At the head of the sadcom table comes After Life, the series Ricky Gervais made for Netflix that has been showered with acclaim. Just because it is about someone trying to get over the death of a loved one doesn't mean it doesn't have to be miserable throughout. And it is funny in parts. But is it a sitcom?Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 26th December 2019
Composer Arthur Sharpe has been nominated for an Ivor Novello Award - known as The Ivors - in the Best Television Soundtrack category for his soundtrack to the second series of Channel 4 comedy Flowers.Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 25th April 2019
The shortlisted TV and radio shows for the Comedy.co.uk Awards 2018 have been announced. 60 programmes are now in the running for the Comedy Of The Year title.British Comedy Guide, 21st January 2019
Utilizing the organ, piano, vocals, strings and brass, Arthur Sharpe's unconventional sound amplifies the intentionally badly-lit set and quirky storylines.Will Barber Taylor, Telly Binge, 29th July 2018
Sharpe's soundtrack has been described as darkly imaginative, heartfelt and cinematic. It includes 18 tracks in total and is available to pre-order online.Steven Broadbent, Telly Binge, 7th July 2018
"He's trying to wrestle with his new equanimity, a new peace of mind," says Julian Barratt of Maurice, the melancholic children's author he plays in Channel 4's cult comedy-drama, Flowers, which returned for a second series earlier this month. "But, really, it's catching up with him. It's catching up with all of them."Lily Pearson, The Independent, 25th June 2018
Flowers returned for a second one-off, glorious, maddening week (all six episodes shown on consecutive evenings). First shown over a similar week in 2016, it is, if you remember - and if you watched it back then, you will - an exceedingly quirky week in the company of the Flowers clan, with a dank underbelly of quietly desperate depression. It is almost indefinable, certainly impossible to shoehorn into any known genre - but it's constantly and crazily inspired, inventive, gloomily funny. It will drive some people to dark places. It will drive some people to reach for the off button.
This outing was even odder, and even better. Julian Barratt and Olivia Colman excel as a depressed children's writer and his increasingly estranged wife, who is struggling to remember what she's for, apart from caustic disillusionment, which allows her to come out with some winningly cruel lines. After Barratt has mused again on his "major depressive disorder", she snaps: "Oh, just call it depression, Maurice. It's not a Nobel prize."
But they are relatively in the shadows as regards their children, the unimaginative failure Donald and his sis Amy, who was struck by lightning last time round. Daniel Rigby and Sophia Di Martino are sublime in their characters, with Amy hard to watch as she descends - via some crackling lines ("At least I don't have to watch you piss your scent all over the moral high ground like some demented incontinent barn animal") - to febrile madness.
As to what it's about, apart from Amy's visions of cursed German ancestors... I think it was, in the end, about something rather serious happening to Shun, the Japanese houseboy/illustrator played by Will Sharpe, the writer/creator, and himself bipolar. But I can't be sure. And I only think this because, after Shun was left contemplating, with quickening melancholy, a tall tree in the penultimate episode, the entire last one was a series of his flashbacks to his first few days in the Flowers household - a joyous, flowery, celebration of a loopy, tangled, untidy English family in the English countryside, all dusk and drink and beauty and looming shadow. As I say, indefinable, but sometimes indefinably lovely. And a brave recommission from C4, with brave issues tackled.Euan Ferguson, The Guardian, 17th June 2018