Uncle: First series good – second series better?


By Rhea Turner

Sex, drugs and Witty one-liners form the basis of this new BBC Three comedy.

Uncle shows what happens when maturity levels meet in the middle as Andy, an irresponsible musician, takes care (or attempts to take care) of his straight faced, wheat intolerant nephew Errol.

The episode carries themes of classic role reversal, with childish Andy burping on his voicemail and 12-year-old Errol indulging in blackmail.

There is slapstick humour in abundance as scenes depict a car accident involving a van which displays the words ‘Whack-it’ and a scene where Andy is contemplating suicide, with a method that includes a bath, stereo, scissors and a piece of string.

In scenes reminiscent of a less tame ‘About a Boy’ Andy also poses as Errol’s father to win back his ex-girlfriend.

There are a few touching moments which are ultimately, overshadowed by the scenery, which include a gay strip club called C-O-X and an embarrassing musical number which sees Andy dancing around with half naked men serenading his ex girlfriend.

Uncle sees Nick Helm make his acting debut in the role of main character Andy. As his first gig as an actor, Helm is strong in his execution but the lack of emotion in the piece does not allow for him to display versatility. Despite this, Helm’s unlikely alliance with his nephew, is strengthened by the performance of Elliot Speller-Gillott, who steals the show as quirky Errol. In only his fourth on screen appearance, Speller-Gillott shines with his no-nonsense attitude and awkward charisma.

The sit-com which is written and directed by Oliver Refson, famed for his comedic shorts ‘The Hardest Part (2010) and Wrigley (2004) lacks warmth but makes up for it with its witty one liners.

Adult humour runs consistently through the programme, with an equal measure of bad language and funny moments. If you are a fan of simple laddish humour you won’t be disappointed.

  • This review was written to coincide with the second series of Uncle, now available on BBC iplayer.

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