The return of the BAFTA award winning mocumentary This Country offers an oasis in this time of endless deadlines and storms. Real life siblings Daisy May and Charlie Cooper play cousins who live in an unassuming village in the Cotswolds. As always, Kurtan sports his iconic curtains and Kerry dons her familiar red England shirt in this third and final series.
The slightly sombre tone of the first episode could be on account of the recent death of the show’s actor Micheal Sleggs. They integrate this into the show through the death of Slugs, the character he plays. A touching account is offered alongside an admission that it was a relief he died the the day before they had begrudgingly agreed to go to Swindon’s zombie escape room. The following episode proves to be even better with “drama queen” Vicar, an arguably calm and stable presence, bravely offering to teach Kurtan how to drive. A personal favourite scene in the episode is where Kerry and Kurtan are outraged by the “sheer arrogance” of a local elderly woman opening her garden to the public. Kudos is due in the decision to axe the programme while at a successful peak rather than to regurgitate more series and risk an eventual decline.
This Country continues to explore the often-overlooked issue of rural poverty. The pair are unemployed again as Kurtan’s no longer working in the kitchen asking, “what the fuck is pesto” and Kerry is swiftly fired from her job at the dump. There are issues with low wages and lack of opportunity in the small town in the West Country where I grew up. I’m glad to see these hidden problems in picturesque areas being reflected on the screen. Daisy and Charlie have spoken about integrating elements of their own experience of growing up in the Cotswolds village into their writing of the programme. This is evident through This Country’s nuanced understanding of rural village life and the sharply observational comedy.
Image Credit: British Comedy Guide