Five of the best sitcoms to cheer up your winter

Five of the best sitcoms to cheer up your winter - Just Recruitment

It can be tough to keep smiling when the weather’s grey. But these contemporary sitcoms give you plenty of ways to stay chipper

By Evie Prosser

If your office is anything like mine, today’s view from the window has been bleak. I arrived at work in howling rain and when I leave in an hour it will be just as wet.

    Line up any of these classic contemporary sitcoms on your TV this evening and you’ll feel winter’s chill disappear in an instant.  

Still, we can’t say we weren’t warned. As early as last summer forecasters warned that this winter could be a shocker. And with some expecting an arctic chill during January and February, it may be that the worst is yet to come.

So if, like us, you’re feeling downbeat and gloomy, here are five good reasons to cheer up. Line up any of these classic contemporary sitcoms on your TV this evening and you’ll feel winter’s chill disappear in an instant.

1. Detectorists

If you saw Mackenzie Crook in the BBC’s recent production of Worzel Gummidge, you’ll have been reminded of his talent as an actor. Detectorists shows off his writing smarts, too.

The three-season comedy follows the story of two keen metal detectorists – people who use metal detectors to locate treasure in the great British countryside.

It’s a slow-moving piece of television, but no less joyful for that. As one reviewer put it, the series struck “comedy gold”, though you’re sometimes hard pushed to spot the laughs. The bittersweet atmosphere is part of the show’s appeal.

As a winter watch, Detectorists has a huge amount to recommend it. The scenery is beautiful, and stunningly shot. Take in an episode or two and you’ll be longing to while away a summer’s afternoon in a quiet meadow with nothing but a metal detector for company.

2. Mum

Lesley Manville puts in the performance of her life (and that’s saying something) in the lead role of this slow-burning series. The story revolves around Cathy, a recently bereaved widow who’s trying to rediscover her identity while supporting her grown-up son.

The supporting cast is mesmerizingly good and includes the ever-brilliant Peter Mullan as Cathy’s love interest. With actors of this quality, it is no surprise the show has a naturalistic vibe: the dialogue rarely feels scripted because writer Stefan Golaszewski has such a sure touch.

Mum will make you laugh and cry in equal measure. Ultimately, it’s a story about a person’s becoming. Dwell with it and you’re sure to feel the winter blues melt away.

Grey weather

3. Gavin & Stacey

One of the great joys of the triumphant Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special is that it introduced the series to a whole new audience. And for those of us who fell in love with it first time around, it was a chance to reconnect with much-loved characters like James Corden’s Smithy and Ruth Jones’s Nessa.

Corden and Jones teamed up to write Gavin & Stacey after working together on ITV’s Fat Friends. It turned out they had real chemistry, and the show delivers a pleasing mix of cockle-warming romance, laugh-out-loud comedy and Grade-A acting from the likes of Alison Steadman and Larry Lamb.

The whole boxed set is available on BBC iPlayer. Catch it now and you’ll be immersed in one of the classics of the Noughties. Winter, what winter?

4. Bad Move

Jack Dee’s sitcom about a couple of city slickers who move to rural Yorkshire was canned by ITV last year. But the two series (plus a Christmas Special in 2018) can still put a smile on your face.

    ...the setting is picturesque and the observations about rural life ring remarkably true.  

As you’d expect from Dee, the humour is deadpan and often painful to behold. But the setting is picturesque and the observations about rural life ring remarkably true.

It’s a pastiche, yes, and makes more than a passing nod to classic sitcoms of the 1980s and 1990s like One Foot in the Grave and Only Fools and Horses. But it’s a pleasing, undemanding watch that makes for a surprisingly satisfying way to pass a winter’s evening.

5. Crashing

Crashing is the sitcom Phoebe Waller-Bridge wrote and filmed before hitting the big time with Fleabag. It came out just a few months before its award-winning sibling in 2016, and therefore post-dates the Fleabag stage play, which debuted in 2013. 

Crashing showcases Waller-Bridge's trademark wit and whip-smart writing, with many fans regarding it as funnier than Fleabag. It certainly has more laugh-out-loud set pieces, thanks to the ensemble cast and unusual setting of a former hospital in which young professionals live in order to save on rent costs.

Definitely the crudest show on our winter-blues-beating list but no less worthy an addition for that. Pour yourself a large glass of wine, settle down with a snack or two, and get ready to lose yourself in Waller-Bridge’s genius. You won’t regret it.

© 2020 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

Published: 16 January 2020

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