0 3 mins 12 yrs

Walls are coming down and Martin’s popularity is growing.

In order to deal with his sister’s childish pranks, Martin has to find a shortcut to school.

After a great start, this show just seems to get stronger. With an uncomplicated warmth from the get go, this comfortable comedy is like a cup of delicious hot chocolate on a cold day. The clever playfulness of the plots, weaving in real life events seamlessly and reflecting the trends of the late eighties are all loveable facets to this unusual comedy drama.

This week, Martin fell prey to his sister’s pranks, one of which involved her covering his face in make up as he slept. Waking up late and not getting time to examine his face in the mirror, Martin went to school in full make up to the ridicule of his classmates. Instead of just setting his alarm earlier or something equally logical, Martin carried out a plan inspired by the mind of a child blissfully unaware of the changing history in the world. As the Berlin wall came down, so too decided Martin did the wall in his back garden, leading straight to school and allowing him to have ample time to examine and clean his face where required. However, his shortcut soon became the path of many leading to an angry showdown with his parents. Meanwhile, Debra was busy with her new venture as a ‘Weight Wishers’ instructor and Liam’s attitude to his wife’s new career led to walls being constructed in an unlikely place.

This little piece of family life was well played out, with Martin carefully deconstructing the wall in his back garden and trying to disguise the brickwork in ingenious ways such as shaking them out of the bottom of his trousers in the style of ‘The Great Escape’. The only thing I found a little confusing and hard to understand was how his family didn’t notice that the wall was being chipped away, especially considering that the main windows in the house seemed to back onto the garden. Regardless of this little flaw, the episode was thoroughly enjoyable and Chris O’Dowd is great as Martin’s imaginary friend.

It was good to see Johnny Vegas and Jessica Hynes pop up to make an appearance. The dialogue is very natural and the performances well played out making the family a welcome addition to Friday night viewing, its just a shame that the episodes are only half an hour long as it would be nice to spend more time in the company of such amusing characters.

A great little comedy drama full of warmth and laughter.