Off The Hook. Image shows from L to R: Fred (James Buckley), Shane (Danny Morgan), Danny (Jonathan Bailey), Scarlet (Joanna Cassidy). Copyright: Green Room Entertainment.

Off The Hook

BBC Three sitcom. 7 episodes (1 series) in 2009. Stars Jonathan Bailey, Danny Morgan, Joanna Cassidy, James Buckley and Georgia King.

Press Clippings

Off The Hook review

Off The Hook has the problem of not only needing to be good, but to also mutate the granite-solid impression of BBC3 dross. And it achieves this through the most reliable technique possible: it's pretty funny!

The Custard TV, 25th September 2009

Off The Hook Episode 3 Review

After two weeks of anodyne but passable fare, Off The Hook serves up its first resounding dud.

Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 25th September 2009

Oh dear. It was already a very male show, but this week Dean Craig's campus comedy - a non-swearing, teenage Curb Your Enthusiasm mixed with The Inbetweeners - fumbles about in Porkies territory when Danny needs a subject for his Female Beauty photography project and lets Shane give him a few unethical tips. Still, it enables their misanthropic housemate Fred (James Buckley) to cruise past the clueless pair once more, and throws in an appealing romance to leaven the testosterone-fuelled horseplay. Next week's episode gets things back on track.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 24th September 2009

Off the Hook follows a group of freshers as they embark upon a new life at university. Stock student behaviour such as partying, slovenliness, unrequited love and stealing your flatmate's provisions are all present and correct, the last of which providing a neat and unexpected plot twist when the purloined pint of milk turned out to contain a bacteria sample.

Jonathan Bailey as Danny has the thankless task of playing straight man to the various inadequates, slackers, party monsters and misfits he shares digs with, but he pulls it off with considerable charm. Danny Morgan as his brash, insensitive mate Shane is a little too reminiscent of Smithy from Gavin and Stacey for my liking, but was horribly watchable nonetheless.

If the protagonists and set ups aren't wildly original, Off the Hook does capture that curious combination of innocence, invincibility and imbecility typical of many 18-year-olds away from home for the first time.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 21st September 2009

Off The Hook proved yet another lacklustre sitcom offering from a channel that seems to be making them a speciality. This time, it was the tale of four students sharing a flat in their first year at uni. Check off the cliches: there's the 'funny' fat ginger one; the wibbly middle-class sap/hero; the barely written blonde girl; and the kooky one - in this case a depressed songwriter who is a less appealing combination of Phoebe from Friends and Danny Kendall from Grange Hill.

Last night's plot involved ginger and sap going to a hip hop party to impress a 'hot' girl despite not knowing anything about hip hop. Ho ho! Sap thinks there's a rapper called the Notorious BFG! Get your carbon-dating gear out to discover how old that one is. Needless to say, hilarity didn't ensue when the pair didn't fit in with the cool kids at the party. Yes, that chestnut - a premise so ancient it was using a Zimmer frame when Happy Days was newly born. It's like Hollyoaks but with a cast of four, and no jokes. Or a less comedically innovative version of Two Pints. I'm just being grumpy, though; as the owner of pubic hair I'm probably a bit too old for BBC3's demographic. Grumble.

Keith Watson, Metro, 18th September 2009

Off The Hook Episode 2 Review

Charm goes a long way in comedy. Off The Hook isn't the funniest or cleverest youth sitcom around, but it has a certain charisma in its performances which help overcome the rote scripts...

Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 18th September 2009

As for watching a third instalment of Off the Hook, well, things don't look promising. Last night was little different from the previous offering, except that our four heroes have been moved out of their grotty off-campus accommodation and into the more civilised confines of the student halls (which, I suspect, are considerably plusher than the average university digs). There's still the nightmare neighbour, the hot girl that everyone wants (different name, same role), and the end-of-episode party-that-goes-wrong. It's not that it is unfunny per se - there is the odd laugh courtesy of Shane, the best friend most people would give their eyeteeth not to have. And it's terribly well intentioned. But - and I feel slightly cruel saying this - it's just a little lame.

Alice-Azania Jarvis, The Independent, 18th September 2009

Off the Hook (BBC3) was always going to suffer in comparison with The Inbetweeners. It's hard not to see it as a sedate university-days version of the boisterous schooldays sitcom, not least because the two shows share an actor in basin-faced James Buckley. Indeed, the former distinguishes itself from the latter by being nowhere near as good. In place of the exuberant puerility of The Inbetweeners, Off the Hook offers stock characters, lame gags and a very tame take on freshman year. It's odd that the show about the older kids is the more bowdlerised and less well observed, but when you hear it's been scaled up from a series of five-minute internet shorts, it sort of makes sense.

Tim Dowling, The Guardian, 18th September 2009

Being unrealistic doesn't stop Dean Craig's teen sitcom being a blast, and much of that's down to the comic timing of, and chemistry between, the leads. And although the cringe tips into misfire near the end, the naivety is largely likeable.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 17th September 2009

Stay tuned for Off the Hook, a new sitcom about the shenanigans of a batch of university freshers. It's rather like an episode of The Inbetweeners you wouldn't mind your nan seeing.

What's On TV, 12th September 2009