We Recommend: Grandma’s House

Tonight, Simon Amstell’s acclaimed sitcom Grandma’s House returns for a second year. It stars Amstell playing a (presumably) exaggerated version of himself, a comedian who resigns from a successful pop quiz to seek artistic genius and beauty, only to find himself stuck in bemusing family arguments instead.

The first series started slowly, but was awkwardly hilarious by the end. Does the second one pick up where that left of?

Having previewed the first episode of the new series, signs are good. Well, as long as you enjoy cringing yourself through the back of your sofa and having a nice backrub against the wall. Poor Fictional Version Of Simon has ended up moving in to his Grandma’s house, and is finding it predictably incompatible with his dynamic showbiz lifestyle.

Oh, and there has been an important plot development off-screen. Actor Geoffrey Hutchings, who played Grandpa, passed away after the last episodes were filmed, so the show has been forced to write around it in the obvious manner. They had plenty of time, so it doesn’t feel like a crunching change of direction, but there was a small twinge of “Oh, did I miss an episode?” for me. Consider yourselves forewarned.

Nonetheless, the cast and writers have kept the awful tension of the series going. There were several moments which are so awkward that I was forced to mute it and stare for a while before continuing. Amstell is getting better and better at playing the self-conscious celebrity persona that he’s created for himself.

There is a concerted effort to re-introduce most of the cast over the course of the episode, so if you’re new to Grandma’s House, this would be a perfectly good time to give it a chance. And pre-existing fans, yes, it’s still on good form. Hopefully this should be another amusingly awful series.

Grandma's House airs on BBC2 starting tonight at 10PM. More information on the official BBC site.

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