Dawn French and Alfred Molina are back on our screens as married couple Roger and Val, revealing the dysfunctional conversations everyone has once tucked up inside their homes.
The series Roger and Val Have Just Got In may get called a sitcom, but it is more like a drama. Firstly there is a plot, which is quite important to follow. Last series each episode built up to the revelation that Roger and Val had lost a child many years ago and still hadn’t come to terms with it yet. Now the couple have managed to get through that they have new problems to address. But the only way you can find out is if you tune in each week.
Secondly, it is very subtle. I think the beauty in the series is that it follows real life. You see Roger and Val come in from work, turn on the lights and the heating, make a cup of tea and draw the curtains. It is also done in real-time, so none of this pretending to be drinking tea from an empty cup, which is oddly reassuring.
On top of that the silly conversations they have each week show what people are like once they don’t have to pretend to be normal in the real world. For instance Val revealed that as part of her preparation for a job interview she wears a box with the faces of three women who inspire her. These include the tennis player Martina Navratilova, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and “Margaret that used to be off The Apprentice“. These are conversations that should never be shared with people you don’t trust, because they will never understand what you are on about.
Thirdly it has proper acting. Although it might be odd for Hollywood star Molina to be in such a simple, small show he works perfectly. He shows a range of emotions from frustration at the heating to extreme anger at his job. Whilst at the same time being an adorably supportive husband who is unable to keep a lie from his wife. The show is more French’s thing, but shows more depth than any of her previous characters.
There is no point in the show where they have to rely upon a knob joke to hide the fact that there is no character development going on. In fact last series, when the pair where dealing with the loss of their child many years ago I spent more time watching the show through tears rather than fits of laughter.
But don’t let this put you off. There are wonderful moments which you get to appreciate by going through the horrible, heart breaking moments. Much like life itself.