Cuckoo (BBC Three) Season 1 Review “Family Meeting”

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On this week’s Cuckoo, ‘Family Meeting’, the outside world descends on the Thompson household and, as you might expect, have more than a few opinions about the family’s quirky new member.
Yep, Cuckoo’s still hanging around much to Ken’s chagrin, with plans to change the world with his jacket potato van. While we don’t actually see said plan put into action this week, seeing the ‘Potatoes of the Revolution’ van set forth on its mission will definitely be a treat. The plot is still resigned to Ken and Cuckoo’s power struggle this week, and it’s abundantly clear whose winning.

We start the episode with the sight of Cuckoo meditating nude on the kitchen table, prompting Ken to call an urgent family meeting. Asking his new son-in-law to put some clothes on while in the house (except when he’s in the shower or making love to Rachel), Cuckoo in turn asks Ken to remove his ‘Nazi memorabilia’ from the study. As sitcom contrivances go, this is a variation on a classic, and poor Ken is subjected to a bevy of embarrassingly ludicrous incidents before the 30-minutes is up.

With two strong male leads, as well as the talented Tyger Drew-Honey (Dylan), what bothers me most about the way Cuckoo is going are the female characters. Rachel and Lorna are so irritatingly dense about everything going on around them that they’re hard to identify with. With Cuckoo being so ‘out there’ the show needs an intelligent, sympathetic figure on his side so as to make his presence in the Thompson house slightly less sinister.

With the mother and daughter apparently caught under his hippy-dippy spell, we’re left only with the put-upon voice of reason, Ken, slowly losing his marbles over the unwanted guest. This episode subscribed much more to the sitcom structure in this regard than last week’s strong premiere, but thankfully didn’t lose its good-natured sense of daft humour. Without Greg Davies and Andy Samberg, you wonder how good Cuckoo would actually be but, with such talented comedic performers on the frontline, the show is something I look forward to seeing more of in the coming weeks.

What did you think of ‘Family Meeting’? Can Cuckoo sustain it’s central joke until the end of the series? Let us know in the comments.

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