Friend of Aerial Telly and star of Ashes to Ashes Keeley Hawes is come among us. Squealy Nause! Here she is again playing an adulteress in BBC’s new relationshit focused comedy drama Mutual Friends. Squealy Nause run the risk of being typecast if she plays any more arm-chewingly godawful women in these shows. It seems wife of the year Jen (Squealy) cheated on her husband Martin (Marc Warren), with his best friend Carl (Some Faceless Hack). She tells him this at Carl’s funeral. Carl has just committed suicide and Squealy thinks this is a great time to tell hubby. They go to a therapist where they discover it was all Martin’s fault which is jussss typica.
Squealy is not the only one being typecast as Marc Warren is essentially Danny from Hustle with a law degree. One of the annoying things about the first episode is how Martin keeps on saying embarrassing things too loud so that someone who shouldn’t hear does hear. "You’ve been SHAGGING MY BEST FRIEND! " to his wife just as their son appears in the doorway. Describing two of his clients as "doughnut faced chavs" as they listen the other side of an open door. Describing his son’s play as "shit" just as his son arrives and then yelling "piss off" down the phone just as Carl’s widow walks through the door. Oh, he’s a regular walking punchline this cunt. If there’s a more played out comedic device I’ve yet to see it.
"Martin keeps on saying embarrassing things too loud so that someone who shouldn’t hear does hear. If there’s a more played out comedic device I’ve yet to see it"
And speaking of typecast actors, Alexander Armstrong reprises his role as the Pimms O’clock man to play Martin’s best friend Patrick – a womanising gadfly, feckless in both love and business. Sarah Alexander plays his ex-fiancee reprising her role as any number of halfway posh pretty blonde things.
It’s hard to put my finger on why this annoyed me. Squealy isn’t really the problem. But the show bugged me more than it should have given that it’s sort of well done for the most part. There’s a nice eulogy from Patrick at Carl’s funeral and Marc Warren does do the one role he is capable of playing well. I just don’t really know what this show stands for yet. Are we supposed to want to throttle Squeals every time she comes on screen? Are we rooting for someone to get back together or split up or what? It doesn’t seem to want to be anything other than a vehicle for some fairly hackneyed comedy.
This may change. It needs to.
The verdict on Mutual Friends: I predict mediocrity.
Marks out of 10: 6
Imagined: Thursday, 28th August 2008