howard is the hapless Marilyn, perpetually in the bad books of ex-EastEnder Tracy-Ann Oberman, playing her mucky boss Debbie. In an identikit town centre, the team - comprising Cariad Lloyd (the odd one), Miranda Hennessy (bitchy) and The X Factor's Diana Vickers (ditzy) - are sampling new booze Nectarino. Whoever does the best wins a job in Spain with Debbie's tragic underling Steve. It's not awful.Ben Arnold, The Guardian, 14th October 2014