Thursday 8 December 2016

Yet more laugh-free comedy from RTÉ2

Published 07/02/2016 | 02:30

Bridget and Eamon
Bridget and Eamon

RTÉ2's new sitcom, Bridget and Eamon, features two characters who apparently began life on the same channel's The Republic of Telly, but as I go out of my way to avoid that mirth-free zone, I was unaware of their existence. Would that I had remained so.

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The setup is that Bernard O'Shea and Jennifer Zamparelli (formerly Jennifer Maguire) play a suburban couple in the 1980s, but from their attitudes in this week's first instalment, they seemed to be living in the 1930s.

"No Protestants in here!" Eamon yelled, while there was similar consternation over a box of condoms: "It's a year in purgatory for everyone of them that you see".

Meanwhile, RTE2's taste for the crass got an outing when, apropos of nothing, Bridget declared that "there's nothing worse than when a man whips out his banana and it's all smelly" and when another woman shouted, "I'll take it up the other end, Frank".

There was no plot to speak of and no logic, either, so that when Eamon bizarrely ranted of the Late Late Show, "Are we supposed to sit and watch this filth?", the viewer could only respond: Are we supposed to sit and watch this nonsense?

BBC2's Back in Time for the Weekend is a follow-up to the same channel's Back in Time for Dinner, in which the charming Robshaw family were asked to endure the culinary habits of various 20th-century decades.

That proved to be a winner and led to last December's Back in Time for Christmas, but with the latest series you have the sense of nostalgia being spread both too often and too thinly - not helped by the replacement of the spirited Robshaws with the less engaging Ashby-Hawkins family.

Here the emphasis is on leisure rather than food as the family are required to jettison their social-media devices and occupy their time sewing curtains, going to religious services and learning the rudiments of ballroom dancing.

In this week's opener, it was all as dreary as it sounds.

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