Trollied Review: Super(market)

TROLLIED: Thursday 4th August, SKY1, 9pm

It’s a compliment to Trollied to say that watching the first episode makes you wonder why no one has bothered to write a sitcom based in a supermarket before. From annoying loyalty card floggers to people fingering all the fruit, the potential for observational humour is clearly limitless, but when augmented by a good script and a talented cast, the environment also forms the perfect setting for a fine character-based sitcom – which is exactly what Sky One have produced here. With The Office‘s Ash Atalla in the producer’s chair (watch out for the female version of Keith) the prospects were always good.

Set in the aisles of fictional supermarket Valco (“Serves You Right!”) we follow the diverse lives of the store’s employees, from the jobsworth Deputy Manger all the way down to the heavily-tattooed shelf-stacking slacker who steals his lunch from the stockroom. You don’t need much imagination to picture the rest of the characters – most of them are well-drawn variants on the Little Britain theme – but the writing team have done a great job of grounding these people in reality with strong dialogue and organic relationships that seem to grow as the series progresses.

Supermarket old hand Jane Horrocks and Mark Addy are the biggest names on show, but there are fine performances from all over the store. Viewers may not recognise This Is England‘s Chanel Cresswell without a semi-skinhead, but they’ll certainly spot Corrie vet Rita May, who brings a lighter side to proceedings as a pensioner on the first day of her first ever job. This generational contrast is clearly meant to make Trollied a comedy that appeals to everyone, but while it is far from risqué there are some irresistibly simple jokes to enjoy here. The scene in which the lads behind the meat counter rib Horrocks’ pedantic supervisor after she tells them she’s ‘interimming’ is textbook. Just think of Tim and Dawn’s Gareth-bating antics ten years ago and you get the picture. Keep an eye on this one..