Catch up TV review: Frank of Ireland, Meet the Richardsons S2, Game of Talents
James R | On 18, Apr 2021
Frank of Ireland (All 4)
It’s hard to hold anything against the Gleeson family, which has given us not only Brendan Gleeson but also Brian and Domhnall Gleeson. The latter two team up for this Channel 4 comedy, which sees them play a pair of friends – Frank Marron (Brian Gleeson) and Doofus (Domhnall Gleeson) – the former a 30-something man-child who lives with his mother, Mary (Pom Boyd), and the latter foolishly supporting his immature impulses and tidying up after them. The result is a strong showcase for the Gleesons’ chemistry, which is warm, prickly and convincing at all times – Doofus trying to explain metaphors and similes to Frank us a treat – but struggles to find original laughs among the overly familiar dysfunctional double act, which lacks the upbeat wit of The Young Offenders or the distinctive voice of Derry Girls. The Gleesons are good together, but you can’t help but suspect they could be better.
Meet the Richardsons: Season 2 (UKTV Play)
With Taskmaster now on Channel 4, Dave’s in need of a new, high-profile comedy hit. This entertaining, understated mockumentary could just be it. Somewhere between Curb Your Enthusiasm and Hoff the Record, the show follows Jon Richardson and his wife, Lucy Beaumont, played by themselves. Over Season 1 and a Christmas special, the fun has stemmed from trying to tell where the line is between knowing parody and real life. Season 2 takes us into their home during lockdown, which brings added tensions – and a chance for Jon to build his own pub in the garden shed. But it also continues to expand the show’s self-aware world, with Russell Howard making observational comments about the duo, Sally Phillips working with Jon on a dream project, Lucy working on an amusingly dreadful game show and, of course, Johnny Vegas delivering a scene-stealing turn as himself – including a moment where he’s described as the “new Mike Leigh”.
Photo: Vish Sharma
Game of Talents (ITV Hub)
“I’ve never wanted someone to burp so much.” That’s the sound of ITV joining the BBC in a new kind of game show – one in which people don’t compete to show off their talents but to guess the talents of other people. Where I Can See Your Voice focuses on sorting good singers from bad, Game of Talents takes a variety show approach, as contestants (helped by celebrity guests) have to try and work out what ability or skill someone has. That could be anything from juggling or yodelling to singing or playing guitar, and part of the fun comes from trying work out each person’s gifts – only topped by the show’s enjoyable knack for wrong-footing you as it reveals the answer. After years of singing contests and similar fare, this post-Masked Singer generation of shiny floor shows has a wonderful sense of novelty and frivolity about it.