Finding new mileage in age-old generation gap
There's no doubt that laughter is excellent medicine, so it's heartening to discover a new sitcom that really hits my funny bone.
I expect that's because Cuckoo is aimed at folk just like me – parents of teens and twenty-somethings who believe the generation gap is but a thin line.
For Midlands couple Ken (Greg Davies – best known as headmaster Mr Gilbert in The Inbetweeners) and Lorna (Helen Baxendale) that divide becomes a yawning chasm with the homecoming of daughter Rachel (Tamla Kari), back from her gap year with an American husband called Cuckoo (Andy Samberg).
Not only is he a complete surprise – "Didn't you get my Facebook message," chirrups Rachel – but he's every parent's worst nightmare.
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Full of what could be politely termed as New Age hippy mumbo-jumbo, Cuckoo is a career slacker. He declares himself to be a spiritual ninja who needs time and space to formulate and write about his philosophies. That means sponging off his in-laws.
Like Episodes, Cuckoo pits a US star against quality British actors; the difference is that, unlike Matt Le Blanc, (who starred in the former with Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan), Andy is pretty much unknown in Britain.
Put him out on the street in Los Angeles, though, and this Hollywood and Saturday Night Live stalwart would be mobbed. Methinks it won't be long before he's a household name here, too.
In character he offers just the right mix of infuriating charm. And Greg Davies makes an excellent (if incongruously tall) exasperated father, biting his tongue because he doesn't want to upset the women of the household – who both seem to adore the newcomer – while attempting to bribe Cuckoo to clear off.
Tyger Drew Honey (the eldest child in Outnumbered) also ticks the box as Rachel's stroppy teenage brother.
Yes, this series has promising written all over it.