The BBC – so easy to despise in so many ways – does at least have a reputation for making good TV sitcoms … or did have.
One thinks back to Steptoe and Son, Dad’s Army, Black Adder, Till Death Us Do Part and, more recently, Outnumbered.
But the latest offering, Father Figure, starting on BBC1, last night, was simply awful.
A self-penned sitcom by Irish comedian Jason Byrne, it’s about a chaotic family – err, that’s it, basically.
There were some terrible visual gags with cooking material and foodstuffs being split and smeared. I sat po-faced through those.
And we got the old chestnut of a person (played by Father Ted’s Pauline McLynn) wearing headphones and therefore not hearing what someone is saying to her. When she takes off the headphone, she tells the guy speaking to her that there’s no need to shout. Sigh.
And this show has a very annoying track of canned laughter – which only makes it seem more tragic.
Byrne “stars” as a hapless father with a boozy and somewhat stroppy wife.
I think the main “situation” last night was Tom’s messy, slapsticky, attempts to cook a meal for his neighbours, who were uptight in a Central Casting sort of way.
Does the Beeb have any quality control in place at all?