As with any death, it’s not just about what still lies around the house, but little things such as an Amazon order you didn’t know he’d made, which turns up too late for him to make use of it. (Well, I say Amazon – as it’s the BBC, it just says ‘book delivery’ but it’s in the same font and packaging).
Each of the six episodes takes place over a day at different point in the year following the tragedy, starting with January, as the funeral is about to take place, and culminating with New Year’s Eve.
Over the course of the first episode, we learn they were married in the ’70s with shocking dress sense – such was the style at the time, there are elderly parents-in-law who are confused about everything and think a waiter will take their order at the wake buffet, Peter Mullan plays Michael, a very keen friend of Cathy’s – and wanting to be more, who bumbles from scene to scene, not knowing where to place himself while waiting for the world to turn until he can get the right words out one day (presumably episode 6), while Lisa McGrillis steals the show as ditzy Essex girl, Kelly, whose opening gambit – amongst a few gaffes – is that she needs to borrow some knickers because she’s forgotten to put any on, and that the only funeral she’s been to was for her dog.
Mum is nicely underplayed and all takes place in the one location (her house), rather like the same writer’s Him And Her, a programme I saw parts of but wasn’t grabbed by.
Overall, Mum is not essential, but makes for a reasonable half-hour.
Obviously, in real life, mums are essential because otherwise you would not be born.
Note: I’ve also seen the second episode and, to me, it’s pretty much the same as the first one in terms of pacing and humour.
Mum Series 1 isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, and the series continues next Friday on BBC2 at 10.00pm. If you missed it, you can watch the first episode on BBC iPlayer, up until June 12th, and click on the above picture for the full-size version.
Episode 1 Score: 4/10!
Director: Richard Laxton
Producer: Lyndsay Robinson
Writer: Stefan Golaszewski
Cathy: Lesley Manville
Michael: Peter Mullan
Kelly: Lisa McGrillis
Jason: Sam Swainsbury
Pauline: Dorothy Atkinson
Sam: Matthew Aubrey
Derek: Ross Boatman
John: Ray Emmet Brown
Maureen: Marlene Sidaway
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.