At first blush, Earls of the Court (Wednesdays, Radio 4, 11pm) was a bizarre attempt to give us Flight of the Conchords again and hope we wouldn't notice. Two Antipodean innocents - Australians in this case - at large in London, give us a break . On second listening, though, there is a lot more subtlety to Stewart Wright and Will Adamsdale's six-part series, in which they also star as Lloydie and Johnno respectively. In fact, this could be the first example of post-millennial credit crunch expatriate comedy, no small achievement.
Lloydie and Johnno came over to Britain in 1996, when life was easy and any Aussie who couldn't get a job working behind a bar just wasn't trying. But things have changed - though not for Lloydie. He's been away from Britain for years, most recently being fired from a French ski resort, where his rugged attitude towards having fun is no longer cool. Johnno, too, has lost his job, but he is still living in the house that he and Lloydie once shared with a random assortment of other expats.
Lloydie invites himself back to crash in Johnno's shared house for a night that, everyone knows, means a month. Only the other housemates don't know that. There are complaints when Lloydie tries to turn the hallway from an internet centre back into a crazy-golf course. The other housemates conspire to get Johnno and Lloydie turfed out of the house, so they go to live with Johnno's girlfriend ("We're not living with her," Johnno says. "I'm living with her. You're just crashing").
So - two old friends reunited, one of them out of touch with a changed world. It's not Flight of the Conchords, it's Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads. And none the worse for that.Chris Campling, The Times, 26th February 2010
It isn't laugh-out-loud funny, but this Radio 4 comedy has a gentle charm, says Elisabeth Mahoney.Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian, 25th February 2010
Bright new comedy, which could well expand into half hours because it's so well written, thought out and acted. It's about Lloydie and Johnno, two Australians who first met up in the UK in the mid-90s. They played the scene a bit, split, haven't seen each other since. Now Lloydie's back from France and moves in again to theold shared house in Shepherd's Bush. But things have changed Landlords are stricter, housemates more serious, needing more sleep, less noise. Lloydie dossing on the sofa isn't the lark it was as Johnno soon discovers.Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 24th February 2010