Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Review: Pramface 2.2

Alan Derbyshire
Deayton brings Alan a strange mix of bumbling incompetance
and, at the same time, unending pretension.
And it's wonderful.
Pramface - Series Two, Episode Two - Stay At Home Losers
Written 15/1/13

I had expected, maybe even hoped, that Pramface had blinded me with some lights and that it would return to its normal self. That way, I could sit here and write a review that completely and utterly destroyed it, which would have, I assure you, been very entertaining on my end. But something in the great machinery at Pramface HQ has obviously snapped into place, and this episode was pretty much flawless on every level. I've never seen a series go from such a rock bottom to becoming something that I actively look forward to, and while there's still a few problems, none of them poked their heads up here.
     The main tack seems to be running as many competing subplots at once, which allows for a lot of hits and misses. Jamie and Mike didn't get a lot to do, but strangely that felt like it was a very positive thing as it allowed the writers to better put to use other characters like Beth (Yasmin Paige) and the two dads. Keith (Ben Crompton) and Alan (Angus Deayton) got to spend the episode only with one another, and their characters had a weird complementary factor that made them a perfect comedy double act. Keith hasn't really had much character development over the series, and so for me at least it was surprising how well they actually worked together, culminating in a series of very funny, very shippy scenes where they both effectively reject their wives for one another. Beth, on the other hand, got to lampoon her own hyperbolic characterisation in going out with a male version of herself, with Jamie and Mike's only purpose in the episode seemingly being to be her back-up team.
     Laura's storyline was a bit lax in the funnies department, if only because it relied more on the old-style, "people not acting like real human beings" awkwardness. In an attempt to get over her temporary post-natal depression and loneliness, Laura tries to get out there and meet fellow Mums. She's mugged in the park by some working-class teen-mums, and then stalks a pair of "yummy mummys". After being consoled by them and taken to a café filled with pretentious, middle-class mums, she is taken off by the owner of the café, who is a single mother working several jobs. It felt more plot-centric than the other two, giving Laura some worthwhile character development, but there's something about the character's delivery that always makes me lose most of my sympathy with her. 
Keith Prince
Keith/Alan 4ever
      Is it a bad thing to say that the show is best when not focussing on its protagonists? Probably. But quite frankly, I don't care with a show like this. This second episode has taken a show which I despised and made it required viewing, by fully utilising the freedom that Emily's birth gives to the show. Our characters now can do anything, be anything, and it's that very freedom which is bringing the show up from its humble, humble beginnings into a comedy great. I very much look forward to more next week.


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