British Comedy Guide

Grandma's House. Image shows from L to R: Grandma (Linda Bassett), Simon (Simon Amstell), Tanya (Rebecca Front). Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Grandma's House

BBC Two sitcom. 12 episodes (2 series), 2010 - 2012. Stars Simon Amstell, Linda Bassett, Rebecca Front, James Smith, Samantha Spiro, Jamal Hadjkura, Vincent Franklin and others.

Press Clippings

10 British TV comedies that ended too soon

Some sitcoms come to a natural end after a long run. Others are not so lucky and get cut short in their prime. And then Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps runs for 80 episodes. Here are 10 of the best comedies that ended far too soon...

Sophie Davies, Cult Box, 8th December 2016

Grandma's House - box set review

Simon Amstell's venture into writing and acting was a brave move - and it paid off in this often hilarious semi-autobiographical sitcom.

David Renshaw, The Guardian, 12th September 2013

After an assured debut in 2010, this was the year that Simon Amstell and Dan Swimer's housebound sitcom really hit its stride. Amstell was still not the greatest actor in the world, but he was playing such an awkward version of himself it didn't matter. He'd also surrounded himself with great characters, played by great actors (Rebecca Front, James Smith, Samantha Spiro, Linda Bassett). While being audaciously self-referential - Amstell's ill-advised joke about Russell Watson's brain tumour on BBC Breakfast was used as a plot device - it was ultimately warm-hearted, with deft scripting that skipped from lunacy to poignancy without missing a beat.

David Crawford, Radio Times, 27th December 2012

Simon Amstell confirms no further series of Grandma's House

Simon Amstell has publicly stated he doesn't want to make another series of his BBC Two sitcom Grandma's House.

British Comedy Guide, 20th December 2012

"Do you need more acting lessons?" Rebecca Front's fame-hungry mum asks her struggling son (Simon Amstell).

Amstell's acting met with low-level sniping in the first series of his droll sitcom, but it barely matters when he's surrounded by a cast this funny, notably Front and James Smith. Here, Simon's TV career has nosedived, so he's reduced to living at his gran's and exposed to family tensions. Amstell's meta-comedy is, in the words of Larry David, pretty, pretty good.

Ben Walsh, The Independent, 26th May 2012

'Grandma's House' concludes with 740,000 for BBC Two

Grandma's House rose in the Thursday night ratings for the second week running but still performed below BBC Two's 10pm slot average.

Paul Millar, Digital Spy, 25th May 2012

The current series of Grandma's House ended last night. At least I hope "current series" is accurate because Dan Swimer and Simon Amstell's comedy keeps getting better, its account of repressed feeling and family in-fighting beautifully discordant (the signature tune is perfect). Last night tuned the self-knowledge to an even higher pitch: "That would have been very funny if you'd laughed," Amstell told his mother, after accusing her of compensating for her own disappointing life by obsessing over his career. "Your silence made it seem a bit mean." And then it ended with him glumly watching an old Never Mind the Buzzcocks performance on YouTube, his dreams of love and happiness having evaporated. Hard to believe one laughs at all, really, but I did. A lot.

Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent, 25th May 2012

Grandma's House left us hungry for a third series

Simon Amstell's suburban trauma Grandma's House series finale hit all the right notes, it would be a shame if it failed to return for another.

Keith Watson, Metro, 25th May 2012

'Oooh! Your sex is on fire!' bellows the brilliantly hideous Clive as he returns from his wedding to Tanya, just before the occasion - like all others - quickly ping pongs out of control. Tonight, Simon has more antagonists than usual: aside from his family quizzing him over his career, there's his actor/director boyfriend
Ben - vague, mumbling and without Simon's best interests at heart. By the end of this finale we'll have had laughter, tears and an armlock - too good to end it all now, surely?

Metro, 24th May 2012

So, farewell then Grandma's House. In an era of identikit comedies and endless meta-sitcoms, it was a beacon of unsettling creativity. For once, the star really did seem to be playing himself rather than 'himself'; if it didn't always work, at least it tried. The performances are now such a diffuse grab-bag of styles and methods that it's become charming rather than jarring - not least when Grandma recalls her late husband. And Simon Amstell once again makes hay from his appalling acting, apparently either on the verge of cracking up or breaking the fourth wall as Ben (spaced-out Iwan Rheon) returns with an awful new chum in tow and some potentially life-changing news. A peculiar series that improved with age, but even so has probably bowed out at the right time.

Gabriel Tate, Time Out, 24th May 2012

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