I’ve always enjoyed Not Going Out – probably because I like Lee Mack, so the return of the series was met with trumpets and fanfare at Chez Hargreaves. But that was before I realised that the new series includes kids.
Perhaps creatives at the BBC are mourning the fact that the Outnumbered kids grew up and killed the show, and are now channelling their spirit in the hope of developing the next hit family sitcom. But here’s the problem – these kids aren’t that likeable and put the mockers on the adult humour.
The appeal of Not Going Out has always revolved around the ‘will they, won’t they’ sexual chemistry between Lee (Mack’s character) and Lucy (Sally Bretton). When the show closed in 2015, they were newlyweds and it was abundantly clear they had overcome that particular obstacle – because they were expecting their first child.
Skip forward seven years and the romantic spark – if ever the was one – has been extinguished by the school run and parental responsibilities, much to Lee’s dismay.
After an early morning spat in the bathroom – the scene of many a domestic dispute – he decides that something must be done to prevent their marriage from drifting. However, with his father Frank (Bobby Ball) imparting his wisdom and the in-laws, the pompous bombast Geoffrey (Geoffrey Whitehead) and long-suffering wife Wendy (Deborah Grant) adding their twopenneth, Lee’s night of candles and romance is never going to hit the heights expected.
Once the credits roll, turn over immediately or endure the ultimate in Marmite television – Mrs Brown’s Boys follows.
Not Going Out Friday BBC One 9pm