Friday Night Dinner Series 2 Episode 1 Review

A childhood prank turns into an adult squabble for the Goodman’s.

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A touch of sibling rivalry, uncontrollable sneezing and childhood toys lead to mischief and some startling revelations!

The first series of this family sitcom was laugh out loud and my hope was that series two would be just as hilarious, and it is, but perhaps some of the humour is a teensy bit puerile and overdone this episode to really truly pull it off. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it but the constant bickering and fighting between brother Adam (Simon Bird) and Jonny (Tom Rosenthal) gets a little tiresome after a time. I know brothers who play pranks on each other and so forth but in this episode Jonny forcibly attempted to throttle Adam quite roughly, going beyond the usual friendly harmless pranks. Oddly Martin (Paul Ritter) also accidentally ended up threatening one of his sons with a knife and this was maybe a little over the top. Despite the irritating constant fighting, the episode was still very funny with Jim (Mark Heap) being one of the funniest, if not the creepiest, elements in the show.

The boys arrived at their parents house, mercilessly ribbing each other – Jonny’s boiler was broken and he had brought round his clothes to be washed by his mum (Tamsin Greig) much to Adam’s amusement. Martin’s cold laid waste the meal that his wife had lovingly prepared as he proceeded to accidentally sneeze violently over everything forcing the boys out for takeaway and for Martin to return to fixing the lawnmower in the kitchen. The discovery of a diary written by Adam when he was eleven years old caused controversy, not only because pretty much all of the family read it much to Adam’s disgust but it held the secret of what happened to Jonny’s favourite toy Pandy the Panda. With the Panda’s disappearance down to Adam, Jonny decided to make an old favourite of Adam’s disappear leading the two into a vicious battle. Jim’s involvement complicated matters and a trip to the local canal left Adam feeling a little out of his depth!

Mark Heap is truly astonishing as the eerie neighbour who never seems to know when to leave the family alone and his awkward nature and relationship with his dog Wilson has still not lost the novelty. Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal seem to have a great rapport, the jokey type of relationship that could make you believe that they were indeed brothers. Tamsin Greig is perfect in the role of the devoted mother losing her grasp on control in the family but still very much loved. Paul Ritter spends most of the time with his top off as eccentric dad Martin and his violent sneezes causing havoc were one of the highlights of this episode.

Series two is off to a good start but the usual harmless, knockabout fun became a little more serious this time and while slapstick in places, perhaps it was a little too aggressive for my Friday night dinner. Regardless of a few minor flaws, the episode was hilarious and long may the Goodman’s entertain us with their family antics.