Written by and starring Benidorm creator Derren Litten, alongside Rebecca Front and Tim Healy, Sky Living’s new sitcom The Spa has begun, following the day-to-day, and hectic, lives of people working in…a spa.
It’s hard for me to be too enthusiastic about this show because it didn’t blow me away in quite the same way as Benidorm did when I first watched it (and I’m sure as when many others did, too). Having said that though, there’s nothing there which I can hugely criticise. It’s as odd as the characters within.
“’EY UP, PET”
Once you get over Tim Healy (renowned for his strong Geordie accent) playing a Lancastrian odd-job man, you can enjoy the jokes which, while quite a few minutes apart and more obvious than a bowling ball in a bag of diamonds, are very good.
While watching this first episode, I felt slightly irritated by the lack of storyline. Actually, ‘lack of’ should read ‘pretty much absence of’. Litten seems to have penned this episode as a showcase for his characters – so that we can become acquainted with them and their ways. For example, Alison (the manageress, played beautifully by Rebecca Front) is a tactless busybody; Eric (Tim Healy) is an odd-job man who cannot see the harm in wearing shorts, despite his (ridiculously) huge penis falling out at inappropriate moments; Marcus (Litten) is a disgruntled fitness instructor now seeking compensation, having been rendered disabled after an accident at the spa; Niky Wardley plays dizzy receptionist Sally; and Cheryl Fergison (‘Heather off Eastenders’) is an overweight spa guest, comically named Bergita (pronounced ‘Big Eater’).
Despite providing a few laughs along the way, these people don’t seem to be much more than stock characters which is a shame as the characters in Benidorm could potentially have been this, but instead were given depth to them – so we know Derren Litten can do it.
I’m not saying The Spa wasn’t enjoyable – it was – but just don’t watch it expecting laugh-a-minute stuff. Laugh-every-four-minutes would be more accurate.
The Spa is on Thursdays at 9:00pm on Sky Living
What did you think of The Spa? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Feel free to comment below or tweet me about this or any other TV show – @UKTVReviewer
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