Newark Newark – The DVDfever Review – BBC comedy – Morgana Robinson

Newark Newark Newark Newark – so good they named it… as it’s mostly set around the life of single mother Maxine (Morgana RobinsonEveryone Else Burns), trying to bring up teenage son Leslie (Jai Hollis) the best she can, although she’s only newly single, after having dumped her husband, Terry (Matthew Horne), for being boring.

In the opener of the three episodes in this first series, all of which is now on iPlayer, Maxine has the pleasure of turning 40, the point in life for which we’re told is when life begins, although when I was in my mid-20s and asked a 46-year-old colleague if life really does begin at 40, he thought about it for a moment and replied, “…Nah, it’s shit”.

And that’s how chippy owner Maxine feels, which is not helped by the fact that employee Claire (Saskia ChanaThe Bisexual) tells her, “You’ve got your whole life ahead of you… Well, half of it(!)”

It won’t exactly by the best birthday party, though, since it’s raining outside and the complaining has already begun inside, since Leslie’s best friend at school, Amber (Jessie Mae Alonzo, below), announces she “doesn’t eat anything with a face”. Plus, after endless frustration in trying to make his point while he has everyone’s attention, the lad admits he’s gay, just as Deee-Lite’s Groove Is In The Heart comes coming to a conclusion with its wind-down ending.

Newark Newark

Jessie Mae Alonzo, yesterday.

But at least he can live his life now, since school is over for the year and he wants some summer loving. Sadly, Mum has other ideas, since in an area full of closed-down shops, she takes him on alongside her, dressing him in the chippy uniform, and upon taking a picture, he concludes wryly, “We look the same age(!)”.

And that’s what we have a lot of in this new comedy – dry humour, which is generally what works best for me, and is far more engaging than the godawful Here We Go that pollutes BBC1’s schedules.

Some examples include, that while Terry wants to het back with Maxine, she tells her son, “Don’t go to live with your Dad. He can’t even do joint up writing(!)”, she has an increasingly annoying mother, Pauline (Beverley Callard), who’ll do her best to get on Maxine’s tits, but what our lead would much prefer is Terry’s new best friend, karate trainer Dariusz (Bo Poraj), who’s of questionable origin.

After three episodes of Newark Newark, I didn’t think I’d initially take to it, but it has the occasional big laugh, a lot of smaller ones and I’d certainly check out more of this.

Oh, and it was only as I came to the end of writing my review, I found that this series was actually first shown on (UK) Gold in March 2022. Shame it hasn’t even had a snifter of promotion on BBC TV when I’ve been watching, as it deserves better now that they’re showing it.

Newark Newark is on tonight on BBC2 at 10pm, but isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD. The whole series is available now on the BBC iPlayer.

Newark Newark – Official Trailer – BBC

Director: Amanda Blue
Producer: Kenny Tanner
Writer/Creator: Nathan Foad

Maxine: Morgana Robinson
Leslie: Jai Hollis
Terry: Matthew Horne
Pauline: Beverley Callard
Claire: Saskia Chana
Amber: Jessie Mae Alonzo
Dariusz: Bo Poraj
Heather: Nina Wadia
Rudy: Vahid Gold
Ed: Sam Newton
Kenndy: Conor Deane
Dave: Callum Fuller
Becca: Francesca Dowson
Angie: Sarah Toogood
Jack: Spike Fearn
Connor: Oliver Woollford