Alma’s Not Normal – The DVDfever Review – Sophie Willan

Alma's Not Normal Alma’s Not Normal is a new comedy, in pilot form for now, starring and written by Sophie Willan.

We first meet her going into the Jobcentre and getting lost, exclaiming “It’s like the Crystal Maze in here(!)”, before realising there’s no cups for the water dispenser machine, so she drinks straight from the dispenser tap.

She struggles to get any work due to having no qualifications because she had to look after herself as a child, “like the baby in Trainspotting… if it had lived”. Yes, there’s some dark humour in this.

Plus, it turns out she has bad taste in men, since she met Anthony “at a bus stop when I was 15. Thought he’d bring me the moon… turns out, he could only just spell it”.

Aside from that, her schizophenic mum, Lin (Siobhan Finneran Apostasy), goes to art class; and her best friend is Leanne, played by Jayde Adams, the irritant from the Sun Bingo adverts. There seems to be no escape from her.

Overall, there’s a lot of humourous lines in this which aren’t laugh out loud, but I did enjoy watching it and I would check out more if they made them. However, given how we have a woman in her 30s who can’t find a decent man, and who has made a complete hash of her life, it certainly does feel like Roisin Conaty’s Marcella from Gameface in an alternate universe, so don’t expect a huge amount of originality.

If you’re not sure before watching, while the BBC didn’t upload a trailer to Youtube, they did put a couple of excerpts on Facebook and their website, both of which are below.

Alma’s Not Normal is on the BBC iPlayer. The pilot is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD. If this goes to a full series, expect the pilot to be added to the DVD, or used as episode 1.

Alma’s Not Normal – BBC Facebook and Website clips

Score: 6/10

Director: Andrew Chaplin
Producer: Gill Isles
Writer: Sophie Willan
Music: Tom Kickox

Alma Nuthall: Sophie Willan
Lin: Siobhan Finneran
Joan: Lorraine Ashbourne
Leanne: Jayde Adams
Anthony: James Baxter
Carol: Shameem Ahmad
Young Alma: Maizie Wickson
Adnan: Tahir Shah
Bill: Dave Jones
Viv: Sue Vincent
Jim: Nicholas Asbury
Support Worker: Zoe Iqbal
God: Andrew Heaton
Jesus: Michael New
Geoff: Jason Lever