As I said in my Seann Walsh World review, you – or at least I – tend to expect that any original comedy which has been produced by a digital channel – i.e. GOLD, Dave or Comedy Central – is not going to be particularly good. After all, if it was funny, it would be on a terrestrial channel, surely? Well not necessarily – just look at Trollied, Stella, Mount Pleasant, Threesome and now Big Bad World, which would more than hold its own against some of the more mainstream offerings.
Created by relatively new writers, Lloyd Woolf and Joe Tucker, Big Bad World stars Blake Harrison as Ben Turnbull: an ambitious graduate who, having left university, returns to his childhood home, but struggles to adjust. You see, Ben himself may have moved on, but Great Yarmouth hasn’t – and the parts of it which have haven’t done so as Ben would have liked. For example, his friends are still as immature as ever and he finds it difficult to find a job – no change there. On the other hand, his childhood sweetheart, Lucy, is now attached, and his parents have amalgamated their and his bedrooms by knocking the wall down – change indeed, but just not the sort that Ben would have liked.
I have to say that I was very impressed by the first episode of Big Bad World, and am envious of those who still have its delights to come. Ben is very different to the character for which Blake Harrison is best known, The Inbetweeners’ Neil. I mean, Ben attended university – Neil just about scraped into sixth form! The main character really is quite a loveable fool, and if he stumbles through the rest of the series like he did this episode, it seems that we’re about to witness just as many fruitless, and cringe-making, attempts at self-advancement than the Inbetweeners managed combined.
While Blake is at the centre of the show, he is surrounded by more than a few big-name comedy stars, including James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley), Caroline Quentin (Men Behaving Badly), David Fynn (Pete vs Life), Scarlett Alice Johnson (Pramface) and Comedy Central’s new golden boy, Seann Walsh. Together, they create a great ensemble piece, portraying very well-drawn characters who we become familiar with and feel we know straight away. Although I’m not quite sure about Eggman’s (Seann Walsh) part in the set-up yet. Let’s hope that he develops later in the series, as in the opening episode he seemed to just be there as one of the friends, and not have any particularly unique qualities about him.
THE LOVE STORY
Of course, every sitcom needs its romantic plot, and Big Bad World is no different as Ben is determined to overcome the odds and get back with Lucy, despite the fact that she now has a boyfriend who everyone likes – but Ben thinks is ‘a bell end’.
His pursuit of Lucy looks set to be the main plot and provide some great moments, as it appears that he will stop at nothing to prove everyone wrong and get back together with her. And that includes feigning interest in volunteering in the Third World.
With a great cast playing great characters from a great script, there’s the likelihood that Big Bad World will be just as popular as Comedy Central’s other home-grown sitcom, the award-winning Threesome – just with a less unconventional plotline. And, with the first episode premiering on Digital Spy before its broadcast on TV, there really is no reason not to give it a go.
The first episode of Big Bad World will be available exclusively on Digital Spy from Monday 19th August
The series begins at 9:00pm on Wednesday 21st August on Comedy Central