British Comedy Guide

Teenage Kicks. Image shows from L to R: Milly (Laura Aikman), Max (Ed Coleman), Vernon (Adrian Edmondson). Copyright: Phil McIntyre Entertainment.

Teenage Kicks

ITV sitcom about a middle-aged father single again. 8 episodes (1 series) in 2008. Stars Adrian Edmondson, Laura Aikman, Ed Coleman, Jonathan Chan-Pensley and others.

Press Clippings

Quite possibly the least funny sitcom that has ever been broadcast appeared in March 2008, and it starred Adrian Edmonson. Teenage Kicks - which had been sat on ITV1's shelves for several months - featured the former Young Ones star as a father who had been forced to move in with his two kids. It was appalling. This was a show that made jokes about 'comedy' Chinese accents.

Off The Telly, 2nd January 2009

The premise? Ageing punk Adrian Edmondson moves in with his student kids. Even brain cell-challenged people can see the punchlines in the abysmal script coming. This ITV offering featured a long-running gag in which the Chinese bloke is mocked for his 'funny' accent. Who wrote this drivel? Jim Davidson? If you think the 1970s sitcom format is deader than Rik Waller's career, think again.

Lorna Cooper, MSN Entertainment, 12th August 2008

Teenage Kicks is possibly the worst programme I've ever seen. Now, I don't say that lightly because, as a bloke, I really like Ade Edmundson. However, on the strength of this, I could easily go right off him.

Edmundson plays Vernon who, basically, is going through a messy divorce. With that, we should be treated with a spectacular nervous breakdown and maybe some deluded Saxondale-isms. What we get is a programme that looks cheap (and is cheap) with woeful acting, a complete absence of ideas and, worse still, jokes about a Chinese man.

On the close of the show I actually sighed and said "thank f*ck that's over", which is something that doesn't normally happen. Teenage Kicks has joined the unenviable list of 'Worst TV Shows Ever' in my head. It's up there with Blunder, My Hero and You Are What You Eat.

mofgimmers, TV Scoop, 9th April 2008

Teenage Kicks, about an ageing punk rocker who lives with his kids in a cupboard under the stairs was dire. To start with, the audience laughter filled my living room. Why do audiences need to laugh after every line and sometimes after every entrance? I've been to a few TV tapings and none of them filled the studio with laughing gas - but it was certainly required for this dismal, old-fashioned and out-of-style sitcom.

The premise feels like it has been done before and the jokes were often so predictable I was worried at one point I had either become physic or helped writing the script. Edmondson's voice grated on me and the temptation to switch off was very strong. The kids did their best in the parts they were given but they were portrayed badly. The whole thing felt very 1980s; more Rick Astley than the Jam! I can't see this doing too well. If Amy Winehouse happened to be watching, it may well have been an eerie view of her future but this was supposed to be a comedy and it didn't deliver in the slightest.

Luke on TV, The Custard TV, 2nd April 2008

Unforgivable casual racism aside, was ITV1's new Adrian Edmondson sitcom Teenage Kicks all that bad? I laughed out loud a couple of times, and I hadn't even had that much to drink.

John Plunkett, The Guardian, 31st March 2008

While we try to judge each programme on its own merits, an ITV1 comedy usually has us cowering like an imminent nuclear holocaust. And after five minutes of this we were praying for a bout of lethal radiation sickness. But then it got better, and better, and better and even made us laugh. Promising if very, very messy.

The Custard TV, 30th March 2008

His missus has left him for a man from Belgium (Belgium! Ha ha ha!) and now Adrian Edmondson has moved in with his own kids. He's bumbling through his new singledom - bumbling into things and falling over, both metaphorically and literally. We have a good giggle at the way the Chinese lodger speaks - there are misunderstandings, boom boom.

Maybe it's ironic commissioning, like the Andy Millman sitcom in Extras. If so, it's a bit too clever. And if not, then it's just not good enough, I'm afraid. Predictable groan-along sitcoms are no longer acceptable television. There is interesting new comedy out there - look at Pulling - but not on ITV, on a Friday night. Hell, I may have to go out next week.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 29th March 2008

Why are half-decent domestic sitcoms so few and far between? Get it right and you've got a long-running hit like My Family on your hands. But get it wrong... It's like a house of cards: if one bit of the whole doesn't work - casting, chemistry, plot or jokes - it all collapses around your ears.

Here we have the latest brave attempt, an eight-part series adapted from a Radio 2 comedy and starring Adrian Edmondson as Vernon, an ageing punk rocker who moves into his kids' student flat after a messy divorce. I know what you're thinking: Adrian Edmondson, ageing punk rocker - this is the continuing adventures of Vyvyan from The Young Ones, but it really isn't. For a start, Vernon is a bit hopeless and poshly spoken and has none of Vyvyan's anarchic energy.

Sadly, neither does the script. If I quote just one exchange - 'I could pass for 39!'... 'What in an IQ test?' - you'll get the idea. There are some good moments, but some shocking ones, too. Can it really still be funny in 2008 to have a joke at the expense of a Chinese accent?

David Butcher, Radio Times, 28th March 2008

It's tempting to think of Vernon as the middle-aged incarnation of Edmondson's infamous 80s character, punk Vyvyan from The Young Ones. If so, he's mellowed. There's less ranting and more angst.

Much of the comedy is based on the inverse generation gap. "Shouldn't you be getting a place of your own?" cries his daughter as he trawls the lonely hearts ads. But that's the least of her troubles when her tutor improbably takes a shine to Dad.

Not all the jokes sit quite comfortably in the politically-correct world of 2008. And Teenage Kicks doesn't break any radical new ground. We've seen plenty of children raise their eyebrows at their parents' behaviour before (Mrs Edmondson, aka Jennifer Saunders, in AbFab anyone?).

In fact, it has a rather old-fashioned feel. But it does it well. You know who you are supposed to laugh at. And, at the end of a long week, that's quite demanding enough.

The Mirror, 28th March 2008

Adrian Edmonson plays a beleaguered ex-punk in this new sitcom. "I haven't had my end away since election night, 1997!" he whines, as his long-suffering teenage kids roll their eyes and the studio audience all but combusts in a shower of mirth. That this is one of the better lines to seep from this graceless gumbo of mainstream sentimentality and Bottom-esque cruelty gives you some idea of the roaring awfulness involved. Tonight, Vernon attempts to "get laid", while his Chinese flatmate is mocked for having a Chinese accent. Unbelievable.

Sarah Dempster, The Guardian, 28th March 2008

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