Series 2, Episode 1
In a post-Brexit world, defined by a new government and legislation that no one can really fathom, Rose remains as irritable, chaotic and resentful as ever as she tries to juggle home, work, family and her far-too-present ex-husband. Meanwhile Al, apathetically trying to surf a mid-life crisis, considers pastures new to inject some much needed excitement, and a new challenge, into his life.
Martin is back full time and this time round he's in charge so things might be about to change - but ever so kindly and slowly cause he's a nice bloke. But will his new position of power bring out some unseemly dictatorial traits?
Crises pile up as crucial files appear to have taken a walk so Nat, now a permanent member of the team, turns detective to track them down while Denise lets her beady eye slide off the ball as her attention turns inward to her own family issues. Nitin remains his reliable and pompous self, a beacon of the officious in a sea of corner cutting, whilst Ingrid becomes the bridge between the personal and the professional as she takes on a huge challenge. Meanwhile, Denise brings in a know-it-all student Mimi.
And that's just the staff, as they say, before they've even begun to tackle the complex and brutal problems out there in the community. The threat of violence is never far away as the Elm Heath team once again face up to a series of problems that our increasingly complex society just expects them to sort out without any fuss or acknowledgement.
- Wednesday 14th February 2018
- Channel 4
- 30 minutes
- Saturday 17th February 2018 at 3:00am on C4
Cast & crew
|Jo Brand||Rose Denby|
|Alan Davies||Al Kavanagh|
|Kevin Eldon||Martin Bickerstaff|
|Georgie Glen||Denise Donnelly|
|Isy Suttie||Natalie Moore|
|Paul Charlton||PC Harris|
|Nick Hancock||Lee Denby|
|Mandeep Dhillon||Telephone Caller (Voice)|
|London Hughes||Telephone Caller (Voice)|
|Ellie White||Telephone Caller (Voice)|
|Ben Willbond||Marcus Bowles (Headmaster)|
|Andrei Vladut Cociorvan||Elena's Son|
|Ed Gaughan||Telephone Caller (Voice)|
|Jacob Scipio||Telephone Caller (Voice)|
|Jeffrey Sherriff (as Jeff Sherriff)||Production Designer|
Human degradation was never so funny.Sean O'Grady, The Independent, 9th February 2018
A second series for Jo Brand and Morwenna Banks's lauded social services comedy. The main plotline concerns a sex worker whose children have been reported to the authorities and there is also a topical strand about football sex abuse. As before, the grim subject matter is offset by some excellent gags.Hannah J Davies, The Guardian, 14th February 2018
Damned is a rare achievement: noble in his depiction of human weakness, soaringly ambitious while trapped in humdrum surroundings, and deeply empathic in prising laughs from desperate circumstances.Gabriel Tate, The Telegraph, 14th February 2018
Are sexual abuse and sex trafficking suitable subjects for comedy? My gut instinct would say no but the first episode of the second series of social worker comedy Damned somehow managed to incorporate these subjects and make serious points along with succesful jokes. The writers - Jo Brand, Morwenna Banks and Will Smith - and the cast - deserve full credit for going where few programmes fear to tread. Imagine Ken Loach collaborating with Ricky Gervais.Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 15th February 2018
Jo Brand's Damned is back on our screens; a sitcom whose first series I watched but struggle to remember any memorable moments. Brand writes the show alongside co-star Morwenna Banks and The Thick of It's Will Smith whilst also starring as Rose; the hapless social worker who spends most of the episode dealing with a shoe soiled by her family's new puppy. This week's episode was based on a tip-off the team the received which saw Al (Alan Davies) investigate the case of a sex-worker who was seeing clients whilst her two children were in the house. Rose and Al believed her children were truanting although the investigation later revealed that Elena was working to put her kids through private school. This story was an involving one, especially the conclusion which saw Elena's children taken from her despite Al's belief that she was a good mother. However, it didn't fit in with an episode which also saw Rose dealing with dog faeces on her shoe and the newly-promoted Martin (Kevin Eldon) making vegan fudge for his colleagues which was predictably inedible. Unlike her previous caring-focused comedy Getting On, Brand struggles to incorporate the gags in Damned with the darker elements of the plot such as the investigation into Elena and her children. I think this is because the jokes are more obvious in Damned and it's almost as if Brand, Smith and Banks feel that they have to create lowest common denominator humour for the Channel 4 audience. This is a shame as Damned is a sitcom that I want to succeed as I like everyone involved and the subject matter is one that I'm interested in. Damned's best moment are the sequences where we hear the calls that the team at Elm Heath Children Services field on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the introduction of social work student Mimi (Lolly Adefope) provides another authentic subplot as Brand and company are able to demonstrate the disparity between her studies and the reality of children's services. The pursuit of Mimi by the office's oddball Nitin (Himesh Patel) also provides some humorous moments as he attempts to persuade boss Denise (Georgie Glen) then he should be Mimi's mentor, a plea that falls on deaf ears. Overall, the first episode of Damned's second series had its moments but I found that the obvious gags didn't gel with the darker nature of the central storyline. However, I'm going to keep watching as it's a comedy that never outstays its welcome and features likeable characters played by an ensemble cast of actors who I really like.Matt, The Custard TV, 17th February 2018