The classic British comedy series, The Inbetweeners, ended in 2010, and although it was followed up by two movies, I’ve missed the ever-loving fuck out of it ever since. Luckily, there’s another show that scratches the same cringy itch the boys and their antics did all those years ago.
Available on Stan, Friday Night Dinner revolves around the Goodmans, a Jewish family who get together for a traditional dinner once a week. It stars Simon Bird (who played Will in The Inbetweeners) as Adam, the eldest son, Tom Rosenthal as the younger son, Paul Ritter (who starred in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and recently played Anatoly Dyatlov in Chernobyl) as Martin, the absolute weird unit of a father and Tamsin Grieg (who you may recognise as Fran from Black Books) as the loving mother, Jackie.
In most episodes, you can count on Martin walking around the house shirtless, the boys pulling all sorts of pranks on each other – a lot of which revolve around salt – and Jackie struggling to prevent the night from delving into complete chaos. And then, of course, there are the frequent visits from their neighbour Jim, a deeply odd bloke who’s terrified of his own dog.
The humour of Friday Night Dinner is on par with other British shows like Peep Show, The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh, etc. By the end of every dinner, it’s an absolute shitstorm of events, from Grandma’s new boyfriend trying to punch on with the rest of the family to a frozen dead fox lying in the middle of the hallway.
With the first season airing back in 2011, it’s certainly not new by any means but seems to have been largely overlooked in Australia until recently. A good friend of mine recently put me onto it and honestly, it’s the funniest series I’ve seen in a long time, perfectly filling the gaping void left by The Inbetweeners.
Here’s a clip from an episode featuring Grandma’s boyfriend, Mr Morris, to prove my point.
The old codger really has a vendetta against punk rockers. And it would be criminal of me to talk about Friday Night Dinner and not provide a sampling of Jim and his Belgian Shephard, Wilson.
Also, the theme song is a remixed version of Miike Snow‘s 2009 banger, Animal. It’s practically the perfect show.
Seriously, give it a go.Image: Friday Night Dinner