Fictional comedy family The Kumars are returning to television, via a new version of their show commissioned by American network Fox.British Comedy Guide, 23rd February 2024
If you've seen Richard E. Grant being interviewed before, you'll know it's only a matter of time before the subject of breaking wind crops up. The man is obsessed. True to form, he cheerfully expounds on matters flatulent in the latest edition of this affable comedy chat show.
Joining him on the couch in the Kumars' flat of chat are actresses Emilia Fox and Caroline Quentin. The apparently rib-tickling double-meaning of Fox's surname is ground into the ground, although host Sanjeev Bhaskar does crack a decent gag at the expense of her illustrious acting dynasty: "As kids, were you, like an Indian family, forced into the family business?"Paul Whitelaw, Radio Times, 12th February 2014
I did personally feel that this first show had an incredibly impressive line-up what with Daniel Radcliffe, Chevy Chase and Olivia Coleman. All three seemed pretty game for being part of The Kumars experience and were all up for hawking the products that Ashwin was trying to get rid of from the store downstairs. Coleman especially came across as a fantastic sport and really tried her best to make the show as funny as possible.
My main issue with the format itself is the way the talk show segments are structured. Whilst the sitcom element of the show is enjoyable, especially the meetings in the discount store, I don't feel that writers know exactly what they want from the interview portions. The questions often seem a bit muddled and the guests are often asked to recall moments from any part of their careers.
In addition, the programme just feels a little baggy, due to the fact that Sky have given it full hour. I felt that The Kumars was a perfect thirty minute comedy show but the fifteen minute extension makes it feel incredibly slow at times. Though I still enjoy Bhaskar and Syal's interplay with the guests, I'm not so sure about Harvey Virdi's addition to the cast, especially seeing as most of her jokes have something to do with her hilarious name.
I do feel that there is still a place for shows such as The Kumars but this latest incarnation of the comedy chat show needs to be better written and have at least ten minutes cut off its running time.The Custard TV, 21st January 2014
The Kumars are no longer at number 42. Indeed, they are not even at the BBC anymore. After an eight-year absence, their chat show has been revived by Sky1, relocated to a room behind a minimart and provided with Daniel Radcliffe, Chevy Chase and Olivia Colman as inaugural guests.
The trouble is, I still don't get it. Obviously, it's subverting television conventions. True, nobody else seems to have a problem with the absurdity of the set-up. But to me and my far-too-literal mind, it doesn't make any sense. How come the Kumars have a chat show in their home?
Despite being incomprehensible to me, I find the show entertaining enough, especially if the guests play along with their hosts and don't try to compete with them. Chase looked lost, Colman couldn't contain her amusement and Radcliffe was charm personified, and effortlessly witty with it.Harry Venning, The Stage, 20th January 2014
This can be great fun if the guests enter into the spirit of things, but it can also make the comedy feel uneasy as the celebs don't always appear sure how to behave (occasionally trampling scripted jokes, etc.)Dan Owen, MSN Entertainment, 16th January 2014
After eight years away from our screens, the British Indian family returns to treat the famous faces of today to some amiable nose-tweaking. Despite the action leaving the cosy confines of No. 42 (and the BBC) in favour of the box-strewn surroundings of the flat behind Ashwin's shop in glitzy Hounslow (and Sky1), the appeal of smushing on to the couch with Sanjeev, Ashwin and Ummi et al hasn't dimmed, with tonight's opener playing host to Daniel Radcliffe, Chevy Chase and Bafta-bagging Olivia Colman.Mark Jones, The Guardian, 15th January 2014
Back after a seven-year absence, the Kumars return with some top-of-the-range acting talent dropping in on their downsized Hounslow home for a dysfunctional family grilling.
With Olivia Colman holding her own against an onslaught of inappropriate questions from Sanjeev (Sanjeev Bhaskar), Daniel Radcliffe getting his cheeks tweaked by Ummi (Meera Syal) and US comedian Chevy Chase quivering under the gaze of new landlady Hawney (Harvey Virdi) we're all set for the chuckles to pick up right where they left off.
Well, apart from the fact they're now on Sky, not the Beeb, so let's hope they haven't left too many of their old fans at home alone.Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 15th January 2014