The Family Pile is a new ITV sitcom, and ITV sitcoms are always amazing, right? Erm…
The happiness begins with the fact that this is centred around four bereaved sisters who have to sell the family home… making it sound a bit similar to Apple TV+’s recent Bad Sisters, which is a sitcom centred around four bereaved sisters. Hmm… and that in itself, was based on a Belgian 2012 comedy, Clan, which didn’t get beyond one series. So, why bother?
Well, let’s see if I really should.
Nicole (Amanda Abbington) is trying to sell the house, showing a couple around, but her sister, Yvette (Clare Calbraith), has unexpectedly (to Nicole) tied up a married man (Austin, played by Richard Pepple) in her bed, leaving Nicole to pretend to ignore the situation and, instead, comment on how the wardrobes are new.
Yvette excuses her actions by claiming she fell into this ‘relationship’ following their mother’s funeral, “because grief affects people in different ways”.
Meanwhile, third sister, Ursula (Claire Keelan), has an issue with her gym because a bloke in there has hurled a kettle bell so far that it’s gone into the swimming pool and hit someone. Meanwhile, Gaynor (Alexandra Mardell) makes up the quartet, with an opening gambit of… oh, I’ve forgotten already.
Also, Nicole’s ex, Stuart (Kieran O’Brien) drops off their son, Connor (Sonny Lackey), who appears to be completely deaf, yet even deaf people would annunciate in some form.
But, how can they sell the family home when it’s the only thing they all have in common? Who cares.
As it’s a 2023 sitcom, everyone’s in a mixed-race relationship, yet they couldn’t be bothered to increased their diversity point score by hiring a deaf actor for the role of Connor.
The Family Pile feels like a sitcom that was shot in front of a live audience… who never laughed. Just like me. This is awful. God knows why anyone bothered, and how this even got past the pilot.
And that’s before we get to the revelation of how most of the cast sport awful fake Liverpool accents.
Everyone would’ve disgraced themselves less if they’d each shit themselves on the way to the recording, causing the entire production to be cancelled forever.
The Family Pile begins on ITV tomorrow night at 9.30pm, and will air weekly until ratings force it to be cancelled. Still, you can elect to suffer by watching the entire show on ITVX once the opener airs, no doubt.
Director: Fergal Costello
Creator/Writer: Brian Dooley
Music: Tom Bromley
Nicole: Amanda Abbington
Yvette: Clare Calbraith
Ursula: Claire Keelan
Gaynor: Alexandra Mardell
Greg: James Nelson-Joyce
Nadiya: Roya Amini
Hasim: Jordan Akkaya
Austin: Richard Pepple
Stuart Kieran O’Brien
Connor: Sonny Lackey
Poppy: Nellie Slaven
Voice of Poppy: Erin Shanagher
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.