Trollied: Series 1
Last year, to build on original programming like Mad Dogs, Sky gave us a sitcom: Trollied. It was set in a supermarket with surprisingly big cast names at the fore, and has since been renewed for two (yes, two) 13-episode series after that.
So presumably it must’ve been pretty good, then? Despite this middling review we wrote when it first aired? Well, the first series is now available on DVD, so I took a look at the whole thing, along with the expected range of extras.
Make no mistake, it’s a strange beast. Trollied is from the oft-discussed school of “moderm sitcoms”, in which the comedy comes from exposure of the awful, awkward things people do. But whereas other shows in this vein strive to make us cringe in awful recognition (Peep Show, The Office) or scatological revulsion (Him & Her), Trollied seems content to have us just... smile.
It’s not a bad show at all; in fact it juggles a large cast with some skill, even if a few characters never develop much beyond broad stereotype, and it also benefits from strong actors in the bigger roles. Jason Watkins (Herrick in Being Human), Jane Horrocks (Bubble in Ab Fab) and, most offputtingly of all, Mark Addy (King Robert from Game of Thrones) all do a good job of making their parts seem very human.
But there’s something very gentle to it. Most sitcoms build to some comic climax, in which events erupt to great amusement, and with the possible exception of the series finale, Trollied never really bothers with that. Amusing little bits happen, a few scenes are laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s all done at undemanding, toddling pace.
Still, the execution is good, Trollied remains an endearing, distracting thing to have on, even if it’s undemanding and hard to get wildly excited about. The sort of show you imagine would air on a Sunday night. So, y’know, whether it’s worth rushing out and buying to own on DVD, I’m not sure. If you like the idea of seeing King Robert play a supermarket butcher (totally not a satirical comment on his approach to ruling), go get it now.
This disc has extras. Like many first time series, there’s effort made to make us feel like we’re all in Team Trollied together, to inspire brand loyalty. None of it makes Trollied seem amazingly new or unique, but if you liked the show, there are a few shreds of insight and none of it overstays its welcome.
If you find yourselves curious how a TV sitcom might construct a supermarket set, there are some pointers here, and a few video diaries which confirm that everyone working on the show sems quite nice. Unless you’re a huge geek for the TV filming process (or the making of Trollied specifically), there’s nothing which cries out to be watched, but I can’t imagine many buy this solely for the extras.