Motherland – The DVDfever Review – BBC Sitcom pilot

motherland Motherland is a sitcom pilot centred around middle-class motherhood. Personally, I’ve never sired a child and don’t intend to, so I won’t experience fatherhood, let alone motherhood, and I consider myself working class and not middle class. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a fair bit to enjoy here, and that’s largely down to the great cast.

Anna Maxwell Martin has always been a brilliant actress, and she portrays harrassed, overworked mother of two Julia brilliantly. The majority of the rest of the cast is filled out by Diane Morgan (Cunk on Shakespeare, We The Jury) as clumsy single mother Liz, Lucy Punch (Hot Fuzz) as ‘head of the Alpha Mums’ Amanda, and Paul Ready (The Circuit, Utopia) as stay-at-home dad Kevin.

In terms of writing, it’s a joint venture between Graham Linehan, Helen Linehan, Sharon Horgan – who I often find amusing (although I didn’t get Catastrophe) – and Holly Walsh, who I’ve only ever found about as amusing as stubbing my toe. Overall, despite there being a chance for too many cooks to spoil the broth, this passes a reasonable half hour with a very likeable cast, and occasional humourous lines and situations – such as taking the kids to school when it’s half term, but I can’t see there being enough in the premise for a full series.

Motherland airs tomorrow night BBC2 at 10pm, but is not yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD. After broadcast, if you missed it, you can watch the episode on BBC iPlayer, up until October 6th, and click on the top-right image in this review for the full-size version.

Sitcom Season – Trailer – BBC Two

Score: 6/10

Director: Graham Linehan
Producer: Richard Boden
Writers: Graham Linehan, Helen Linehan, Sharon Horgan and Holly Walsh

Julia: Anna Maxwell Martin
Liz: Diane Morgan
Kevin: Paul Ready
Amanda: Lucy Punch
Ian: Terry Mynott
Marion: Ellie Haddington
Mrs Lawson: Chetna Pandva
Janet: Margaret Cabourn-Smith
Paul: Oliver Chris
Anne: Philippa Dunne
Sunita: Sonita Henry