Hang Ups is, effectively, another of those ‘one room’ comedies, this one the house of Richard Pitt (Stephen Mangan), a therapist whose business collapsed, so today is Day One of working from home (so, a whole house rather than just a room, but it’s mostly what we see through the ‘eye’ of his laptop camera), which includes interruptions from family members who still have to go out and about, including partner Karen (Katherine Parkinson).
All of his clients come through via the laptop, whether it’s Miranda‘s Sarah Hadland as Fiona – recounting horrendous situations from school, or as shown on the ‘next week’ clip, David Tennant as Martin Lamb, but the first one is Pete (W1A‘s Karl Theobald), talking about mur -dering his wife, but he’s a friend, and it’s a test for Pitt’s new venture.
Along the way, Celia (Prevenge‘s Alice Lowe) asks him if he wanted the previous business to fail, but no, he was done over by a business friend, and Leonard (the always-wonderful Richard E Grant), as Pitt’s own therapist, because a shrink sometimes needs a shrink!
Oh, and Ms Lowe’s Sightseers co-star Steve Oram pops up, but I didn’t recognise him until he brought out the Brummy accent 🙂
There’s also the brilliant Charles Dance as his Dad, who tells him, “Richard, listen to me. I’ve had a call from the hospital… It’s about your mother… she’s had a fall… off the wagon(!)”, but the biggest laugh came from another situation with the words, “Go easy, you’re not playing Yahtzee(!)”
And this just scratches the surface of what’s in it.
After the recent so-so Stath Lets Flats, it’s nice to actually see a very funny comedy on Channel 4 again.
Episodes 2 and 3 were also very good – mostly featuring the same characters, and unlike most comedies, this actually improved as it approached the end, with some great conclusions to story arcs such as the lecturer who was bedding Richard’s daughter, as well as Neil the nutter who wanted a ton of money from him… and you could spot what was going to happen, there, just before it did, but it was still highly entertaining. I do hope there’s a series 2.
Episode 1 Score: 8/10
Episode 2 Score: 7/10
Episode 3 Score: 7/10
Episode 4 Score: 7/10
Episode 5 Score: 8/10
Episode 6 Score: 8/10
Director: Robert Delamere
Writers: Robert Delamere and Stephen Mangan
Richard Pitt: Stephen Mangan
Pete Thompson: Karl Theobald
Karen Muller: Katherine Parkinson
Issy Pitt: Bebe Cave
Ricky Pitt: Fionn O’Shea
Neil Quinn: Steve Oram
Liam Donohoe: James Sterndale
Zahra Alsaadi: Anjana Vasan
Dylan Parks: Kaine Zajaz
Jose Duran: Javier Marzan
Adebowale ‘Abs’ Walters: John Macmillan
Leonard Conrad: Richard E Grant
Nathan Slater: Harry Lloyd
Katherine Pitt: Jessica Hynes
Werner Lienhard: Paul Ritter
Jeremy Pitt: Charles Dance
Maggie Pitt: Celia Imrie
Jon Pitt: Conleth Hill
Celia Cain: Alice Lowe
Fiona Bellingham: Sarah Hadland
Jane Ross: Daisy Haggard
Jackson Bailey: Archie Madekwe
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.