Friday Night Dinner returns for a fourth series with no sign of slowing down with Robert Popper’s quickfire rate of gags. Around this point, you’d expect the average sitcom to have long spent its best, with long swathes of time passing while the family stand around with nothing to do. Not so with FND.
It’s a big night for the family as they’re having a special guest to dinner, but first they’ve got to get Jackie’s Mum out of the house, who’s going to a party “dressed like an old prostitute”, whilst ensuring to carry her phone and… her rape alarm.
The guest in question is Dad’s friend Tony (Jason Watkins on top form as always). Trouble is, he used to know two friends called Tony – one who can make amusing car engine noises, and one who’s completely annoying. He thinks he’s invited the former… erm….
With a gag almost every split-second, including Tony’s embarrassingly annoying ones – which Adam and Jonny find it incredibly amusing. Meanwhile, Martin’s eating flour out of the packet in a desperate attempt to destress, while Jim comes round with a whacking great fish that he can’t cook because his dog, Wilson, ate the knobs on the cooker.
Long may Friday Night Dinner continue. You need to watch each episode at least twice to get everything in full with everyone on-point, and I think its longevity is helped by the fact that a new series only comes once ever 18 months to two years, as opposed to annually, so enough time is given for Mr Popper to hone the perfect script, and there’s no chance to over-egg the pudding. Or over-flour it, if Martin’s left any.
I’ve also seen the second episode. John Sessions is the guest star, Jim’s situation gets ever increasingly bizarre, and Martin is topless again…
Friday Night Dinner begins tonight on Channel 4 at 10pm, and continues next Friday at the same time, and the episode can be watched on All4 shortly after broadcast. Series 4 is available to pre-order on DVD, and you can also buy the Series 1-3 boxset on DVD. Also, click on the cast image for the full-size version.
Also check out the trailer mash-up below which is priceless!
Episode 1 Score: 10/10
Director: Martin Dennis
Producer: Robert Popper
Writer: Robert Popper
Music: Miike Snow – Animal (Punks Jump Up Remix)
Jackie: Tamsin Greig
Adam: Simon Bird
Martin: Paul Ritter
Jonny: Tom Rosenthal
Jim: Mark Heap
Grandma: Frances Cuka
Auntie Val: Tracy-Ann Oberman
Tony: Jason Watkins
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.