I got around to watching the last episode of the BBC2 comedy Hebburn tonight. I was a little bit apprehensive about it because it had Chris Ramsey in it. If you don’t know who he is, he’s one of them new comedians with a hairstyle. He has been on Celebrity Juice quite a few times and his contribution generally involves just saying a swear occasionally but not in a funny way.
I gave it a chance because his presence was counter-balanced by Jim Moir (or Vic Reeves if the BBC are publicising it), Gina McKee (one of our best actors IMHO) and Kimberly Nixon (fit, Fresh Meat). Fair fucks, it turns out they weren’t counter-balancing him as he is actually pretty likeable in it. And as a comedian he makes a pretty good comedy actor. Jerry Seinfeld still didn’t manage that transition after 10 years.
It’s been a decent debut series though. Nothing shockingly original but the kind of lack of originality you get away with if your setting is regional/working class. It’s not hard to see echoes of Gavin and Stacey at times.
But, I couldn’t give a fuck about originality if something if funny and the characters are likeable. And, on the whole, I think Hebburn managed this. Aside from overdoing the amount of plot in a couple of episodes (the one where the main character, Jack went on job interviews and ended up working at the local paper seemed to be an episode displaced from the second or third series when the cast is being expanded a bit to give some new storylines, only to then be forgotten about again) and a couple of the actors/character being slightly OTT, I think there is enough here to warrant a second series being commissioned.
Maybe it is not as good as I think it is. It is set in the North-East and I’ve always been a sucker for something being funny when said by someone from this area of the country. This was based, in my formative years, on watching The Likely Lads, Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads, Auf Wiedersehen Pet and Vic Reeves/Bob Mortimer shows. So its hardly surprising that I automatically think something is funny when it’s in a North-Eastern accent (or that I think Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement don’t get the credit they deserve for their genius¹).
Yeah, this was one of them where I didn’t have much to say about my day.
¹Maybe they do. I don’t know. They wrote Porridge, Auf Wiedersehen Pet and The Likely Lads. They should be on the back of the £10 note.