Gates Series 1 Episode 4 Review

Chloe’s great idea leads to an awkward situation

Chloe’s school are helping the homeless but the charity event doesn’t go quite as planned.

Considering this shows poor start, it is fair to say that it has improved from week to week but to be honest, on a scale of awful to outstanding it is still hovering around mediocre. It’s a shame as I really want to like ‘Gates,’ with the quirky characters and funny scenarios and I can’t quite put my finger on it but something vital is missing in this comedy. I’ve tried to work out the missing ingredient, pondering as to whether or not the initial disappointment I felt at the slow start to the hilarity has jaded me against the true quality. After all, the show started weakly and has definitely improved but it is still on the better side of meh. While I enjoy watching it to a certain extent, ‘Gates‘ doesn’t hold a special place in my heart and unless something spectacular occurs, it possibly never will.

In this enjoyable episode Mr Gould’s dismissive treatment of a homeless man had Chloe considering how to help out. The plucky little redhead came up with the idea of a school sleep out in the playground, much to the other parents chagrin. Mark and Helen argued as to who would take part in the sleep out, neither parent wishing to spend a night in the cold and with a little persuasion Mark agreed to be the one to get involved. A tad annoyed, Mark managed to manipulate the situation so that Helen was forced to spend the same evening with Aiden which she was not happy about. The sleep out wasn’t exactly working out well; with Mia telling gory stories, Mr Gould embarrassing himself in front of the local press (much to the delight of Miss Hunter) and the eerily intense Sarah intending on getting closer to Mark. Chloe’s disappearance led to a Crocodile Dundee style face off and the children and adults learn a little about homelessness that surprises them. Meanwhile, Helen’s dinner with Aiden starts with her fearing he is a swinger and ends with his emotional revelation about his job.

There were a few really great scenes in this episode, with young fathers discussing prams as if they were tricked out cars and Aiden’s clumsy attempts to make Helen feel more comfortable only leading to misunderstanding. The parent’s attitudes to homelessness could have been mocked a little more as they were effectively just as ignorant as Mr Gould when it came to the issue of homelessness but he was the one in the firing line. As always, it was the children with the better understanding of the issues. As I mentioned before, I really want to like ‘Gates‘ and as I continue to enjoy the show there is something holding me back from truly embracing this family comedy. Tom Ellis is great as the loving father and there is so much that this show has to give, let’s hope that in the remaining episodes they may just be able to capture my affection. Enjoyable but missing something.