Hebburn returns to our screens for a second series, but despite some occasional funny gags, it’s hard not to notice the effects of comedic scandals, notably Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand’s ‘Sachsgate’, in influencing a new gentle and predictable nature of BBC comedy.
Hebburn is not only the name of the town in the sitcom, but also the hometown of writer and comedian Jason Cook and his fondness for the town he grew up in, is ever present in the new series. This series attempts to further develop the characters of newly-wed Jack Pearson (Chris Ramsey), Sarah (Kimberley Nixon, Fresh Meat) and Jack’s family. Your feelings towards Jack hang in the balance of how you receive Chris Ramsey’s performance, which unlike his stand-up, can often come across as rather smug and un-engaging.
In terms of the series’ sense of humour, quite like the first series, it does appear to be a sitcom lost in the wrong era, having been likened to sitcoms such as Royle Family. Due to Cook’s affection for his hometown, most of the gags tend to be good-natured. Some jokes will definitely have you laughing, if not at least smiling, yet the show still has a sense of humour as predictable as Fruity Fridays.
Unfortunately there is a strong feeling that comedy on the BBC has been tainted by the likes of Russell Brand, with the effects being a selection of bland, tame programs that are determined not to offend. Of course, the direction of the BBC should not be intending to offend the public, yet it seems a shame that British comedy should have such restraints because of past mistakes.
Read LSi’s interview with star of Hebburn, Chris Ramsay here
Hebburn is on BBC2, Tuesdays at 10pm
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