Radio 2's Funny Fortnight of comedy pilots kicked off last night with the most traditional of sitcom ideas: a clash of classes.Steve Bennett, Chortle, 24th April 2018
Perkins plays Sara, who in the opening episode celebrates her 40th birthday. However, she has one major problem coming up: she's never told her parents that she's gay, making up bizarre-sounding boyfriends like a Frenchman who sells false legs. To make things worse, they're coming up to see her in a few weeks. As a result, for her birthday her parents decide to hire Sara a rather unorthodox (and to Sara an annoying) lifestyle coach called Toria (Joanna Scanlan), to give her the courage to finally come out. If Sara fails to do so, Toria's under instructions to tell Sara's parents herself.
This opening episode was very good. The first scene, in which Sara deals with a cat called Mosley owned by someone who seems to be keen on alternative therapies (Ella Kenion), is great. It gets better when she starts to put the cat down, only for the owner to change her mind half-way through. This leads to an even better scene starring Mark Heap as the undertaker at a pet crematorium, in a typically bonkers role that we are used to seeing him in. The laughs keep coming.
Much of the better comic moments are slightly skewed. It's not off-the-wall surrealism, it's just slightly odd, but in this case odd works well. Whether it's a scene involving a netball team doing a haka or the idea of a restaurant which tells you the name of the cow you are eating, it all seems to be working well.
And Sue's right - the fact the lead character's gay appears to be something just in the background. This series has potential, but the big test is still to come.Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 4th March 2013
Gavin & Stacey's Joanna Page, Sue Johnston and Tom Ellis (better known as Miranda's love interest) star in a new comedy about the parents who meet daily to pick their kids up from school. Helen (Page) and Mark (Ellis) enrol their daughter in her new primary school, where they encounter the minefield of parental etiquette, volunteering for the PTA and school-gate flirtations. Support from Catherine Shepherd, Ella Kenion and Tony Gardner. Promises good things.Julia Raeside, The Guardian, 14th August 2012