The minutes pass slowly when you're doing time
Another gay cliche?
Gay male characters in sitcoms – and there have been plenty of them – tend to be built on cliches that are tired to the point of exhaustion. Think of Rory in Mrs Brown’s Boys, a hairdresser with a fondness for pink jumpers, flappy arm waving and the occasional cravat, for maximum Are You Being Served? campness. But gay women in sitcoms? As rare as a good joke at this year’s Oscars. So in Heading Out (BBC One, Tuesday) is Sue Perkins’s Sara, a netball-playing, hoodie-wearing vet with a ditzy blonde on speed-dial for bootie calls and a fridgeful of yogurt, a lesbian cliche?
I don’t know. Sara is a good character, though. She’s believable as a 40-year-old woman out to everyone but her parents and urged by her friends to cop on and come out because no one’s really bothered one way or the other. There are a lot of set-piece scenes, including a drawn-out gag about a dead cat, and not many laughs – which is disappointing and, let’s face it, not great for a sitcom.
Certainly not as many corny but funny one-liners as Perkins dished up while presenting The Great British Bake Off. But there’s something there. This was a series-establishing episode, with all the clunkiness that comes with it, but the characters are good and the plot has potential. It might be worth sticking with Heading Out for at least a second episode. It could, like the BBC’s Rev, be a slow burner that grows into something good. Maybe.
Ones to Watch David Tennant’s Hardy annual
David Tennant does his intense wild-eyed beardy thing as DI Alec Hardy in the eight-part crime drama Broadchurch (UTV, Monday). As soon as he arrives in the Dorset village, a boy’s murder shakes the sleepy community. Also starring Olivia Colman and Andrew Buchan.
So everyone’s a reviewer, then. In what could be either the most boring show of the week or the most unintentionally hilarious, Gogglebox (Channel 4, Thursday) shows people watching their favourite TV programme and reacting. Caroline Aherne, of The Royle Family, is the narrator, so they’re aiming for funny.