Press clippings

Channel 4's social worker sitcom Damned ends after two series

Channel 4 has confirmed that Damned, the sitcom about social workers starring Jo Brand and Alan Davies, has ended after two series.

British Comedy Guide, 8th June 2018

The series concludes on a double bill with change looming large at Elm Heath social services. Al plans to swap social services for some Scottish serenity, Martin confronts Mimi about their living arrangements and Rose vows to change the lives of some children undergoing sinister homeschooling.

Mark Gibbings-Jones, The Guardian, 21st March 2018

I'm becoming immensely taken by the performance of Lolly Adefope as the infuriating, virtue-signalling trainee Mimi in this series of Damned, the latest of which was bumped over till next week in order to rush in a Hawking tribute. (I assume the Beeb is holding its Jim Bowen tribute back for a more considered approach.) Mimi has turned the taking of offence into an art form, schooled in all the right phrases yet able to boast zero experience of life, and could so easily have been a stereotype; Adefope manages, against high odds, to imbue her with a smidgen of self-aware humanity. Damned must be damned difficult to write, having to tread hair-trigger lines between so many sensitivities. To carry it off, and to make it funny, is a ridiculous success.

Euan Ferguson, The Guardian, 18th March 2018

Comedy is the new drama

It's sitcoms, not police thrillers, tackling the deep issues.

Gerard Gilbert, i Newspaper, 17th March 2018

This sitcom set in a social services department feels caught - within the wobbly-camera workplace comedy genre - between the deadpan of The Office[ and the grotesquerie of The Thick of It. It is carried by a fine cast, whose characters' lives are scarcely less chaotic than those of their clientele.

Andrew Mueller, The Guardian, 14th March 2018

It is an awkward start to the day when Rose and Dennis wake up in bed in Denise's house, while Nat is trying to land a birth partner with the offer of free crisps and water. Al gets lumbered with Mimi when he visits an ex-client who has been skipping classes, Rose turns up at the office to find Martin has dispatched Nitin to deal with a pair of drug-addicted clients and Zak makes an unwelcome return with wife Sophie, who is horrified when the true nature of his problems are revealed.

The National (Scotland), 14th March 2018

More juxtapositions of child neglect, abuse and comedy from the bickering staff at Elm Heath Children's Services. This week, Al deals with a troubled teenager who has a transitioning parent and Nitin bumps into a banker with a drink problem who is struggling to raise his son. Hilarious!

Ben Arnold, The Guardian, 21st February 2018

I tak to: Isy Suttie

Here's what Isy had to say about working with Jo Brand, her character's backstory and why a good atmosphere on set makes all the difference.

Elliot Gonzalez, I Talk Telly, 21st 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

Reviews: Damned and Bliss

Jo Brand and Morwenna Banks's sitcom is scathing and subtle as it makes unfunny subjects hilarious. Plus: playing bigamy for laughs in Bliss.

Tim Dowling, The Guardian, 15th February 2018

Share this page