Cuckoo (BBC Three) Season 1 Review “Ken on E”

Cuckoo (BBC Three)

This week’s Cuckoo, the intriguingly titled ‘Ken on E’, marks a nice change in pace for the show and showcases yet more of Greg Davies and Adam Samberg’s comedic chemistry.

The episode starts in much the same way as we’ve seen over the first two episodes, with Ken’s life being made slightly more difficult by the presence of his new son-in-law. Running for local government, Cuckoo kindly tells him he’s not ready and must cancel his meeting, but Ken ignores him and goes anyway. Acing the interview, son Dylan manages to inadvertently ruin things by starting a fight at school. Tyger Drew-Honey is, yet again, a highlight of the episode, which is quite an achievement considering what’s going on elsewhere.

But the bulk of proceedings are a two-hander between Ken and Cuckoo, asked to bond while Lorna and Rachel enjoy a girl’s night out. Getting caught with MDMA for a party, Dylan tells his dad they’re pain killers for his back and, of course, hilarity ensues. Middle-aged men mistakenly taking drugs is a sitcom staple at this point and, while silly, the episode uses the consequences of his accidental binge to suitably amusing effect. Realising what’s happened, Cuckoo gleefully goes along on the trip, and the pair do actually end up bonding.

The best scene in the episode has to be when they arrive at Dylan’s aforementioned party, with a room full of sixteen year olds not laughing at the older, thoroughly messed-up misfits, but partying right along with them. A lesser comedy might have milked the potential for abject embarrassment and it’s consequences for Ken’s life, but Cuckoo does the right thing in keeping things light throughout. It also doesn’t paint young people as idiots, which is always a refreshing stance to take on British television.

What doesn’t work so well, which is something I’ve complained about before, is the storyline involving Lorna and Rachel. This week, they’re invited to Connie’s house to have dinner with her son, Seb. He’s the guy she always hoped Rachel would marry even if she, unfortunately, finds his repulsive and arrogant. We’re shown that, yes really, he is that bad, and she has done the right thing by marrying a random hippy she only just met. The show seems keen to make us think this, anyway, just as Ken might be coming around to the idea of having Cuckoo stay around.

What did you think of ‘Ken on E’? Will we ever see the jacket potato van in action? Let us know in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter @carolinepreece