‘You, Me and Them’ (Gold) Review

After six years, UKTV have finally invested money into an original sitcom for its flagship comedy channel, Gold. And, after a (somewhat disastrous) revival of Yes, Prime Minister and a couple of tribute shows, the first home-grown sitcom to come to Gold is this: You, Me and Them, which centres around Ed (Anthony Head) and Lauren (Eve Myles), a couple who are very much in love, despite their twenty year age gap and the disapproval it attracts from their friends and family.

When UKTV’s multi-million pound comedy investment was announced, the network’s executive,  Jane Rogers, told Broadcast magazine that new shows would have to be of a high quality and able to ‘sit confidently alongside classics such as Only Fools and Horses and The Vicar of Dibley.’ This way of thinking had clearly long gone out of the windowJeff Rawle and Susie Blake as Lauren's disapproving parents, Clive and Emma by the time You, Me and Them was commissioned, however, as I’m struggling to say anything about it. Anything at all: good or bad, really. It was simply incredibly unimpressive, as if the writer, Steve Turner, set out to create the new Gavin & Stacey but left out the charm, wit and entertaining characters and plots.

It hasn’t been a terribly good year for Steve Turner: his comedy-drama Great Night Out arrived on primetime ITV in early January, and after many, many trailers – which admittedly looked very good – it was generally met with indifference, before being swiftly axed after just one series. There was nothing to deeply dislike about Great Night Out, it was just…well a bit dull – and that’s exactly how I would describe Turner’s latest effort. It felt a bit lazy, almost as if he was relying on the central age gap plot to carry the show. I can quite safely say that it doesn’t, and if it wasn’t for the characters continually harping on about it, I doubt I would even have remembered it, seeing as Anthony Head, despite being twenty four years older than her, doesn’t look all that much different in age to Eve Myles. Oh, and of course by that I mean that Anthony looks particularly young, not Eve looks particularly old.

Phew!

Being a sitcom about a relationship which raises eyebrows, You, Me and Them is inevitably going to be compared to Gavin & Stacey, but what Ruth Jones and James Corden did that Steve Turner  doesn’t is write strong, loveable and engaging characters. With the possible exception of Ed’s ex-wife-turned-next-door-neighbour, Lydia (Lindsay Duncan, pictured), none of the characters make any impact. They just fade into the background with no one to stand-out in the foreground. Granted, the performances are good (but then why wouldn’t they be with a raft of comedy talent like Susie Blake, Jeff Rawle and Daisy Beaumont starring) but the characters themselves are instantly forgettable, as are the plots unfortunately.

We will have to wait and see how people react to You, Me and Them – many may find something funny and engaging in it which simply eluded me. All I saw when I watched it was some great actors working with a below-average script, and portraying the biggest of all sitcom clichés: the dysfunctional family.

You, Me and Them begins at 9:00pm on Wednesday 23rd October on Gold

Unless otherwise stated, all images courtesy of Gold, ©Des Willie 

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14 thoughts on “‘You, Me and Them’ (Gold) Review

  1. Delia paul says:

    Why don’t you give people a chance to see You Me and Them first without you making their minds up already that they will not like it

    • uktvreviewer says:

      I’m not encouraging people to boycott the programme, nor am I telling them that they definitely will not or should not like it. I’m just expressing an opinion. If I had written a review praising it you wouldn’t have asked why I was telling people that they’ll love it

  2. lisa henderson says:

    You should let people make their own minds up once the program has aired as its not a fair review!!!!!

    • uktvreviewer says:

      Of course it’s a fair review! I watched the first episode and told people what I thought of it – as reviewers do. If people don’t want to be influenced by anyone else’s views on it then they shouldn’t read my review.

      Do you also think that people shouldn’t tweet about TV programmes that others haven’t watched, just in case it ‘makes their minds up’ for them?

  3. Paul says:

    Being a journalist I read this blog with some interest. I have no emotional tie over this production but for the life of me can’t understand how you query plots and characters after a single episode? Strange. Most of the media reviewers I spoke to had nothing but positive things to say about this production. Fingers crossed you’re never in a situation where you write a script

    • uktvreviewer says:

      Well actually I write scripts, too, and from the guides I’ve read and seminars I’ve attended I know that if you don’t have gripping and engaging characters and plots in the first fifteen minutes, let alone the first episode, you’re not on to much. Now, it may be that, as it progresses, the characters and situations in ‘You, Me and Them’ will become more entertaining. For now, however, in my opinion at least, they aren’t – and if that’s what a viewer thinks after watching the first episode, what’s to entice them into returning?

    • Chris Horner says:

      Just because his opinion differs from wishy-washy beiges like you doesn’t mean you have to whine about it.

  4. […] is on Channel 5 at 9:00pm; new sitcom You, Me & Them begins (Gold, 9:00pm) – read my review here, and see if you like it (because there are quite a few who apparently don’t…); and Misfits […]

  5. Paul says:

    Personally I found it a joy & a pleasure to watch. But then again I would,as Steve’s my kid brother!

    As for a disappointing year…..your talking absolute rubbish pal.

  6. Delia Paul says:

    Well first performance of this sitcom made me laugh, I found it funny and well acted. Looking forward to future episodes

  7. Louise patten says:

    Well I would just like to say I enjoyed you me and them and thought the actors and actresses were very good looking forward to seeing next weeks episode it made me laugh out loud on several occasions

  8. Joanna says:

    I have to say I personally agree with what was said in this article. The characters were all either one-dimensional or they just seemed quite bland. Either way, they all had little substance. The plotting was poor, and some plot points (Ed’s son and Debs’ daughter making out at the end for example) just seemed like predictable and lazy ways to wrap up the episode, plus the jokes were contrived and you could see them coming from a mile off. The central age gap was meant to cause some controversy and make it a bit edgy but it just ended up being a depiction of insipid Middle Englanders that don’t actually exist in real life. As for this article, I don’t see why people were so angry that the review was negative. Some people said that the reviewer should leave people to make their own minds up, but he was doing that anyway- he never said “Don’t watch it.” or “You shouldn’t like this.” . A review is there to give people some insight into whether they should watch something or not, the reader makes the final decision because presumably he or she is capable of independent thought.

  9. How does this dross gets commissioned? Aren’t there checks in place to stop these crashes from happening? It’s better than Citizen Khan! I reckon the cast must have been blackmailed for this… or been a few payments late on the house.

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