Static is the final of three Comedy Playhouse sitcoms and gets off to a bad start as one of the sitcoms where the ‘star’ can’t think of a name for his character, hence comedian Rob Beckett is ‘Rob’. He has quit his job in London. Why would anyone just quit a job? They don’t grow on trees! Apparently Rob Beckett would, though, as he moves back in with his parents… except that they now live 80 miles away in a caravan in Margate, or as they call it, “static home”, causing Rob to exclaim “The Borrowers would be cramped in ‘ere!”
And that’s as good as it gets.
Cue a zillion crap jokes based around how the caravan is tiny and cramped, and since it’s a cheap set, he is seen coming out of the shower… dry. Add in some lame poo jokes, plus how he can’t go out for a night out in London because he has to borrow his Dad’s clothes as mum’s put them all in the wash.
Plus, his Dad has a wheeze to import Chinese gas on the cheap and sell it to the other caravanners, and make a fortune, until the inevitable happens, which you know as every joke is signposted a country mile in advance. And in the event of today’s Parsons Green terrorist incident, I wonder if this episode will be postponed…
Alison Steadman and Phil Davis (as his parents) clearly need the money, and Line of Duty‘s Craig Parkinson has come down a lot being in this as a terrible compere in the bar. And how the hell did Monkey Dust‘s Shaun Pye get involved in this?
With godawful canned laughter, Beckett considers this a ‘family sitcom’, but Static is like the sort of sitcom which would’ve died on its backside in the ’80s after one series. Think ‘When The Whistle Blows‘ from Ricky Gervais’ Extras.
At one point, Rob sighs, “Jesus! Kill me now….” and I know how he feels, especially since Static concludes a trio of Comedy Playhouse pilots and they were all so terrible it makes me feel like the BBC were screening them for a bet!
Static is on tonight on BBC1 at 10.40pm, it’s not available to pre-order on DVD and is unlikely to be. If you missed it, you can watch it on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after transmission.
Director: Ed Bye
Producer: John Pocock
Writers: Rob Beckett and Shaun Pye
Rob: Rob Beckett
Cath: Alison Steadman
Gal: Phil Davis
Angry Lynn: Jacqueline Chan
Silent Sue: Chrissie Cotterill
Thanet Janet: Julia Deakin
Jen: Natasia Demetriou
Ray: Ben Owen Jones
Dillon: Samson Kayo
Hirsty: Craig Parkinson
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.