Uncle

Uncles: they take you to strip clubs and hold you responsible for car crashes.

Or at least that is the uncle portrayed by Nick Helm in the dysfunctional family that is the subject of the new BBC3 sitcom aptly called Uncle.

Andy, the uncle in question, reluctantly agrees to collect his nephew, Errol, from school rather than electrocuting himself in the bath. The first episode includes drugs, sex and bribery rendering Errol the perfect future guest on Jeremy Kyle.

In one of the most memorable scenes in the opening episode, Andy, now a bit high, bribes Errol to feign injury at football training in order to leave and pursue Andy’s ex-girlfriend working in a strip club.

Oliver Refson, writer and director of Uncle, depicts the struggle between a suicidal musician and a 12 year old with a middle aged brain and OCD brilliantly and with care. However, the one liners that the audience is continuously bombarded with are what really makes the show; “Why couldn’t mum pick me up?” “Because she’s dead”.

Despite this, the bizarre musical ensemble that sees Helm surrounded by men in hot pants, although entertaining, was a bit odd and probably failed to resonate with viewers unfamiliar with his musical work such as Live at the Electric or 8 Out of 10 Cats.

Overall, the new comedy, which first aired on the 14th January on BBC3, was genuinely funny. Andy jokes that Errol makes him want to be a better man, like “the prime minister. Or Mayor of London at the very least.”

Perhaps Errol will be an education to the heartbroken musician on the verge of suicide.

Refson juxtaposes the irresponsible adult with the responsible child and tackles serious issues such as suicide and heartbreak, presenting them alongside the ridiculous, like when the Cheeky Girls start playing on the radio that Andy was planning to use to electrocute himself with.

Promising stuff.

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The Student Newspaper 2016